Google’s Material design guide will make you a better designer


At their I/O Conference Google released a new look for Android. It’s beautiful, tying in a paper and ink style along with smooth animations designed to enhance the understanding of content. It’s not just a visual skin, it’s much more.

Windows Metro and iOS 7, are both great in their own ways, but their focus is narrow. The Material Design language can apply across any digital medium and even print – and it does it well.

 

The guide brings together a comprehensive visual style along with the reasons and insights behind it. With a background in graphic design and print, there are many rules in here I know well. There is also quite a few that were new to me.

The Material design guide goes from the well established design rules governing typography and grids, right through to the latest techniques for responsive design and introduces new best practices for animations and shadows that apply to android, websites, digital signage and even print.

For every designer and developer it is worth a read

Here are some of our favourites

Typography

Adjusting the tracking and colour of type at different sizes to improve readability and avoiding dazzling the reader on a bright screen. note that all text isn't completely black.

Adjusting the tracking and colour of type at different sizes to improve readability and avoiding dazzling the reader on a bright screen.
note that all text isn’t completely black.

 

Images

A photo selection guide that every person should read. Help put and end to terrible stock photography.

A photo selection guide that every person should read. Help put and end to terrible stock photography.

 

Shadows

An approach to think of shadows not just as ornament but a logical approach to the dimensionality of items on the page and using the right shadow for each. Includes presets to use with Adobe Illustrator.

An approach to think of shadows not just as ornament but a logical approach to the dimensionality of items on the page and using the right shadow for each. Includes presets to use with Adobe Illustrator.

 

Text Protection

A considered approach to techniques for combining images with text when you don't have complete control over either.

A considered approach to techniques for combining images with text when you don’t have complete control over either.

A great future for Android

In the past, the design of Android and apps on it has been a mess, with hundreds of screen sizes and device styles and no way to match the consistency of other operating systems. Now, from a website right down to a phone Google has created a language that encompasses them all with techniques that can make you a better designer on every project.

Go read the full document right now. Watch every example, love every do and don’t.

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