VERSUS: Sketch VS Photoshop

Armed with horn-rimmed hipster glasses and bow ties, two designers are setting out on a quest to convince you of the best tool for the modern designer. If you’re looking for a design tool with mobile interface, we have one clear winner: Sketch. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a tool for retouching photographs or colouring illustrations, then Photoshop is the one for you.

For this reason we are comparing both products in order to find the ultimate adaptable tool for the daily activities of a digital designer.

There’s no doubt that we’ll forget one or two things, so please don’t hesitate to comment below with your observations and opinions. And, of course, don’t forget to vote for your favourite!

Finally. FINALLY. The Dark Age has ended. Now, interface designers have been provided with the program we had been dreaming about for so many years, the program that Photoshop was never able to provide for us. So, Guaje, let’s see if you like missing the boat.

Switching from PS to Sketch is so quick and easy that the only pause will be for your exclamations of WOW every other minute. Symbols and instances, style management, artboards, micro interactions which make production much more agile, an export tool which is simple but complete…I could go on. But, wait, I dropped your 3GB PS file on foot! Yes, with Sketch an entire project can be supported in a file that is smaller than one single page in PS.

The first thing that we found surprising upon opening Sketch is just how the people at Bohemian Coding have succeeded in removing the superfluous tools which, if you work digitally, you will never use or even understand.

But when you dig a little deeper and begin to understand that you can create your own symbol, and that you can personalise each and every element of its use, you’ll forget PS entirely.

And then it will happen all over again with text styles: you create a style and apply it to a given text, then, if you modify the text, the program will automatically modify all associated texts. Did you hear that, PS?

It is possible that the page structure and artboards of Sketch will not be immediately understandable for those who are more used to PS.

They will resist at first, but will yield to reason over time. However, if you use AxureRp, the switch will feel more natural and instinctive and you’ll laugh as you delete PS from the favourites on your Dock.

Whoops, Fundamental: Sketch uses vectors which is why the files are so compact and the exportation tools work so well.

Okay, I’ll admit it. If you want to change the brightness, the curves or levels it’s somewhat limited, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. This is because the interface has been perfected to become so fast and versatile (imagine selecting two text boxes in PS and stretching them out on one side!) that your task becomes so much more time efficient, leaving you with more time to reflect upon your work.

Sketch is a program, THE program, for digital interface designers and, furthermore, it also works well for designing wireframes.

I must admit that it’s somewhat questionable that a Windows version is not yet available, but I don’t doubt that they’ll be quick in providing one (so star saving!)

At the moment, PS remains in my Dock, but as soon as Sketch comes out with some minimal photo manipulation software, it will be gone in a PUFF! of smoke!

Stefano, I’m going to say this to you in your own language: Photoshop è il miglior programma per disegnare, non c’è dubbio.

It’s a much more complete program comprising everything that we need to create design output, not only for creating interface. We all wanted to see a side by side comparison with the model and although many have tried, so far none have succeeded.

Certainly, Adobe needed a little attention in order to improve and evolve. In fact, the most recent versions have integrated some new and improved functionalities such as intelligent objects, artboards and layered filters.

If we compare the two programs side by side, one of the most essential components of any program for visual designers is the management and treatment of images. I am not asking Sketch to have the capacity required by a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer like Photoshop but I do require a certain amount of control over the levels, tones, curves, etc. In this respect, Sketch is about as powerful as Power Point.

Photoshop is and has always been the preferred program for Designers (with a capital D). Being able to control the design down to the very pixel is imperative and even more so in this age of “pixel perfect”. Many designers need this standard of precision in their works, and programs using vectors never reached this level of control.

Yes, yes, Sketch is much more agile and time efficient, but this speed comes at a price: this is one of the many bugs which requires a little polishing. If not, they need to talk to @controlmaszeta who lost two days (!) of work, and yes, the file was very small. This does not stand up to the resistance of Photoshop which has been through so many years of debugging.

Sketch is a free spirit and is great for the privileged few. However, Photoshop finds itself within an ecosystem of apps which communicate with one another. Thanks to the libraries in the Creative Cloud, we can import and manage objects and works in the cloud quickly and comfortably.

Photoshop is the program for everything. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. 3D? Video? What? Our friends at Adobe haven’t exactly hit upon the sweet spot to develop. All that’s missing is a Flash editor.

Whereas there are certain functionalities which I would like to see from Photoshop, such as intelligent symbols and management of styles, in general it is a better program than Sketch.

There are moments where it would be great to be able to use Sketch to compare a few more things. Ah, but wait! I don’t have a Mac! Seriously? Yes, it’s true that Photoshop was created for Mac in 1987, but a version for PC was released just two short years later.

Their development policy smells a little of the age of Thump. “A great and a beautiful wall for PC and MAC users!”. Shouldn’t we be past that by now

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I am a UX Designer and Interface in Paradigma Digital with more than fourteen years of experience in design and identification of digital interactives. Obsessed by the quest for a balance between functionality and aesthetics. After a few black eyes I have learned that to achieve a good design that balances user needs, business requirements and technical restrictions, you have to fight your corner in meetings as well as on the screen.

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