Technology

Switching from Photoshop to Sketch

By Roundhouse Digital
February 2018

Since winning Apple’s Prestigious Design award in 2012, Sketch’s popularity has grown rapidly and changed the way we look at conventional design tools. After making waves in the design industry, I decided to make the switch from Photoshop to Sketch, and I won’t be looking back.

After studying Graphic Design at university, and primarily having a Graphic Design background, I recently joined Roundhouse Digital to convert my existing creative skills to digital, and transform myself into a User Interface Designer. I have been a longtime Photoshop and Illustrator user and still, from time to time, use both at Roundhouse Digital, but I have switched to Sketch for all of my UI and UX designs.

I was apprehensive at first because, not only was I starting a new job, I was switching to a software completely different to what I was used to. Over the past six weeks I have jumped into Sketch. I started off just learning the basics; what shortcut was what, how to add artboards, and I don’t think I will ever go back to Photoshop or Illustrator, especially for UI designs.

Not only is Sketch a lot faster and feels more like a digital design tool. It is actually very easy to use, and I now feel completely comfortable. After using Photoshop for years I was still doing some things the long way, but in Sketch everything is simpler.

Here are 5 reasons why I think switching was worth it

Exporting

Exporting artboards to PNGs or JPEGS is so much easier and quicker. It is simpler to select specific artboards. Sketch also allows you to export slices, which is really helpful if you want to export a specific image or icon within a file.

CSS Attributes and SVG Code

A really cool thing that I like is if you are using Sketch to design web assets, you can output your layer styles in CSS. Everything such as rounded corners, borders, shadows, and gradients will be copied. This has been the most beneficial feature for me, as I have recently started learning Front End code.

Plugins

Sketch has a long list of plugins allowing you to do anything from checking the spelling of your document to ensuring the colours in your design have the correct contrast ratio to meet AA or AAA standards, which I have found really helpful.

Symbols

Sketch Symbols, which aren’t a feature on Photoshop, are also a really good asset as they allow you to quickly apply changes to elements used on multiple pages.

Grids and Alignment

Setting up a grid in Photoshop always used to be something I used to dread, it was always really long and tedious. After switching to Sketch this has been a lot easier. Sketch has built in grid layouts, you set the total width, number of columns and gutter width and it adds a translucent grid over your design.

Ashley graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Graphic Design and has worked at a number of agencies specialising in branding, design for print and advertising. She joined Roundhouse Digital to convert her existing creative skills into a more digital approach and has started learning front-end code.

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