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The Ultimate Material Icons Cheat Sheet: A Quick-Reference

Welcome to a world where designing visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces is no longer a herculean task. A world where the arduous process of crafting custom icons has been simplified, thanks to Material Icons. These simple, modern, and friendly icons are designed to work seamlessly across various platforms, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your applications or websites. But how do you leverage them to their maximum potential? Let’s embark on this journey of discovery together with the help of a Material Icons cheat sheet.

Key Takeaways: Material Icons Cheat Sheet

  • Understand Material Icons and how they differ from Symbols.

  • Choose between 5 styles of icons, acquire them under the Apache License Version 2.0, and customize their size & color.

  • Follow accessibility guidelines to optimize performance for user experience & SEO rankings.

Understanding Material Icons

Material Icons, a brainchild of Google, are more than just fancy embellishments for your digital platforms. These icons are a visual language that communicates the essence of your product and its functionality in a universal manner. They are set in a way that they work effortlessly on modern browsers and mobile devices, ensuring a seamless user experience. But wait, there’s more! You can browse and access these icons at your convenience from https://fonts.google.com/icons, a comprehensive library that houses both Material Icons and Material Symbols.

But what about third-party logos, you ask? Well, Google does not incorporate third-party logos into the Material Symbols or Material Icons collection due to legal considerations. However, the love for attribution isn’t lost. If you fancy giving credit where it’s due, you can include attribution in your app’s about screen or in a user-visible location within your project, although it’s not a hard and fast rule.

Material Icons vs. Material Symbols

Just when you thought Material Icons were the be-all and end-all, Google introduced Material Symbols in April 2022. The latter is a newer set that offers more customization options, thanks to variable font technology, making it a valuable asset for designers. From outlined to rounded, sharp and beyond, Material Symbols encompass over 2,500 glyphs in a single font file. This extensive array of symbols ensures that you’re never left wanting when it comes to finding the perfect icon for various use cases like navigation, communication, and content editing.

While Material Icons are adaptable for a variety of design applications and platforms, Material Symbols streamline the use of icons by offering a wide range of options within a single font file. This means you get multiple styles and customization options to accommodate various design requirements. The cherry on top? Material Symbols boast an expanded range of customization options like variable axes for weight, fill, grade, and optical size, along with the ability to switch styles using CSS font-variation-settings.

Icon Styles

Having explored the realm of Material Icons and Material Symbols, it’s time to examine the diverse styles offered by Material Icons. Material Icons are available in five distinct styles:

  • Filled

  • Outlined

  • Rounded

  • Two-tone

  • Sharp

These styles are a perfect example of how to bring your creative vision to life.

Outlined material icons, characterized by a simple outline instead of a color fill, offer a clean and minimalist aesthetic to user interfaces. If you’re aiming for a more rounded look, the rounded material icon style, characterized by corner radii, complements brands with rounded design elements and is available in different themes for download in PNG or vector format. But if you’re looking for something unique, the two-tone material icons, which integrate two colors, provide an extra customization possibility through CSS.

For those who are looking to create custom Material UI components, check out PureCode.ai. It’s a fantastic tool that can help you create custom components seamlessly, enhancing your project’s overall design and functionality. So, why wait? Give it a try today!

Acquiring Material Icons

Downloading complete sets of material icons

Once you grasp the essence of Material Icons and their varied styles, the subsequent step involves procuring these assets for your project. You’ll be happy to know that Material Icons are available under the Apache License Version 2.0. This license allows the use, modification, distribution, and selling of the icons, provided you comply with the license terms.

So, how do you get your hands on these icons? There are various ways to acquire Material Icons for your project. You can integrate them directly into your project using guidelines provided by Google, or you can choose to design custom icons based on those guidelines.

If you’re looking for individual Material Icons, you can download them from the official Google Fonts website. For those who prefer having the entire collection at their disposal, you can download all Material Design icons at once from the official Material Design Icons repository on GitHub.

Licensing and Attribution

Having looked into acquiring Material Icons, it’s time to further investigate the licensing agreement. As mentioned earlier, Material Icons are made accessible under the Apache License Version 2.0. This license permits the use, modification, distribution, and sale of Material Icons, provided you adhere to the terms. However, it’s important to note that there are limitations on uses involving the creation of:

  • pornographic material

  • libelous material

  • obscene material

  • defamatory material

While attribution isn’t mandatory when using Material Icons, it’s always appreciated. If you choose to give credit, it can be done by including love attribution in your app’s about screen or in a user-visible location within your project. So, go ahead and share the love!

Browsing and Downloading Individual Icons

If you’d rather select your icons individually, rest assured! It’s incredibly straightforward to browse and download individual Material Icons. Simply visit the Material Icon Library website, scroll through the available icons to find the one you need, click on the icon to view its details, and download it in your desired format (SVG or PNG). You can also use the search field on the Material Icon Library website to find specific icons.

Looking for SVG format icons? You can obtain them from the official Material Design Icons GitHub repository. And if you prefer PNG format, you can download them from Icons8 or Google Fonts.

Downloading Complete Sets

If you’d rather have access to the whole collection, obtaining complete sets of Material Icons is a feasible choice. You can download the complete set from the official git repository. The web address of the git repository for Material Icons is https://github.com/google/material-design-icons.

The available formats for downloading complete sets of Material Icons include an icon font and a CSS file. These files can be found and downloaded from the Material Icons GitHub page. Once you’ve downloaded the Material Icons zip archive, you can extract the icons using a file extraction tool. After extraction, just copy the font folder, which contains the material design icons files, to your desired location.

Implementing Material Icons in Your Projects

Integrating material icons as a web font

After procuring the Material Icons, the subsequent phase involves incorporating them into your projects. Whether you’re working on a web project, an Android app, or an iOS app, Material Icons can be easily integrated, enhancing the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your projects.

To integrate Material Icons into a web project, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Google Fonts website.

  2. Locate the Material Icons section.

  3. Download the font files.

  4. Add a link to the icon font in the head section of your HTML document.

  5. Use the appropriate CSS class with the web elements where icons are required.

If you’re working on an Android application, you can integrate Material Icons by following these steps:

  1. Add a new Vector Asset.

  2. Select a material icon.

  3. Specify the image’s path and file name.

  4. Import the icon to your project.

For iOS apps, visit the official Material Icons webpage, select the desired icon, and use the provided code snippet specific for iOS to implement the icon in the app. Here’s a short video on how to use Material UI Icons in your projects:

Web Font Integration

To integrate Material Icons into a web project using Google Fonts, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Google Fonts website.

  2. Search for ‘Material Icons’.

  3. Add the Material Icons font to your collection.

  4. Copy the provided HTML code from the ‘Embed’ section.

  5. Paste the HTML code into the head section of your HTML file.

  6. Add the appropriate class names to the HTML elements to use Material Icons as a web font in your project.

Even though Google Fonts is the most straightforward method for integrating Material Icons into web projects, self-hosting is another viable option. This allows you to have a local copy of Material Icons on your server, which can be beneficial for performance and privacy reasons.

Android App Integration

For Android developers, the integration of Material Icons into an Android application is a straightforward process. In Android Studio, you can follow these steps to import a material icon into your project:

  1. Right-click on the ‘drawable’ folder.

  2. Select ‘New Vector Asset’.

  3. Choose a material icon from the available options.

  4. Specify the image’s path and file name.

  5. Click ‘Finish’.

Voila! You have successfully imported a material icon into your project.

Material Icons for Android are accessible in PNG format, ensuring wide compatibility and ease of use across various versions of the operating system. The color of the icons can be modified using drawable tinting, a feature available from Android Lollipop onwards. This allows you to customize the appearance of the icons to align with your app’s design.

iOS App Integration

For iOS developers, integrating Material Icons into your app is as easy as pie. You can do this by visiting the official Material Icons webpage, selecting the desired icon, and using the provided code snippet specific for iOS to implement the icon in your app. Furthermore, you can reference the Material Icons library documentation for more detailed guidance on iOS integration.

Xcode Asset Catalogs play a key role in the integration of Material Icons into iOS applications. They allow developers to efficiently handle and arrange their app’s assets, simplifying the management and modification process. During the app’s build, Xcode processes these catalogs and integrates them into the app’s resources in the build phases. After the icons have been added to the Xcode Asset Catalogs, they can be used in your iOS app by referencing them within the app’s code or interface builder. They can be integrated with multiple densities and colors to ensure they scale correctly on different devices and maintain the intended design aesthetic.

Customizing Material Icons

Customized material icons according to design requirements

A significant benefit of Material Icons is their adaptability to meet your project’s design needs. You can easily modify their size and color to match your design aesthetic, ensuring a harmonious look and feel across your project. Speaking of customization, if you’re looking to create custom Material UI components, check out PureCode.ai. It’s a fantastic tool that can help you create custom components seamlessly, enhancing your project’s overall design and functionality. Give it a try today!

The customization of Material Icons can be accomplished in various ways. You can:

  • Utilize the options provided by the Material Icons library for different styles

  • Adjust the size and color using CSS

  • Create custom SVG icons for unique designs

  • Add a visually appealing shadow effect to Material Icons using the CSS property ‘filter: drop-shadow’

Here’s a tutorial that shows you how to customize MUI Icons:

Sizing and Colors

When it comes to sizing Material Icons, it’s recommended to use sizes of 20dp, 40dp, and 48dp. System icons are generally displayed as 24 x 24 dp, and icons should be designed with equal width and height, centered within the live area. To resize Material Icons without compromising quality, it’s advisable to use vector-based icons that can be scaled without loss of clarity.

In terms of colors, you can customize the color of Material Icons by using classes such as ‘cyan-text’ and ‘text-darken-4’ for the cyan color. However, the Material Design guidelines do not prescribe particular regulations for the utilization of color in Material Icons. It’s advisable to employ a uniform color palette that aligns with your application or website’s branding.

RTL Support

In our progressively globalized society, catering to right-to-left (RTL) languages is a necessity in user interface design. This involves designing the icons to be flipped or mirrored in RTL mode, ensuring proper alignment and visual consistency.

Designers can incorporate mirrored icons for RTL languages by utilizing CSS properties such as scaleX(-1) or rotate to mirror the icons for web projects. In Android, the android:supportsRtl attribute can be employed to automatically handle icon mirroring based on the language settings.

RTL support is of great significance in user interfaces as it improves the user experience for speakers of RTL languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi. Additionally, it enables users to easily re share content in their native language, further enhancing their experience.

Creating Your Own Material Icons

Creating custom material icons following design guidelines

If you’re up for a challenge, consider designing your own Material Icons. By following the Material Design guidelines and using suitable tools, you can design custom icons that align perfectly with your project’s design requirements.

Whether you’re a design novice or a seasoned pro, there are various tools available to help you create your own Material Icons. Some of these tools include:

  • Adobe Illustrator: suggested for its comprehensive features

  • Materialpalette: a free tool

  • Inkscape: a free tool

  • Greenfish Icon Editor Pro: a free tool

Once you’ve created your icons, ensure they’re in the right size and format specifications:

  • Dimensions of 512px by 512px

  • Use a 32-bit PNG format

  • Adhere to the sRGB color space

  • Maximum file size of 1024KB.

Design Guidelines

Designing your own Material Icons is a distinct art form, necessitating precise attention to detail and a solid grasp of design principles. The guidelines provided by Google’s Material Design for the creation of icons include the use of signifiers and animation to communicate gestures, the utilization of animated icons, and the incorporation of color and typography. It’s also important to start with the general form and work towards specific recognizability, maintain consistent visual proportions, keep icons simple with easily recognizable shapes, and use typography effectively.

Consistency is key when it comes to designing Material Icons. Consistent icons aid users in easily identifying and understanding various elements within the design, promoting a sense of familiarity and improving the overall user experience. Google also advises designers to modify the baseline of symbols to about 11.5% of the type size to uphold visual equilibrium with adjacent text.

Useful Tools

Aside from design guidelines, having the right tools at your disposal can greatly ease the process of creating Material Icons. ImageMagick is one such tool, offering a robust software suite for creating, modifying, composing, and converting bitmap images. While it’s not explicitly tailored for creating Material Icons, it can be employed for a variety of image operations that could be beneficial in the creation of Material Icons.

In addition to ImageMagick, other tools that can be useful in creating Material Icons include:

  • Material Design Icons

  • Photoshop

  • Mockplus

  • Paint.Net

For novice designers, Adobe Illustrator and Canva are particularly beneficial due to their comprehensive features and user-friendly interfaces.

Tips and Best Practices

To guarantee that your Material Icons are both visually striking and user-friendly, it’s vital to consider both accessibility and performance optimization. Here are some ways to ensure accessibility:

  • Ensure that your icons are clearly visible

  • Accompany your icons with explanatory text

  • Use sufficient color contrast

  • Provide alt text for use with screen readers

On the performance front, here are some tips to optimize performance:

  • Select the appropriate icon library

  • Utilize the proper format for web fonts and icons

  • Minimize the number of file requests

  • Evaluate and enhance your website’s font usage and performance metrics

Remember, inadequate optimization can result in adverse user experiences, increased bounce rates, and diminished search engine rankings.

Accessibility

Accessibility is a critical aspect of design that ensures your Material Icons are user-friendly for all users, including those with disabilities. Here are some recommended guidelines for ensuring accessibility:

  • Provide alt text for icons

  • Use semantic markup to improve context understanding

  • Ensure icons are of a sufficient size

  • Select clear and unambiguous symbols for easy recognition

  • Consider cultural differences in the iconography

  • Add padding around touch targets to aid users with motor control challenges

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Material Icons are accessible to all users.

Color contrast also plays a significant role in designing accessible material icons. A high contrast between the icon and its background ensures that icons can be easily perceived and distinguished by all users, including those with visual disabilities.

Performance Optimization

Performance optimization is another crucial aspect to consider when using Material Icons. By using spritesheets, which consolidate multiple icons into a single image file, you can reduce the number of HTTP requests and enable more effective caching by browsers. This results in quicker loading times and improved performance.

Furthermore, minimizing file sizes and implementing caching strategies can also contribute to performance optimization.

Save Our Material Icons Cheat Sheet

We’ve journeyed through the world of Material Icons, exploring their various styles, methods of acquisition, implementation strategies, and customization options. We’ve also delved into creating your own Material Icons, ensuring their accessibility, and optimizing their performance. Whether you’re a web designer or a mobile app developer, Material Icons offer a versatile and user-friendly solution to enhance the visual appeal and functionality of your projects. So, go ahead and harness the power of Material Icons to create engaging and visually stunning designs!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between material symbols and material icons?

Material symbols provide more customization options than material icons, with up to four variable axes and three style options. Material symbols can combine over 2,000 glyphs into one font file, while material icons are limited to a single style.

Where can I get material design icons?

You can access material design icons on fonts.google.com/icons from the Material Icons / Material Symbols popdown menu. They are available for download in SVG or PNG formats, under Apache license version 2.0, and come with five variants: Filled, Outlined, Sharp, Rounded, and Two-tone.

Can I use Material Icons for free?

Yes, you can use Material Icons for free as they are available through Google’s library.

How can I integrate Material Icons into my Android application?

To integrate Material Icons into your Android application, you can add a new Vector Asset in Android Studio, select a material icon, specify the image’s path and file name, and import it into your project.

What tools can I use to create my own Material Icons?

You can create your own Material Icons with tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Canva, Materialpalette, Inkscape, and Greenfish Icon Editor Pro.

Andrea Chen

Andrea Chen