Speed up Your Sketch Workflow Using an 8px Grid

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      22 August 2018 (updated: 16 June 2020) by  Jakub Wojnar-Płeszka Jakub Wojnar-Płeszka

      As designers, we like to simplify solutions. We want to focus on solving real problems rather than spending time performing repetitive and tedious tasks. I will share a few tips that will help speed up your workflow in Sketch.

      Why an 8px grid?

      This could be the first question that comes to mind…because it’s part of the title. Why use an 8-pixel grid? Well, this topic has been brought up quite a few times by designers everywhere. Simply put, the number 8 can be effortlessly divided by 1,2,4 and itself, which makes it much more flexible to work with. For instance, while scaling your designs down for mobile devices, it can help to work with a number that makes this scaling process easier. Moreover, this kind of spacing is straightforward in order to maintain consistency.

      Nudging in Sketch

      Moving an object, in Sketch, by using the arrows on your keyboard while holding “Shift” will, by default, move it by 10 pixels. You can adjust this value by opening your “Preferences” and choosing “Canvas”. It will let you adjust the spacing to your custom grid.

      Adjusting spacing

      While designing components that rely on fixed spacing and are of different width, you can use a plugin called Sketch Distributor. It will save the time that you would normally devote to adjusting the spacing each time you change the text. It also works quite well combined with text styles. I find this solution particularly helpful while designing tabs.

      Keeping your buttons consistent

      Sketch has a handy feature that allows you to replace similar components, however, there is one requirement: they must be exactly the same size! It isn’t actually possible to achieve with buttons, since in most cases they have different text, and as a result vary in width. You can combine “Shared Style” with a helpful plugin called Relabel Button to change the text without adjusting the paddings each time. You can take it a step further and define your very own shortcut for this action. I personally use “Cmd + 3”.

      Duplicating content

      In order to arrange components of the same size, for instance, table rows, cards or inputs, you can use a popular plugin called Craft. Not only will you be able to set up custom spacing but you can fill these components with real data that varies in each instance.

      Stop wasting your precious time

      There are almost limitless ways to speed up your workflow in Sketch, undoubtedly more and more will arise over time. Saving time on tedious tasks is a benefit to everybody during the design process, so we should always seek new solutions and share our knowledge.

      Using an 8pix grid and using some of the plug-ins or tips I mentioned, will greatly improve your workflow in Sketch. There’s no use in struggling and wasting time on tasks when there are effective tools and tricks to save time!


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