Home Sketch How one can grasp one-layer designs · Sketch

How one can grasp one-layer designs · Sketch


A lot may be achieved with a single form layer in Sketch. It’s true most designs want numerous form layers, textual content, teams, masks, and Symbols. However, what in the event you deliberately restricted your self to utilizing just one form layer? What may you create? What may a single layer obtain by itself?

The examples within the header picture above every encompass just one layer. Utilizing the report and sleeve (the design within the center), we’ll discover methods you should utilize to get extra out of a single layer. You may comply with alongside and create your personal model, or duplicate the demo doc for a more in-depth look.

Conceptually, you possibly can cut up form layers into two predominant components — the precise form geometry itself, and the styling. The form defines the areas you wish to paint, whereas the styling determines the paint you’ll use in and across the form.

Take advantage of out of shapes

You should use pre-made shapes, like rectangles and ellipses, or create your personal utilizing the vector instrument. For our report and sleeve, we’d like a circle that overlaps a sq.. Whereas we may use the vector instrument, it’s far simpler to only use pre-made shapes after which mix them with Boolean operations afterward.

  1. Begin by creating an Artboard that’s 180×180. Give it a background shade, in the event you like.
  2. Draw an 80×80 sq. for the sleeve.
  3. Draw a 70×70 circle for the report, and drag it in order that it’s vertically centered with the correct fringe of the sq., as proven above.
  4. Choose each shapes by holding and clicking on them.
  5. Head to the menu and select Layer > Mix > Union.
An image showing an oval shape overlapping with a rectangle shape in Sketch’s Mac app.

You may create new, complicated shapes by combining two or extra current ones.

Making a union will group each shapes collectively as a mixed form, however it’s nonetheless made up of multiple layer. Leaving it this manner might make it simpler to edit afterward. However keep in mind, we’re making an attempt to work with only a single form layer.

So we’ll must convert the mixed form right into a single vector path. To do that, choose the mixed form, head to the menu, and select Layer > Mix > Flatten.

An image showing a rectangle and oval shape that have been turned into a single layer using Boolean operations in Sketch.

You may flip a number of shapes into one utilizing Boolean operations.

You should use the identical method to create much more elaborate shapes. You’ll discover it’s typically simpler and extra correct to make use of pre-made shapes to create icons, moderately than utilizing the vector instrument.

However there are some limits to form layers. A single-shape layer can solely include one steady path — so in the event you flatten two circles that don’t overlap, it received’t lead to one form layer.

Give your layer some type

In Sketch, you can provide your layers as many fills, borders, and shadows as you want. Every one can even have its personal mixing mode and opacity. It’s a mini layer stack throughout the layer styling itself.

You may even give the person colours inside a gradient their very own opacity, which implies you possibly can stack a number of gradients on high of one another. So let’s give {that a} go by making a Radial Gradient for the vinyl report.

  1. Choose the oval form — the report.
  2. Set the fill kind to a Radial Gradient.
  3. Transfer the center level to the middle of the report, and the colour level to the outer fringe of the report.
  4. Add a number of shade factors alongside the gradient to match the picture above.
An image showing a shape layer in Sketch that portrays a vinyl record in its sleeve.

By dragging the non-color level of your Radial Gradient, you possibly can management the dimensions and impact of your gradient.

Professional Tip: To create onerous edges inside a gradient, place two stops very shut to one another. This doesn’t at all times render properly — in the event that they’re too shut, it’ll look too sharp. In the event that they’re too far aside, it’ll be too blurry. Strive zooming in once you place the stops.

Now, let’s make the gradient for the sleeve. We’ll use a Linear Gradient that runs from left to proper throughout the form, and add clear colours the place we’d just like the report’s gradient to indicate.

  1. Select Layer › Type › Add Fill. Alternatively, you possibly can go to Fills in the Inspector and click on on + so as to add a brand new fill.
  2. Set the fill kind to a Linear Gradient.
  3. Drag the gradient’s endpoints in order that they start on the highest left of the form and finish on the highest proper.
  4. Add shade factors alongside the gradient to match the picture above. The instance additionally accommodates shade factors which might be near type the onerous edges.

Need to give the sleeve a little bit of lighting? You may add one other Linear Gradient that runs from the highest left of the form to the underside proper. Simply add a little bit of white to the highest left shade level and fade it out till the opposite finish of the gradient is totally clear.

An image showing how to style a layer with fills in Sketch.

You may add as many shade factors to a gradient fill as you need.

  1. Head to the menu, select Layer › Type › Add Fill.
  2. Set the fill kind to a Linear Gradient.
  3. Drag the gradient ends to the highest left and backside proper of the report sleeve portion of the form.
  4. Add a shade level near the underside left of the sleeve to match the picture above.
An image showing a Linear Gradient added in Sketch’s Mac app.

Linear Gradients are an effective way so as to add a lighting impact to your designs.

It’s value being cautious when stacking gradients, although. Areas that mix a number of gradients through mix modes or transparency are extra susceptible to banding — one thing to look out for when stacking shadows, too. One of the best method is to stack as few types as attainable to get the end result you’re after.

You would even use a number of borders, which may include gradients too. We don’t want them for our report and sleeve instance, however you’ll discover a number of borders within the easel instance within the demo doc, in case you’re .

Professional Tip: In case you use a number of borders and shadows, remember the fact that the shadow’s unfold will increase with bigger borders to make sure it doesn’t exceed the sting of the seen form.

Exhibit your abilities in our one-layer problem

We’ve coated fairly a number of methods you should utilize to get probably the most out of a single layer in Sketch. We hope you’ve realized one thing, however we additionally love studying from you. What are you able to create utilizing a single layer in Sketch?

We’re internet hosting a one-layer design problem and we’d like to see what you possibly can provide you with! That is your likelihood to get inventive, problem your self, and naturally, have enjoyable. You may share your entry on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn utilizing the hashtag #SketchDesignChallenge — or by sharing your work on our discussion board!

We’ll be accepting entries till March 17, so make sure to share your work by then! You may as well study extra in regards to the problem by trying out the total phrases and circumstances.

We will’t wait to see what you create!

Marc Edwards the designer and co-founder at Bjango. When he’s not designing iStat Menus and Bjango’s different apps, Marc creates generative artwork, speedruns icons, and writes articles for Bjango’s web site. He additionally created and maintains a bunch of open-source, design-related initiatives. You may sustain with Marc’s work on YouTube and Mastodon.


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