In 2018, Google announced Material Theming with the goal of letting developers better customize Material Design for their applications. One tool released to help designers was the Material Theme Editor, but Google is now shutting it down next month in lieu of upcoming products.
The Material Theme Editor lets developers create and customize their Material themes, including making “your own branded symbol library and apply global style changes to color, shape, and typography.”
It lets you choose and auto-apply colors to all components, check contrasts for accessibility, and auto-generate a tonal palette. Shapes can be customized, including by selecting curved or cut corner styles. On the typography front, up to three typefaces can be selected and resized to optimize for readability. Designers can also browse through a catalog of icons.
A part of the Material Plugin, it’s only available on Sketch for Mac. That limited OS and tool availability, as well as strict focus on designers, is why Google will be “sunsetting the Material Theme Editor in order to focus on building even better theming tools and resources” on March 19.
We’ve heard members of the Material community ask for tools that go beyond Sketch, work on any platform, are more usable for developers, and easily integrate with existing source files.
The Material Plugin will continue to “serve as a way to upload and sync Sketch files with Gallery.” Google has “exciting updates” in the works for the plugin, but is not yet detailing them. Overall, it seems clear that the company has a theming tool replacement in the works.
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