Foundation for Emails 2.0 mainstreams responsive email design

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March 24, 2016
Foundation for Emails 2.0 mainstreams responsive email design.
Today, 53% of all email opens occur on a mobile device. Since more than half of people check their emails on mobile, it’d be crazy not to have a platform with responsive email design. After all, 70% of users will delete an email if it fails to display properly. With this trigger-happy user habit, it’s clear that there’s a demand for responsive emails. One company has made it their goal to serve this demand. ZURB has improved upon its original Foundation for Emails, originally called Ink, and come up with Foundation for Emails 2.0. In development since last year, 2.0 focuses on quicker layouts, colors and styles, all factors that data shows users want. Email design is made more efficient, so that businesses can concentrate on what matters most to them: building their next, great product or service.

New features

Let’s get right to it—all the new features that make 2.0 better for designers, developers and, ultimately, end users. Here’s what you get: Fully flexible grid: this applies even to small screens, which is a big deal. Create any number of columns, and still work with a fully flexible, small grid. Built with Sass: designers have all of the perks that come with Sass at their disposal, which includes mixins, variables and partials. Inky, the new templating language: with Inky, sifting through hundreds of annoying table tags is a thing of the past. Now, you’re able to write tags like “columns” and “row” to obtain the necessary six table tags to bring your email’s skeleton together. Helpful UI component: the same components used in ZURB’s Foundation for Sites have been recycled for Foundation for Emails. As a result, designers can enjoy flexibility without being subject to such a steep learning curve. Here are the included components:
  • Row
  • Columns
  • Callouts
  • Inline lists
  • Vertical lists
  • Block grid
  • Thumbnails
Inline all of the styles: a useful Gulp task will inline all of your CSS for you, all from a remote stylesheet. Handlebars: handlebars templates will keep you on track so that you don’t repeat yourself. Your header and footer can stay the same, letting you alter the content that you want. 10 templates: these new, responsive templates are so comprehensive that they cover all of your marketing, newsletter and drip campaigns, not to mention your transactional email needs.

Designer- and user-friendly

Getting to know 2.0 is intuitive and smooth because a lot of the parts from Foundation for Sites are also featured in 2.0. As Geoff Kimball, Foundation Lead, puts it:
Foundation for Emails 2 borrows many components, best practices, and workflows from Foundation for Sites. Foundation developers new to HTML emails will feel right at home.

As a result, designers and developers don’t have to waste time getting to know and learn a whole new beast from scratch again. And that’s good news for designers looking to make responsive emails work for their businesses and clients.

Marc Schenker

Marc’s a copywriter who covers design news for Web Designer Depot. Find out more about him at

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