Sketch: The Review

7 March, 2016
Industry Insights
3 min read.

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Ashley Bennett, a writer for Smashing Magazine explained that ‘The launch of this design app shook up an industry dominated by Adobe for more than two decades’. Now some designers have been left torn between the two.

Back in 2012 Apple awarded Sketch a design award and in the past the programme has often been featured in the Mac App store and when the third version was released it reached the top of the paid app chart showing just how important it has become in the arsenal of a designer.

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What is sketch?

Sketch was initially created by a team of just four people, and their attention to detail and familiarity of the programme really shines through. As designers who have used Illustrator and InDesign for many years, we can see a number of pros and cons within the programme so here is our honest review of the app.

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Pros

  • Sketch is light and airy. There are far fewer tools in comparison with the other design programmes we have used. This means that the app only provides the necessary tools needed to do web and UI work, making it a faster and more efficient process.
  • File management is amazing! The artboard layout means that the days of scrolling through every page of a design are long gone – especially when it comes to websites where pages can range from one or two to ten or twenty. Instead of scrolling, all the files are displayed next to each other, meaning you can jump back and forth between all your designs with little trouble.

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  • One of Sketch’s best features is the built-in grid layout. Unlike with Photoshop, you don’t have to rely on a plugin, layers or guidelines making it absolutely perfect for web design. In Sketch you can even edit the layout grid to suit the needs of your web design.
  • As we all know, different devices require different layouts and sizes. What you have designed for desktop will not transpose directly to mobile without adjustments and vice versa. Sketch understands this and sizes for different platforms are pre-set within the app as templates.
  • Compared with its predecessors, Sketch’s web effects such as the blur tool and colour adjustments are, in a word, easier. Easier to use and easier to make effective.
  • One element that will change your life as a designer is that you can get something done in half the clicks that it would take a programme like photoshop to do. One major element in making it so quick is that Sketch allows you to turn a group of objects into a ‘symbol’ or ‘style’. You can then copy, carry and repeat the symbol anywhere within your design. Any changes to that symbol are then automatically synced to all instances that it appears.

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Cons

  • No programme is without its problems. Sketch still uses layers which can get messy quite quickly if the user doesn’t control them in a consistent and concise way.
  • Simple editing features can sometimes be a bit frustrating. The selection tool can be unreliable when it doesn’t select a vector correctly, it can then ruin the vector entirely.
  • Again, something we have come to take for granted is that when moving elements within the grid they don’t seem to snap into position on the grid line as it would in Illustrator. Instead you have to place it in the general area where you want it and then zoom in and manually move it to the exact location.

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However, despite the cons, after the 30 day free trial, we were sold and downloaded the latest version. Although the programme needs a little practice before you can use it effectively, it did only take us 3 days to really master.

Sketch is perfect for us. It‘s tools and interface prioritise design for web which is exactly what we wanted to use the programme for – especially as the web becomes ever more ubiquitous in everything that we do at the agency. And the programme is quick! It’s sped up the whole process which is great for us and our clients!

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EDGE team member

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EDGECreative

EDGE routinely feature guest blogs written by key industry professionals covering a wide variety of topics. Their insight is crucial to our development as a marketing agency and helps us learn about and adapt to new industries, ideals, and business practices. The partnership we have with our guest authors helps us both grow side-by-side and brings a fresh perspective on topics both old and new.