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Hello from Atomic Smash newbie and Sketch beginner!

Words byJenny JohnsonJune 23, 2017

As my third week with Atomic Smash comes to an end, it’s probably a good time to introduce myself, talk about what I have been up to and describe my experiences of joining a new team. I also thought I would share my tips for using Sketch as a beginner and link to some useful tutorials and resources.

In my previous role at Bristol agency Extra Strong my focus was on branding, digital design and print design for clients including The Architecture Centre, Situations, Bristol & Bath Residents Weekend and Creative Youth Network. After working on some great digital projects I decided I wanted to focus on and develop my web design skills within a digital agency, and Atomic Smash seemed like the perfect fit.

As you could expect with any move to a new studio, my first few weeks have been pretty busy. My days have mainly consisted of getting myself set up on programmes used at Atomic Smash, meeting clients, learning about past projects and working out how to use the coffee machine!

Amongst all this, I have also been working on some live projects creating icons, designing and building HTML emails and putting together style tiles.

A very busy desktop! Just a few of the programmes and tools I have been using at AS

My new role has also introduced me to the wonderful programme that is Sketch, if you haven’t used or heard about Sketch then get to know it! I had downloaded a trial version of the programme previously but never had a real chance to explore it and get to grips with using it as part of my design toolkit.

Atomic Smash use Sketch across the entirety of their projects, from wire-framing right through to art-worked designs, and it has some great tools and plugins to help your workflow and is especially well tailored towards digital design projects.

Before getting started I watched as many tutorials online as possible so that I could fully understand the interface and get to know all of the functions. It does feel like a bit of a shift when switching from the Adobe suite, but you quickly begin to understand the layout and find the all important shortcuts. A full list of these can be found here.

A very long list of Sketch shortcuts

Switch to Sketch app tutorials by InVision

For me initially, the most useful aspects of Sketch have been:

  • The styles function and the ability to create an easily editable document styles page.
  • The Craft plugin by InVision which allows you to pull in content from your own folders, Unsplash (my discovery of Unsplash could be a whole new blog post in itself!) or any live website, as well as allowing for easy duplication of content.
  •  The symbols function which can be taken even further using plugins like Anima and Craft.
  •  The non-destructive boolean operations.
  •  The ability to export your designs to InVision to share with developers and clients.

As well as video tutorials, there are lots of other great Sketch resources out there:

You can also read the Atomic Smash blog post, written by Tommy, which takes a more detailed look at Sketch and some of its advanced functions.

Sketch is a really great programme for designers and I highly recommend giving it a go if you haven’t already. It takes no time at all to learn the basics and as you keep working with the app you can gradually build up your knowledge of the more intricate tools and functions.

I have had a great first few weeks at Atomic Smash and I’m really looking forward to working on the upcoming projects, meeting more clients and being involved in everyday studio life, whilst also improving my Sketch skills…

See you in my next post!

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Jenny Johnson

Jenny has a keen eye for detail and is always up-to-date with digital design trends. She transforms your ideas into beautifully crafted sites, whilst always keeping the user journey in mind.

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