Material Design


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Cards contain content and actions about a single subject. They can be used standalone, or as part of a list. Cards are meant to be interactive, and aren’t meant to be be used solely for style purposes.


Design & API documentation

Table of contents


Cards provides two different versions, MDCCard inheriting from UIControl and MDCCardCollectionCell inheriting from UICollectionViewCell.

A card’s state determines its visual styling.

When treated as a UIControl (MDCCard), it has a default styling (UIControlStateNormal), and a highlighted styling (UIControlStateHighlighted) when interacted with.

When treated as a UICollectionViewCell (MDCCardCollectionCell), it has a default styling (MDCCardCellStateNormal), a highlighted styling (MDCCardCellStateHighlighted), and lastly a selected styling (MDCCardCellStateSelected).

Customization to the card is exposed via its API either in MDCCard or MDCCardCollectionCell. Currently the card consists of these customizations:

  • The border width for a specific state
  • The border color for a specific state
  • The shadow elevation for a specific state
  • The shadow color for a specific state
  • The corner radius for the card

(MDCCardCollectionCell customization only):

  • Changing the image that appears in the Selected state.
  • Changing the image tint color that appears in the Selected state.

An MDCCard can be added and used as you would add any UIView or UIControl, if manually in code, or through Interface Builder.

An MDCCardCollectionCell can be added, used, and reused as a UICollectionViewCell, if manually in code, or through Interface Builder.

MDCCardThemer exposes apis to theme MDCCard and MDCCardCollectionCell instances as either a default or outlined variant. An outlined variant behaves identically to a default styled card, but differs in its coloring and in that it has a stroked border. Use ‘applyScheme:toCard:’ to style an instance with default values and ‘applyOutlinedVariantWithScheme:toCard:’ to style an instance with the outlined values.

Cards Classes


MDCCard subclasses UIControl and provides a simple class for developers to subclass and create custom cards with ink, shadows, corner radius, and stroke matching the Material spec.

MDCCard uses the highlighted property that is built-in in UIControl and the UIControlState to move between states.


MDCCardCollectionCell subclasses UICollectionViewCell and provides a simple collection view cell for developers to use in their collections with ink, shadows, corner radius, and stroke matching the Material spec.

MDCCardCollectionCell uses the selected property that is built-in in UICollectionViewCell and has its own MDCCardCellState to keep track of the current state it is in.


Installation with CocoaPods

Add the following to your Podfile:

pod 'MaterialComponents/Cards'

Then, run the following command:

pod install


To import the component:


import MaterialComponents.MaterialCards


#import "MaterialCards.h"


Typical use: as a view

MDCCard can be used like a regular UIView.


let card = MDCCard()

// Create, position, and add content views:
let imageView = UIImageView()


MDCCard *card = [[MDCCard alloc] init];

// Create, position, and add content views:
UIImageView *imageView = [[UIImageView alloc] init];
[card addSubview:imageView];

Typical use: in a collection view

Use MDCCardCollectionCell as a base class for your custom collection view cell


collectionView.register(MDCCardCollectionCell.self, forCellWithReuseIdentifier: "Cell")

func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView,
                    cellForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UICollectionViewCell {
  let cell = collectionView.dequeueReusableCell(withReuseIdentifier: "Cell",
                                                for: indexPath) as! MDCCardCollectionCell
  // If you wanted to have the card show the selected state when tapped
  // then you need to turn isSelectable to true, otherwise the default is false.
  cell.isSelectable = true
  cell.selectedImageTintColor = .blue
  cell.cornerRadius = 8
  cell.setShadowElevation(6, for: .selected)
  cell.setShadowColor(, for: .highlighted)
  return cell


[self.collectionView registerClass:[MDCCardCollectionCell class]

- (UICollectionViewCell *)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView
                  cellForItemAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
  MDCCardCollectionCell *cell =
  [collectionView dequeueReusableCellWithReuseIdentifier:@"Cell"
  // If you wanted to have the card show the selected state when tapped
  // then you need to turn selectable to true, otherwise the default is false.
  [cell setSelectable:YES];
  [cell setSelectedImageTintColor:[UIColor blueColor]];
  [cell setCornerRadius:8.f];
  [cell setShadowElevation:6.f forState:MDCCardCellStateSelected];
  [cell setShadowColor:[UIColor blackColor] forState:MDCCardCellStateHighlighted];


Color Theming

You can theme a card with your app’s color scheme using the ColorThemer extension.

You must first add the Color Themer extension to your project:

pod 'MaterialComponents/Cards+ColorThemer'


// Step 1: Import the ColorThemer extension
import MaterialComponents.MaterialCards_ColorThemer

// Step 2: Create or get a color scheme
let colorScheme = MDCSemanticColorScheme()

// Step 3: Apply the color scheme to your component
MDCCardsColorThemer.applySemanticColorScheme(colorScheme, to: component)


// Step 1: Import the ColorThemer extension
#import "MaterialCards+ColorThemer.h"

// Step 2: Create or get a color scheme
id<MDCColorScheming> colorScheme = [[MDCSemanticColorScheme alloc] init];

// Step 3: Apply the color scheme to your component
[MDCCardsColorThemer applySemanticColorScheme:colorScheme


Card Accessibility

To help ensure your cards are accessible to as many users as possible, please be sure to review the following recommendations:

Accessibility for Cards in a Collection

Since assistive technologies visit all cards in a collection in a sequential order, it is often easier to distinguish between elements that belong to different cards by aggregating all the card’s information so the card is read as a single sentence.
This can be done by setting an appropriate accessibilityLabel for the card. Additionally, set the card’s isAccessibilityElement to true. Cards are a container element and setting isAccessibiltyElement for a container turns off individually selecting its subelements.


  card.isAccessibilityElement = true
  card.accessibilityLabel = "Location \( is popular with users " +
    "who enjoy \(userLocation.popularActivityMatchingUserProfile(userProfile))"


  card.isAccessibilityElement = YES;
  card.accessibilityLabel = [NSString 
    stringWithFormat:@"Location %@ is popular with users who enjoy %@",, 

Accessibility for Single Cards

Nested elements in MDCCards are available to assistive technologies without additional customization, however additional setup may be needed to accommodate special scenarios, such as:

Accessibility for Single Cards: Images

Images that have additional context beyond text that is already presented on the card.
For example, news article images can benefit from an accessibilityLabel describing their content.


  articleImageView.isAccessibilityElement = true
  articleImageView.accessibilityLabel = "Event or scene description"


  articleImageView.isAccessibilityElement = YES;
  articleImageView.accessibilityLabel = @"Event or scene description";

Accessibility for Single Cards: Star Rating

Star or rating images should have an accessibilityLabel describing its purpuse and an accessibilityValue describing the rating value.


  ratingView.isAccessibilityElement = true
  ratingView.accessibilityLabel = "Average customer rating, out of " + 
    "\(MDCProductRating.maximumValue) stars"
  ratingView.accessibilityValue = (String)product.averageRating


  ratingView.isAccessibilityElement = YES;
  ratingView.accessibilityLabel = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"Average customer" +
    " rating, out of %d stars", MDCProductRating.maximumValue];
  ratingView.accessibilityValue = @(product.averageRating).stringValue;

Accessibility for Single Cards: Reordering elements

Primary content or actions that appear lower on the screen will be read last by assistive technologies, sometimes after longer or non-primary content. To change the order, or group elements together, you can make the card an accessibility container by adopting the UIAccessibilityContainer protocol. Grouping and order is controlled by creating as many UIAccessibilityElement elements as needed, and returning them in the desired order.