How is a ‘design language’ different from a style guide or pattern library?

Google calls material design their ‘design language’. IBM and Airbnb also call what seems like a style guide a design language or design system.

What’s exactly the difference? From what I see at a glance, a design language seems to be more broad and also extends to other aspects like animation and interaction.



A design language typically articulates a general design direction or philosophy that can be used to harmonize presentation and user experience across multiple media types, such as print, video, apps and websites. It is often somewhat more aspirational than prescriptive.

A style guide is typically a more specific interpretation of that design language for one particular medium. So the same organisation might have a print style guide and an app style guide, both of which embody the same design language.

Source : Link , Question Author : Ameen Akbar , Answer Author : calum_b

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