The Best Practices for Sketch

Dec 16, 2022Martín Etchegoyen

There are plenty of collaborative design apps out there, and Sketch is one of the best of them. If you are a professional designer, you are probably familiar with it. Nonetheless, it is not just for professional use, given that Sketch is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop in most cases. In this blog, we will discuss the Sketch tool, its features, and who will benefit from it. Here is everything you need to know about Sketch.

What Is Sketch

At its core, Sketch is a vector graphics application. It is a product design tool that web designers commonly use for creating concept pages, icons, and other web elements. It is also trendy among UI and UX designers. Sketch is made for casual artists and professionals alike, offering a comprehensive set of powerful vector editing tools and a host of boolean operations. It has a native macOS app and non-Mac users can use the web app. The original version was released in 2010 for macOS, and since then, it has undergone a variety of changes.

All Sketch designs are saved in their own .sketch file format, which is supported by popular tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. Of course, like all other good design tools, you can save your files in other formats too, including PNG, JPG, TIFF, WebP, and more. The app was initially released through the App Store, though it was pulled in 2015. Since then, Sketch is available via its website, with the basic subscription plan costing $9 per editor, monthly. Custom pricing for enterprises is also available.


Sketch does not offer a free plan to its customers. Nevertheless, if you have a subscription to either one of their Standard or Business plans, you can invite as many viewers as you want to the Workspace for free. This does not give them editing rights, just the option to view and comment on your designs, inspect files, or download specific assets.

There is a 30-day free trial though, and a credit card is not required for this. The company also offers educational discounts for educational institutions, teachers, and students. Sketch is great for UI and UX designers who are creating design concepts for websites or mobile apps. If you have used Photoshop or Illustrator in the past, Sketch is a fantastic alternative.

The web app also has an array of handy options, including sharing documents with a simple link, handing off designs to developers, and viewing changes per version history. While the web app is functional, the real work is done on the Mac app.

Sketch Main Features

Here, we will discuss the best elements that Sketch offers to its users.

1. Artboard Presets

Sketch features an Infinite Canvas that lets you create and switch between flexible Artboards. Moreover, there are a bunch of Artboard presets that you can use to organize your work with preset dimensions. Simply click on the Artboard button in the toolbar, and you can select popular presets for iPhones, popular Android devices, Macs, and Windows. You can always create your own presets too. This way, whenever you are creating UI or UX elements for specific applications or screen sizes, you do not have to customize them every time.

2. Plugins

Sketch has a large host of plugins that you can install to enhance its functionality and automate certain tasks. The reason why Sketch continues to rise in popularity is that it is supported by an incredible community of dedicated developers and designers.

They continue to release and update plugins, which regularly improve and add to the tool's functionality. Sketch also releases official plugins to simplify workflows. For example, they have a plugin that lets you easily pull images from Unsplash, a free image site, and use them for your designs.

3. Detailed Pixel Alignment

Sketch makes it easy for designers to zoom all the way to pixel level when working with vector images. You can then use Snapping or their Smart Guides feature to align your designs and adjust the layers until they're properly aligned. Fixing broken pixels is a major problem for designers. However, with Sketch, you can simply select Round to the nearest pixels edge to Snap and clean the entire layer. This makes it easy for designers to quickly layer designs on top of one another, without any issues.

3 Best Practices for Sketch

In this section, we will present some things that you should do regarding Sketch.


1. Test a responsive design using resizing

You have a container, which can be either a Group or an Artboard, and various layers inside that container. Let's say that this container is a website header with a floated logo and navigation. The logo floated on the left, and the navigation floated on the right.  When you resize the container, you want the logo to still be floated to the left, and the navigation to the right. Enter Resizing, where contained elements can be floated to a container edge, helping you to test responsive designs.

2. Separate your projects by Page

After a while, your canvas will start to feel cluttered even though it's essentially unlimited. Large designs require organization, which is why we can logically separate Artboards into different Pages. The best way to organize Artboards into Pages is by platform. If you were designing, for example, an Android and iOS version of a mobile app, you could have a separate page for each.

The reason for this is that when you use prototyping and design handoff tools, you would want to export the right Artboards to the right Project, so separating them in this way makes logical sense. With web designs, you should create things like Symbols and logos on their Page.

3. Make your design collaborative with Libraries

Can other designers also use your symbols? Absolutely. Sketch Libraries are incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is to create the Symbols in a separate .sketch file, and then leave that .sketch file somewhere accessible, such as on Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive, or check out our list of other cloud storage options.

Other designers can then import the Sketch Library into their Sketch documents by navigating to File, Add Library. After that, symbols from that Sketch Library will be accessible via the usual Insert > Symbol method. Sketch Libraries are a terrific way to enable design collaboration in teams. When the Sketch Library is updated, any .sketch file that's using that Library will receive a notification requesting if you'd like to update the document.

Final Thoughts

If you want to become an elite designer, you should consider getting in touch with Sketch and learning how to use it to your favor

Martín Etchegoyen

Martín Etchegoyen

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