Exploring Sanity.io - style your studio

The Covid-19 crisis has stopped us all in our tracks but has given the likes of me some time to do a little bit of R&D so that when business does return, we will have some new knowledge up our sleeves. If you aren't familiar with Sanity, it is a structured content management system like no other but you can of course wander over to their site (sanity.io)[https://sanity.io] to read more about their product and services. So let's build something together and see what this thing can do!

Getting Started

Installing Sanity CLI

npm install -g @sanity/cli

This will get you up and running

sanity login

This will launch a browser and you will either be requested to login or it will just pick this up from your current session. The end result being a token returned to your terminal.

Create a new project

sanity init

This will take you through a series of prompts, choose defaults throughout with the exception of the template question, you can choose whichever you fancy but for this article I opted for the e-commerce one.

Once the project has been created cd into the new directory that has been created for you.

Start the project

sanity start

You will then be able to access your new Sanity studio via localhost:3333 and now the fun can begin!

The 'Parts System'

Sanity features a very clever tool they call the 'Parts System' which in their own words is

Sanity is assembled from these "parts", and plug-ins are basically a collection of parts that either adds to, replace or amend the original Sanity parts. Actually, except for the @sanity/core-module, everything you see in the Sanity Studio are plug-ins.

You will find under the root folder of your new project a file called sanity.json and this is where your apps parts are defined, so let's open this and take a peek because we are going to make some changes to change the style of our Studio!

  "root": true,
  "project": {
    "name": "My Sanity Project"
  "api": {
    "projectId": "c9sbo31h",
    "dataset": "production"
  "plugins": [
  "env": {
    "development": {
      "plugins": [
  "parts": [
      "name": "part:@sanity/base/schema",
      "path": "./schemas/schema"

We can see that this is a fairly standard setup with the exception of the "Barcode-input" which we will explore in a separate article I think, as the scope of this one I am writing now is about getting your CSS hat on rather than your coding baseball cap (worn backwards of course!)

Override styles

  "parts": [
      "implements": "part:@sanity/base/brand-logo",
      "path": "./logo/myLogo.js"
    {      "implements": "part:@sanity/base/theme/variables/override-style",      "path": "./styles/variables.css"    }  ]

I added two new lines of code to my sanity.json and as my server was still running, a few errors popped up in my console and this is because we haven't added the folder styles nor the file variables.css yet - let's do that

mkdir styles 
cd styles
touch variables.css

Open up the new variables.css file in your favourite code editor and drop this little lot in

/* ./styles/variables.css */

@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Nunito&display=swap');

:root {
  /* Brand colors */
  --brand-primary: #cc4a1e;
  --brand-primary--inverted: #ffffff;
  --brand-secondary: #ffa800;
  --brand-secondary--inverted: #3c1609;

That's it!

Restart your studio CTRL+C, run sanity start and revisit localhost:3333 in your browser and you will notice the colours have changed, very neat.

There is a lot more we can do with this but I like to keep these tutorials short and sweet plus frequent. You can follow our Twitter account @headforcode for notifications of our latest articles.

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