Google Material Design

Case Study: A look at Google design theory

Since the late 2000s, Google has created a standard across their platforms that has revolutionised visual design on the internet. Google’s branding is unique and distinctly noteworthy because it was a revolutionising force in the development of the Material design style, creating principles and effectively leading the way for a huge proportion of web design at the moment.

google logo
The Google logo embodies the guiding principle of material design: create a visual language that synthesises classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science

The logotype is the start of this idea. Material design basically revolves around the principle that everything on the screen could be represented by a real world material, you can see it in every level of Google’s platforms from the cards in Google Now on Android pictured below where each card represents a piece of real world cardboard, they don’t overlap with other cards and they have their own natural motion. The cards play a subtle role in a much grander scheme by Google to create a unified visual system and a material metaphor as the unifying theory of a rationalised space and a system of motion for their products.

Google Now on Android is a prime example of material in action

The masterful intricacy of material design is its simplicity. Its function is based on the oldest design principles and having been intricately mapped out in every detail in Google’s breathtaking design manual material.io┬áthis systematic design offers an unrivalled coherency heretofore unattained.

Google pioneered a style being adopted everywhere across the web from music sites to registration forms and personal portfolios. In their total market saturation and thoughtful deployment, they made a brand that couldn’t be missed and never left your mind: they copyrighted an entire medium and made an unforgettable style. It isn’t just the distinct character that makes this style so perfect, its the thoroughness, the attention to detail and the rigorous assistance Google developers are willing to provide to get their┬ábrand out there. The material design website has a gallery, colour tool, remixer, resizer, device metrics, dynamic stage, icons, guidelines, a list of material components… it goes on and on: basically, the developers are keen to get their image out there. It’s this that empowers their movement over Apple’s frosted glass, brushed aluminium or any grappling movement or trend, why polygons came and went, why Google, a single company – however powerful their influence – can create a design movement already considered timeless.

Google’s design is remarkable. The system factors in perfect white space, usable margins, readable sizing, precisely-designed layout, eye-catching colours, satisfying graphics and smooth motion: a usable system that inspires and enraptures.

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