While you might have only encountered Material Design in apps and the web, Google’s open-source design system has one major real-world application. Since last year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City has been using Material Design icons to help guide visitors.

MoMA’s “new set of icons are drawn from Google’s Material Design system.” They are used in both print and digital signage, as well as guides, to point out charging stations, audio tours, food, and other attractions.

The Material Icons fluidly adapt to screen and print applications — in our visitor guide, digital wayfinding, and architectural signage. They help make our maps and guides accessible no matter what language our visitors speak.”

The museum’s in-house graphic design studio worked with Google icon designer Sehee Lee to “create a few special icons specifically for [their] architectural needs.” This includes symbols for strollers and checkrooms.

“One of the most important design considerations was to make sure that the icons could be easily recognizable for different cultures and languages. Wherever you come from, we want you to know where to go and what to do.” —Sehee Lee

Material Design icons for common actions and items are available online in five sets of stylized systems. They are “free for everyone to use” under Apache license version 2.0.

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