FORM Tech: Refined Sketch

Bohemian Coding’s Sketch 3 offers a slick new update to its popular application. Image via Bohemian Coding. Bohemian Coding has released the latest version of its award-winning graphic design application, Sketch. Defined as a “simple interface with powerful tools,” Sketch supports formulation of icons, websites, and interfaces through a transparent, straightforward layout. 

Available for $79 and developed exclusively for Mac, Sketch utilizes many of Apple’s frameworks including harnessing the new, crisp Retina display, the rendering capacity of Quartz, and saving functions such as Auto Save and Versions. Work additionally saves in sync across multiple Mac computers through iCloud, and Web and iOS design templates come standard with the download.

The application is vector-based, allowing for efficient precision that easily adapts to any layout, style, or sizing changes made. The vector tools utilize basic shapes as their foundations and allow for the combination of these shapes to produce more complex ones that are easily integrated with an updated array of layer style options including shadows, fills, gradients, and blending and remain editable throughout the process.

With the upgrade comes a simpler, single-window interface that displays each object in the Layers list instead of in hidden paths. The customizable tool bar offers a place to control dimensioning, opacity, and blending for each object. It allows for easily reusing elements such as buttons, bars, and icons to which changes are made automatically across all copies. Shared layer and text styles also update across all layers, as typefaces and colors are detected.

The Grid Tool is set square and is made adjustable by default, and allows for easy duplication, spacing, and sizing of elements. The Smart Guides tool also eases alignment and centering tasks.

Exporting is reduced to a single-click process as multiple sizes and formats simultaneously export without slicing, even when designing for HTML. Artboards, with an increased number per page, are made more flexible due to their integration with exporting.

Also new to Sketch 3 is its Presentation Mode, enabling the user to display designs on full-screen mode while hiding controls. Bohemian Coding’s Sketch Mirror also previews designs on iOS devices while the user works on them.

Previous bugs have been fixed, including misplacement or disappearance of pasted and edited text, possible crashes during exporting, pasted images appearing in the wrong artboard, and inaccurate snapping with the vector tool.

Sketch has been applauded for its manageability and a reduction of the complicated, tedious processes that are demanded by other applications. For an experience that places its heaviest priority on design, Sketch 3 is available.

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