Sketch 2 Available Now

The highly anticipated 2.0 refresh of the popular Mac design app Sketch has officially landed and is available for immediate download.

We announced its “coming soon” a few weeks ago, and now Sketch 2 brings a whole new interface and a plethora of amazing new features, making it a very feasible alternative for designers looking to replace Adobe apps altogether, or at least break things up a bit.

It’s no secret that Photoshop was never really meant to be a design app—it is called Photo-shop, after all. If you need to edit photos, it’s hard to beat, but using it for design purposes can, at times, feel a bit like cutting your lawn with a great pair of scissors. Sure, it’s an awesome tool, and you’ll get the job done (someday). Hey, you’d probably even get pretty good at it, eventually. But is it really the best way to tackle that job?

With Sketch 2 the good folks at Bohemian Coding have set out to make the tool designers really need, without bogging things down with the stuff they don’t.

Here’s the app description straight from the Sketch 2 team:

Sketch is a professional drawing app for designers with a beautiful interface and powerful tools. Making good graphics can be challenging and you need an application specifically designed for this purpose. We set out to build a better app for graphic designers. Not to copy, but rather to improve.

Sketch has excellent vector tools and the basic shapes are a great starting point for any drawing, whether you want to do web design, icon design or otherwise. Styling your layers is easy in Sketch and we have all the options you might want; multiple fills, gradients, noise, blending blur and more.
To top of it off Sketch has the best boolean operations for combining multiple shapes into more complex ones – all of this non-destructive.

All of this power is beautifully contained into Sketch’s single-window interface. Everything is there, but only when you need it. A simple interface with seriously powerful tools; everything is possible.

Take a look at the screenshots to see some examples of what you can make with Sketch.

– Simple but powerful interface, built for OS X
– Powerful styling; multiple fills, gradients, shadows, blending, blur, noise and more…
– Flexible boolean operations for combining basic shapes into complex ones
– Artboards and Slices for exporting multiple images out of a single document
– Unique Color (with RGB and HSB modes) and Font pickers
– Beautiful native text rendering and text styles
– Vector and pixel zoom; zoom in with infinite precision or see individual pixels
– Multi-stop and radial gradients editing right in the canvas
– Shared & Linked styles that automatically update each other
– Powerful but easy to use Vector Tool

Additionally, if you’re looking to do either of the following, Sketch has something for you:

– Copy CSS Styles (including gradients)
– Slices: export area of the canvas as an image
– 960px (and others) grid
– Multiple pages support inside a single document

– Artboards; each size its own square
– Templates
– Pixel Grid
– Pixel Effects such as Gaussian and Motion Blur

As a designer myself, I’m going to legitimately give Sketch 2 a shot as a primary design environment for a bit, to see if the awesome illustration and UI design tools can prove worthy enough to replace my beloved Creative Suite on a regular basis.

To be fair, I’m actually pretty pleased (as a general rule) with Adobe apps, or at least more-so than your typical designer, but with a free 15-day trial, there’s no reason anyone shouldn’t at least give it a fair shake.

Emanuel Sá and the rest of the team at Bohemian Coding have provided us with a copy of Sketch 2, so expect an upcoming review. Not to mention, a few promo codes, so expect a giveaway!

You can download a trial version direct from Bohemian Coding, or better yet, buy it now in the Mac App Store. If you’re already a Sketch user, Sketch 2 is a free update, so hop to it.

Jumpstarting a Design Community

Understand Your Compensation

Designer Monoculture

The State of Design Leadership

The Science of Product Design

Interview with Michael Flarup: Co-Founder and Lead Designer at Robocat

The Importance of Design Conventions