Material design is a design language developed by Google. A design language is an overarching scheme or style that guides the design of a complement of products or architectural settings.

Now is "material design" a proper noun? We are having that discussion at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Material_design . I say yes, because "Material Design" as used in the Wikipedia article uniquely refers to Google's design language as defined on http://www.google.com/design/spec/material-design/introduction.html . While that specification can change, it is IMO no different from e.g. newer versions of the Java programming language evolving, while still being Java. Other people on Wikipedia disagrees (see Wikipedia talk page there for their side of the argument).

Feel free to also add answers directly to the Wikipedia talk page.


It depends on the context when this compound noun is used. Basically, you wrote that in the context related to the Google's design language it is a proper name (Material Design) but in another context it can be just material design, not a proper noun. The name of a particular person, place, thing or idea is called the proper noun. It is reflected in the written form: proper nouns are always capitalized while common nouns are not.

  • So to make your answer really specifc, should all instances of "material design" in the "material design" Wikipedia article be capitalized, as the article is written right now? – Thue Mar 13 '15 at 15:22
  • Not all, it depends on the sentence. E. g. "I define Material Design as a material design that..." Here, the first use of it is a noun proper (capitalized), and the second it is a common noun (capitalized). So, every occurence has a different meaning like the word Earth can be the planet or the substance of the land surface. One is capitalized, another not. – Darius Miliauskas Mar 13 '15 at 15:25
  • Yes, I understand that. But you did not answer my question: Are there any uses in the current Wikipedia article as of right now which should not be capitalized? How about the article title? It is only 4 paragraphs, so I was hoping you would give specific help :). I say all instances in the Wikipedia article should be capitalized, but I am asking this question to convince the other Wikipedia editors who disagree with me, so I need somebody to agree with me :). – Thue Mar 13 '15 at 15:27
  • A good site I like it but still there are some mistakes. :-) – Darius Miliauskas Mar 13 '15 at 15:32
  • Only one sentence where the common noun is used: "we continue to develop the tenets and specifics of material design." In other cases it should be capitalized. – Darius Miliauskas Mar 13 '15 at 15:35

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