Google unveils new ‘Material’ design approach

Google has unveiled new design guidelines across all its platforms, which it says can ‘bring to life even more beautiful, engaging experiences’.

Google’s new Material Design guidelines were unveiled at the company’s seventh annual Google I/O developer conference.

The guidelines feature updated colours, icons, typography and imagery guidelines. Google says, ‘We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesises the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.’

The Material guidelines take as their basis ‘the foundational elements of print-based design – typography, grids, space, scale, colour and use of imagery’, according to Google.

Additional elements include motion, which ‘respects and reinforces the user as the prime mover’.

Google designer Nicholas Jitkoff says, ‘Content is front and center, using principles of modern print design. Motion is meaningful, clarifying relationships and teaching with delightful details.’

The new typography features a refined version of the Roboto typeface, which has become Android’s standard typeface. New, redrawn icons are ‘simple, modern, friendly and sometimes quirky’.

Google says, ‘each icon is reduced to its minimal form, with every idea edited to its essence’.

New layouts are based on print design principles and are designed to be scalable for different uses.

The new design principles have been unveiled to developers and Google says the guidelines are a ‘living document’ that it will continue to develop and update.

Google says it is also looking at ways of taking its Android and Chrome systems beyond screens and smartphones ‘to make it easier for you to easily and intuitively move from your phone, tablet and laptop to your TV, car or even your watch’.

Jitkoff says, ‘We needed something that felt at home on the smallest watch, the largest TV, and every screen in between. We used it for Android Wear, our project to extend Android wearables, as well as Android TV, and Android Auto.’

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You can read Google’s Material Design guidelines in full here.

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