Material Design

Shape scheme

The Material Design shape system can be used to create a shape theme that reflects your brand or style.

Table of contents


An implementation of the Material Design shape scheme is provided in the MDCShapeScheme class. By default, an instance of this class is configured with the Material defaults. The following image shows an MDCButton themed with the default shape scheme values (bottom) and an MDCButton themed with custom shape scheme values (top).

An MDCButton themed with the default shape scheme and a custom one.

Currently, 5 components support being themed with a shape scheme using a shape themer extension, namely Cards, Buttons, FABs, Chips, and Bottom Sheet. You can learn more about which extensions are available for a given component by reading the component documentation.

Shape Values

A shape scheme consists of the following shape values:

Shape Category Use
smallComponentShape The shape defining small sized components.
mediumComponentShape The shape defining medium sized components.
largeComponentShape The shape defining large sized components.

Each of the shape categories are of the class MDCShapeCategory.

An MDCShapeCategory holds properties that define a shape value. It consists of 4 corners of type MDCCornerTreatment that represent each corner of the shape. It also has a convenience initializer to set all the 4 corners at once to the same value, creating a symmetrical shape.

Lastly, an MDCCornerTreatment can be set by using any of the convenience initializers in MDCCornerTreatment+CornerTypeInitializer.h.

Shape to Component Mapping

Below is a table showing how our shape categories are mapped to each component.

Small Components Medium Components Large Components
Button Card Bottom Sheet (modal)
Chip Dialog Navigation Drawer (bottom)
Extended FAB    


Installation with CocoaPods

Add the following to your Podfile:

pod 'MaterialComponents/schemes/Shape'

Then, run the following command:

pod install


To import the component:


import MaterialComponents.MaterialShapeScheme


#import "MaterialShapeScheme.h"


Typical use: customizing a shape scheme

You’ll typically want to create one default MDCShapeScheme instance for your app where all of the shape properties are set to your desired brand or style.


let shapeScheme = MDCShapeScheme()
// Small Component Shape
shapeScheme.smallComponentShape = MDCShapeCategory(cornersWith: .cut, andSize: 4)

// Medium Component Shape
shapeScheme.mediumComponentShape = MDCShapeCategory(cornersWith: .rounded, andSize: 10)

// Large Component Shape
let largeShapeCategory = MDCShapeCategory()
let rounded50PercentCorner = MDCCornerTreatment.corner(withRadius: 0.5,
                                                       valueType: .percentage)
let cut8PointsCorner = MDCCornerTreatment.corner(withCut: 8)
largeShapeCategory?.topLeftCorner = rounded50PercentCorner
largeShapeCategory?.topRightCorner = rounded50PercentCorner
largeShapeCategory?.bottomLeftCorner = cut8PointsCorner
largeShapeCategory?.bottomRightCorner = cut8PointsCorner
shapeScheme.largeComponentShape = largeShapeCategory


MDCShapeScheme *shapeScheme = [[MDCShapeScheme alloc] init];
// Small Component Shape
shapeScheme.smallComponentShape = 
    [[MDCShapeCategory alloc] initCornersWithFamily:MDCShapeCornerFamilyCut

// Medium Component Shape
shapeScheme.mediumComponentShape = 
    [[MDCShapeCategory alloc] initCornersWithFamily:MDCShapeCornerFamilyRounded

// Large Component Shape
MDCShapeCategory *largeShapeCategory = [[MDCShapeCategory alloc] init];
MDCCornerTreatment *rounded50PercentCorner =
    [MDCCornerTreatment cornerWithRadius:(CGFloat)0.5 valueType:MDCCornerTreatmentValueTypePercentage];
MDCCornerTreatment *cut8PointsCorner = [MDCCornerTreatment cornerWithCut:8];
largeShapeCategory.topLeftCorner = rounded50PercentCorner;
largeShapeCategory.topRightCorner = rounded50PercentCorner;
largeShapeCategory.bottomLeftCorner = cut8PointsCorner;
largeShapeCategory.bottomRightCorner = cut8PointsCorner;
shapeScheme.largeComponentShape = largeShapeCategory;

Component content awareness when using custom shapes

Choosing a shape value for your shape scheme or component has an effect on the component’s content.

As an example, we may choose the smallComponentShape category to have a cut corner treatment at a 50% value of its height. That will create a diamond-like shape, which in certain cases is likely to clip content. In other cases, such as with dynamic type, or a typography scheme with large fonts, even a less intrusive shape could potentially cut out content.

Therefore, it is recommended to be mindful of how a custom shape manipulates the component and if that shape makes sense for your specific case. One recommendation is to use the built-in UIView’s layoutMargins. By setting it to a custom UIEdgeInset you can get the desired outcome for your content when using a custom shape.