Google has released a set of tools that help developers more easily create apps in line with both their own brand identity and the evolving Material Design guidelines. The Material Theme Editor, available as a plugin for the macOS design app Sketch, automatically applies consistent thematic changes to things like buttons, fonts, and color palettes throughout an app.

The process is called Material Theming, and it arose from a need to simplify the task of staying within Material Design guidelines. Developers had told Google they were apprehensive to make certain changes to their apps for fear something would be slightly off per Material Design's rules. Because the Material Theme Editor tool can only make changes that adhere to those rules, it's pretty much fool-proof. Presented with more safe options, developers are theoretically free to make more colorful, aesthetically pleasing experiences.


Theme changes are automatically applied globally.

Google has also refreshed its Material.io website with a new look and lots of updated resources for designers. Like the new Gmail and Tasks app, Material.io and the types of designs Material Theming encourages are bolder and more colorful than Google's other recent products. Google is yet to outright call the new direction "Material Design 2.0," but it seems we're seeing a sea change in the company's design philosophy.