dirtcheapcss 👨🏼‍💻

I needed something to quickly stylize a simple HTML page into a readable document that looked mostly good on all devices. It weighs in at 375b and that’s without any code minification. And this is what it looks like:

html {
  color-scheme: light dark;
  color: #333;
  font: 300 2.2ch/1.5 ui-sans-serif, sans-serif;
  max-width: 70ch;
  padding: 1ch;
  margin: auto;
h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {
  margin-top: 3ch;
code,pre {
  font: 1.4ch ui-monospace, fixed;
  opacity: 0.7;
  overflow-x: auto;
img {
  max-width: 100%;
@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
  html,a:link {
    color: #ddd;
  a:visited {
    color: #999;

This is clearly not meant for every solution, but in a pinch it can turn an ugly blog or documentation into a decent thing to look at.

Design Requirements ✅

There are only a few key requirements for this style that I wanted, though this may evolve depending on the HTML components that I continue to utilize down the road.

Font 🖌

This might be more of a personal preference, but I really wanted to leverage the San Francisco font native to Apple devices. To do this, I am using the ui-sans-serif keyword for the font-family, which should mean Windows/Linux could benefit from this as well.

Headers 📰

Font size and margins need to clearly separate content into digestable blocks. I added a margin-top to each of the headers except h1 since that will always be the main site header. The extra spacing helps keep the core content associated with its parent header.

Lists 📝

  1. Unordered and ordered lists need to look nice
  2. That’s pretty easy actually
  3. No fiddling with anything really

Dark Mode 🌒

I like to keep my desktop on auto-light/dark mode. By setting a simple media query, the font color can be handled according to whichever mode is currently active.

Code 🤖

While syntax highlighting would be a major plus, for now I am okay with simply using a nice monospace font with an opacity setting to set it apart from the rest of the words on the page. I’m using the ui-monospace font, which on the Mac is SF Mono. Highlight.js could be used as an add-on if the document is very code-heavy.

Images 🌄

The only issue with images in a reduced-width layout such as this is that img tags will stretch beyond the main content. To address this, a simple max-width: 100% will scale images to width of this container.


Sample Image

Future Considerations 🚀

Suggestions? 🗳

They are most welcome. Please log an issue over at Github.com or drop me a line on Micro.blog. If you have used this somewhere, I’d be curious to see your implementation, though there are no license or legal obligations to do so.

Credits 👋🏼

I was inspired when I came upon Leon Bambrick’s (@secretGeek) truly naked, brutalist html quine. I was intrigued towards the bottom of the page when he describes a minimal styling, which was ultimately adapted from 58 bytes of css to look great nearly everywhere by @joshuarli.