Swatches and Recommended Colors

James Willock edited this page Dec 20, 2016 · 3 revisions

All items here mentioned live in the MaterialDesignColor project(s).

Naming Convetions:

  • LONG_COLOR_NAME represents the color name as seen in Google's guide (Blue, Deep Purple, Red, Light Blue, etc).
  • SHORT_COLOR_NAME represents the color name without spaces (Blue, DeepPurple, Red, LightBlue, etc).

Essential Resources

First, we need to understand Essential Resources. They are a few resources that must be defined: The Toolkit will assume they always exist. They consist of 6 Primary Brushes, 2 Accent/Secondary Brushes, and a complete swatch set of Primary colors and Accent colors.

  • Primary Brushes: PrimaryHueLightBrush, PrimaryHueLightForegroundBrush, PrimaryHueMidBrush, PrimaryHueMidForegroundBrush, PrimaryHueDarkBrush, PrimaryHueDarkForegroundBrush.
  • Accent Brushes: SecondaryAccentBrush, SecondaryAccentForegroundBrush.
  • (Unnamed) Primary Swatch: PrimaryXXX and PrimaryXXXForeground, where XXX is the intensity as seen in Google's guide (100 through 900 in increments of 100, plus 50).
  • (Unnamed) Accent Swatch: AccentXXX and AccentXXXForeground, where XXX is the intensity as seen in Google's guide, without the starting 'A' (100, 200, 400, and 700).


Swatches are collections of related colors hand-picked to look nice together. There are currently three types of swatches:

  1. Unnamed: These contain unnamed color definitions that will be overwritten in case more than one swatch of the same type is imported. Primary swatches contain PrimaryXXX andPrimaryXXXForeground, Accent swatches contain AccentXXX and AccentXXXForeground; Where XXX is the color intensity as seen in Google's guide. They are:
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.Primary.xaml
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.Accent.xaml
  2. Named: These contain named color definitions that allow multiple swatches to be imported without overwriting each other. Primary swatches contain LONG_COLOR_NAMEPrimaryXXX andLONG_COLOR_NAMEPrimaryXXXForeground, Accent swatches contain LONG_COLOR_NAMEAccentXXX and LONG_COLOR_NAMEAccentXXXForeground; Where XXX is the color intensity as seen in Google's guide. They are:
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.Named.Primary.xaml
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.Named.Accent.xaml
  3. Legacy: These are only here for backwards compatibility and can be removed without warning at any moment. Do not use these swatches. They are:
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.xaml
    • Themes\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.Named.xaml

Recommended Colors

Defining the essential resources manually would be tedious and repetitive hard work. As such, the Recommended Colors are there to save the developer from unnecessary effort: They define the necessary brushes and import the proper swatches to make everything work just fine.

There are two types of Recommended Colors, and one of each must be imported to make them work properly:

  1. Primary: These will define the Primary Brushes and Primary Swatch. They are:
    • Themes\Recommended\Primary\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.xaml
  2. Accent: These will define the Accent/Secondary Brushes and Accent/Secondary Swatch. They are:
    • Themes\Recommended\Accent\MaterialDesignColor.SHORT_COLOR_NAME.xaml

Querying Palettes

The currently configured palette can be queried via PaletteHelper. The following example illustrates how to query the current palette and set a control's background via code:

var palette = new PaletteHelper().QueryPalette();
var hue = palette.AccentSwatch.AccentHues.ToArray()[palette.AccentHueIndex];
MyBorder.Background = new SolidColorBrush(hue.Color);