Let’s face it. With every large design project comes great responsibility to try and understand what each layer in a large Sketch file does. Browsing through layers to understand their function is not exactly the most comfortable thing to do even if good naming conventions were assigned to each layer. We designers are visual creatures and we prefer not to scroll through an endless wall of copy to make sense of our designs.

Wouldn’t it be nice to view all layers in a visual way?

Today, I will give you a super simple tip that will save you time and will make your Sketch files more entertaining.

Using Emojis as Your Layer Names…

Taking a look at the image below, do you see how emojis give clarity to all the layers? With one quick glance, you know what each layer does.

The possibilities are endless on how creative you could get with your layers and some emojis.

How to Add Emojis Inside a Layer Name

While editing a layer name, press CTRL + CMD + SPACEBAR and the emoji window will popup on your screen. Then, it’s up to your imagination on how you want to name your layers with emojis.

Here are some examples of how I use emojis in Sketch:

  • 🎨 palette emoji for layer masks.

  • 🐼 panda to all my icons (it used to be a 🐷 pig, but pandas are cuter).

  • Input fields – marked with a ✏️ pencil.

  • And 🖥 desktop and 📱 mobile emojis for different screen sizes.

  • 🚦 street lights for different button states.

  • Gear ⚙️ for any adjustment layers.

  • 👉 index finger to mark major groups.

  • Finally, facepalm 🤦‍ just before my boss’s feedback.

I’m sure you will find lots of other creative ways to name your layers with emojis. My goal is just to give you a little spark ✨ of inspiration.

You could also use Emojis to name symbols.

Feel free to download this Sketch file that I’ve created for you while writing this article.

About the author

Wojciech Dobry, Poland
member since November 1, 2016
Wojciech is a product designer with 6 years of professional experience in the design field. He's educated as an architect-engineer. Wojciech is responsible and has worked on web product design through information architecture to the user interface all the while keeping mindful of business goals. [click to continue...]
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Comments

Dino Franke
Nice idea, but I´m a bit concerned when it comes to handover to devs and you have all these emojis in your layer names. Maybe for symbol overrides it could work.
Chas_M
Provided they are big enough. I can't make out what half of your examples are.
Marc Caldwell
It could be argued that actual Sketch source files shouldn't simply be handed over to devs to begin with -- that burden shouldn't be on them to sift through everything. Designers should be doing the grunt work of exporting specs, redlines and assets. There are multiple Sketch plugins (Sketch Measure, for example) that make it much easier for designers to give the devs the tools they need instead of one giant file :)
Dino Franke
I never handover Sketch source files. I use Zeplin instead. And Zeplin takes the layer names from Sketch. So the problem still remains the same.
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About the author
Wojciech Dobry
Designer
Wojciech is a product designer with 6 years of professional experience in the design field. He's educated as an architect-engineer. Wojciech is responsible and has worked on web product design through information architecture to the user interface all the while keeping mindful of business goals.