Sketch vs. Illustartor

Pros and cons.

As a graphic designer I use Illustrator all the time. Even though I have tried Sketch before, I have got now the opportunity to experience it more and I am ready to point some of the pros and cons I find out.

I have tried to accomplish a perfect clone of these two screens of a travel app that lets people plan trips with friends and share a daily itinerary with activity and location details.

This is the result:

Because of its neat UI I managed to be organized like never before.

For now, these are some of my considerations:

  • Coming from Illustrator, the interface is easy and quick to understand. It has a clean UI and the inspector is really handy as panels change based on the object selected (which means less open panels than in Illustrator).
  • I like how artboards work. The feature is really convenient for UI design, as you can easily choose the device you want to work on.
  • Elements are automatically organized into the artworks they belong, therefore you can easily find them. I have the impression that Sketch gives more importance than Illustrator to layers and elements’ organization.
  • Boolean Operations are not flat by default and shapes can be changed. Love the idea of not having to start booleans from scratch everytime you need to make a small change!
  • The property’s field has de ability to do simple maths, like most of the 3D programs.
  • Measuring distances are so simple in Sketch! You are able to see all margins and paddings distances while you move elements on the canvas.
  • Even though Illustrator supports more file formats, Sketch gives you the possibility of exporting different file types with just one click.
  • Plugins make workflow faster and designer life easier, and it looks like Sketch has plenty of good ones.

Even though Illustrator has worked perfectly for me by now, I can see Sketch is built on the needs of web and mobile UI design and workflows. I have missed some features, such as the + icon to extend the path to display the overflow text (is not too obvious on Sketch). I also don’t like how zoom in/out works and I’m not excited about how to select elements within a group. I haven’t had the opportunity to test how Sketch works with other Creative Suite programs but I guess Illustrator will have a better performance on this issue.

In general, I really like how the program works, mainly due to its simplicity and its neat UI but I think I am still not ready to switch to Sketch as my primary design tool!

For now, I will use it for designing interfaces and workflows!