Dawn is Shopify's reference theme, which is built for performance, flexibility, and ease of use. It uses Online Store 2.0 features, including JSON templates, which support app blocks and sections on all pages. Dawn is used as the basis of all free Shopify themes.
We developed a set of best practices and used them to build Dawn:
- Design - Dawn was built with the experience of merchants and customers in mind. It combines flexibility and ease of use with powerful brand expression and an intuitive interface.
- Accessibility - Dawn was designed and built to follow our best practices around accessibility. Its settings are organized to help merchants design accessible color schemes.
- Use of sections and blocks - Dawn builds flexibility into templates by splitting template functionality into sections and blocks. This allows merchants to build custom layouts on any page and introduce app blocks in multiple locations on a page.
You can explore Dawn and its code to understand how these best practices can be applied.
Ways to use DawnAnchor link to section titled "Ways to use Dawn"
The following table describes our guidelines for developers that use Dawn:
Explore example theme componentsAnchor link to section titled "Explore example theme components"
Shopify theme architecture is flexible and can be implemented in different ways to support your merchant's goals, or meet the needs of a certain merchant segment.
If you're new to Shopify themes or want to understand how certain architectural components can be used, then you can explore the Dawn implementation of the component.
If a component is implemented in Dawn, then its implementation is linked from the component documentation.
Clone Dawn and buildAnchor link to section titled "Clone Dawn and build"
You can use Dawn as a starting point to build your own theme. If you're using Shopify CLI for theme development, then you can use the
init command to clone the repository to your local machine. You can also clone Dawn directly from the repository.
This process is documented in the Create a theme tutorial.