How can I use same design system starting point for multiple projects

Perhaps a newbie question, but I have done a lot of searching and can’t find an answer.

I recently purchased UntitledUI as a design system and I am ready to use it on a new project.

When I update a component by adding a variant say, or changing a colour, I would like it to update everywhere it is used in one particular project, but I don’t want to update other projects that also use that same component.

I can…

  1. Create instances from my design system then detach them in my design file. This seems to defeat the purpose of having it linked to a master if I want to make a change.

  2. Update the master component in UntitledUI, but then wont my customization affect every usage of that component in multiple projects? I don’t want that.

My gut tells me what I want is a ‘copy’ of the design system that is local to each project. If that is actually what you are supposed to do, how is that done? Is there a ‘make a copy’ for libraries?


…or is this where I should use branching, and create a branch of my design system for one project. This seems like another bad idea as I have no intention of ever merging it back.

I’m sure there is an easy answer, but I just want to use the right workflow so I don’t create a mess

to show a picture… if I have a blue triangle in my design system and I use it project 1, then I start a whole new project 2 for another client, totally unrelated to project 1, but I want to use my design system as a starting point. I realize I can detach an instance of my triangle and create a new component, but my design system has so many interconnected components I want to leverage all that beautiful work that’s been done. Can I just copy my design system to create a new starting point? Is this what people do?

To use single set of assets across multiple files you need to publish a library

You publish it and then enable it using the assets tab. You need to be on a pro plan to make it work though


I do have the Pro version. My desire was to not publish library changes back to the master shared library, yet still have the benefits of a library for a specific project. Your link to explaining libraries answered my question — that library changes are only published back to the main library if you choose to publish them and local files keep their own library changes.
This sounds great, and is way fancier functionality than I realized was possible, I keep finding Figma features are much smarter than they first appear. Very cool.

Hi did you ever find out a solution for this? I’m in the same boat. We have a single design system, but things vary from client to client. Some clients we allow to customize our standard widgets which are represented as components in our design system. This means our design team will need break and edit these components.

Well, it takes time and effort and it’s a matter of tools and workflows around the system