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Ask DN: Photoshop / Sketch Collaboration

almost 5 years ago from , Founder & Designer @ Density

We're working on a project with another design team. We use Sketch, they use Photoshop / Windows. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. But we'll be using our initial designs as a jumping off point—designs done in sketch.

I have no clue how we're supposed to collaborate. Has anyone run into this issue before? How have you dealt with it?

17 comments

  • brad wrage, almost 5 years ago

    Either you get everyone on the same tool, or you'll have to reproduce designs in one tool to another. We did the later for a while until we got everyone bought into sketch, which is much easier.

    3 points
    • Robert Grazioli, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      Damn. That would involve the purchase of a Mac :(

      0 points
      • Abhishek SureshAbhishek Suresh, almost 5 years ago

        I have run into a similar environment conflicts in my design studio itself (Eg. Adobe CC vs. CS6, Mac vs PC, Sketch vs. Photoshop, Illustrator vs. Photoshop, Node/Angular JS vs. PHP, etc.).

        If both of you have the interest and bandwidth to be educated and migrate to Mac 'n' sketch, go ahead with the convincing. Win-win.

        However if its only your agendum, I'd recommend you to either use photoshop or use other workarounds suggested in this forum. It might add extra hour or two but it saves a lot of hassle. Win-win in terms of getting the work done and project delivery.

        Convincing a team to move to another operating system and use another software gives them a learning curve (which may be unnecessary for their workflow) and it adds so many unforeseen hurdles in the process. It takes a long while to understand and create a new stable work environment.

        2 points
    • Robin AndersenRobin Andersen, almost 5 years ago

      I agree. Think this is the only way to go if you want a good end result! See if you can get those PS-heads to convert! you will be doing them a favor!

      0 points
  • Johan MichelsJohan Michels, almost 5 years ago

    You could just export a lot of your assets and rebuild in photoshop.. There are a bunch of great color palette and text styles extract plugins for sketch as well. That way you could rebuild it pretty quick in PS i'd guess. It would require some work, but you have already done the hard work of figuring out how to make the design work.

    2 points
  • Alex ChanAlex Chan, almost 5 years ago

    I'm currently in a similar situation and it's not pretty. What you basically need to do is export your Sketch document to an Illustrator readably format, then from Illustrator, export that to a PSD. This is the current method recommended by Bohemian Coding: http://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/support/documentation/11-exporting/3-file-formats.html

    The output PSD is pretty terrible though. I would avoid having to collaborate with others using Photoshop. Even exporting to Illustrator doesn't produce nice results sometimes.

    2 points
    • Robert Grazioli, almost 5 years ago

      Seems like the end result wouldn't be a workable file. Would you just recommend reproducing in Photoshop then?

      0 points
      • Alex ChanAlex Chan, almost 5 years ago

        Either that or switch them to Sketch.

        I've found that a lot more people seem to enjoy working in Sketch after they get the hang of it. Especially if you're doing something around UI.

        0 points
  • Vipin KVipin K, almost 5 years ago

    I would suggest you to try Avocode or Zeplin.

    Though none of them have portability option, they do act as a bridge between sketch and photoshop/Development.

    P.S You will have to recreate all of it in photoshop in the end.

    0 points
    • Marcus H, almost 5 years ago

      If the developer has access to the design (created in Sketch) through Avocode why would it need to be recreated in Photoshop?

      0 points
      • Dominik SchmidtDominik Schmidt, almost 5 years ago

        Because the Sketch file is not the final design and the other team needs to build a design based on the sketch file.

        0 points
      • Vipin KVipin K, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

        Its usually the wireframes that are done in sketch and not the whole design as developers aren't used to this whole new setup of sketch and avocode.

        0 points
        • Marcus H, almost 5 years ago

          I plan on signing up to Avocode soon and I'll just have any developer I work with check out the designs in there. Might be worth creating a quick video to show the developers round the interface, I'll probably do something similar.

          I'd rather not work with Photoshop if I can as I find Sketch much quicker and actually enjoy the time spent designing in it.

          0 points
    • Robert Grazioli, almost 5 years ago

      Yeah, I'm more concerned with their designers being able to iterate on our existing design.

      0 points
  • Felipe DutraFelipe Dutra, almost 5 years ago

    I also had this problem. In the end, we came into an agreement: • I had to export all screens (web & mobile) as JPGs with specification of margins, paddings, colors, font-sizes, line-height, widths. • Export ALL assets in 1x, 2x, 3x.

    Finishing the project I almost wrote all the css code, but it's a point to take an extra cash for a extra job. :)

    The bad point is that the project became too exhausting for many approvals and disapprovals.

    0 points
  • Stephen GraceStephen Grace, almost 5 years ago

    Yeah I used to work in this exact setup. I used Sketch Measure to detail the design with specs. Then provided icons etc. as needed. In the end the developer was happy to measure it out himself, so all that was needed was font stylings. Good luck!

    0 points