Tips To Kick-Start Your Figma Design Workflow in 2021

Tips To Kick-Start Your Figma Design Workflow in 2021

QUICK SUMMARY: In this article, let’s take a closer look at what Figma really has to offer. Here are 20 tips on how to work faster and better with this well-known and collaborative interface design tool.

NOTE ABOUT SHORTCUTS

Most shortcuts are written for both Windows and Mac, where the Ctrl key on Windows corresponds to the Cmd key on the Mac, and Alt is used for both Alt (Windows) and Option/Alt (Mac).

For example, Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + C is Ctrl + Alt + C on Windows and Cmd + Alt/Option + C on the Mac.

NoteThis article is for designers who want to try Figma or already are exploring some of its features. To get the most from the article, some experience with Figma Design would be nice to have, but not required.

1. How To Import Multiple Images At The Same Time

We use pictures and images in our designs all the time, and it would be very useful if we could make the process of changing single and multiple images more easy and straightforward.

In Figma, you have the ability to import multiple images (using the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + K) and then place them one by one in the layers (objects) in which you want them to appear. This is quite handy because you can see the images being imported and then placed in realtime.

 

import multilple images in Figma
A quick look of how to import multiple images in Figma (Large preview)

 

2. Better Renaming Options By Using The Layers Batch Rename Feature

Sometimes (and I really mean many times!), we need to rename a group of layers when we need to prepare our design for export (export as icons, or as a set of images), or just when we need to perform a “deep clean” process inside a design file.

In Figma, you have the ability to batch rename layers (and frames) which is a really handy feature. You can rename the entire layer name or just a portion of it. You can also find and rename a specific character in a layer name, and you can add a different number to each layer that will be later exported as a separate file. You can also do a search and replace by just typing in the “Match” field.

I find this feature extremely useful.

 

rename multilple layers in Figma
A quick look on how to batch rename layers in Figma (Large preview)

Note about layers: If you’re relatively new to Figma, the following Figma help page will shed some light on layers, frames, objects, groups of objects, and more.

 

3. Using An Emoji In The Frame Name To Display Its Current Work State

Since we started using Figma in our design team, our workflow has been more collaborative, as we usually work on the same design files, and sometimes we even work on them simultaneously.

To know which Frame or screen is still work in progress, and which one is ready (final variant completed), we add an emoji (Windows shortcut: Win key + . or Win key + ; / Mac shortcut: Cmd + Ctrl + space) before the frame name so everyone can see at a glance the frame’s current state.

 

current state emoji in Figma
An example of current state emoji I use in my projects (Large preview)

4. Re-Organizing Items

One of Figma’s great features is the ability to re-organize items inside a Frame. It’s very handy when used on icons, lists or tabs as shown below:

Reorganise items in Figma
A quick look on how to re-organize your items in Figma (Large preview)

USE PROPER NAMING TO ORGANIZE YOUR STYLES (TEXTS, COLORS, EFFECTS)

Local Styles is one of the best features in Figma. It allows you to create a design system or guideline for all components so you can reuse them easily. And if you change the Master Style, it changes all the components linked to it. Super powerful! However, you can get lost with all your styles if you don’t name and categorize them the right way. I’ll share with you how I structured my styles in Figma

5. Text Styles Naming

You can organize your text styles in subcategories by adding a “/”. For example, I would add a “Heading” and “/” so I’ll have all my headings inside the category “Heading.” Sounds fancy but it’s easier to navigate when you have a lot of different font sizes. Works for Texts and also Colors.

 

List of Text styles naming in Figma
My List of Text styles naming convention (Large preview)
List of Text styles naming in Figma
My List of Text styles naming convention (Large preview)

6. Adding A Description For Each Style As A Guide

It can be handy to know where to use different components by adding a quick description of how to use the style and where, especially when you have a team of designers. You can add a description when editing the text style, color style or any components.

 

Style description in Figma
How to add a description for each style (Large preview)

7. How To Switch Instance From The Sidebar

A lot of times, we end up with a lot of components, icons, etc., so the dropdown menu to switch instance is probably not the best way to do this. The little trick is that you can, from the sidebar, drag the component by holding Alt + Ctrl/Cmd to the component you want to switch. Easier and faster!

 

Switch instance from the sidebar in Figma
How to switch instance from the sidebar (Large preview)

8. How To Copy/Paste All Properties

When duplicating an element or when I just want to copy the style of an element, I can quickly copy the element’s properties (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + C) and paste them (Ctrl/Cmd + V) on a new element. It’s quite handy for images and styling elements with multiple properties, e.g., fill and stroke, etc.

 

Copy/paste all properties feature in Figma
A quick view of the copy/paste property feature (Large preview)

9. How To Copy/Paste A Single Property

Another shortcut that I found very useful is the ability to copy a single property — and you can select which property to copy! Select the property from the right panel (like shown in the video) and with a simple Ctrl/Cmd + C and then Ctrl/Cmd + V paste it on another object. I found this to be very useful for images.

 

Copy/paste property feature in Figma
You can select a single property to copy like shown in this video. (Large preview)

10. Search For Elements With The Same Properties, Instance, Style, And So On

When you have a complex design file, or you just want to tidy up your design system, it’s quite handy to be able to search for elements with the same property (a specific color, for example), and then change the color to a Color Style. Super-useful after you’re settled with the design system and need to better organize all the components!

 

Select all with the Same Properties menu
The ‘Same Properties’ menu in Figma helps you to select all. (Large preview)

11. Use The Scale Tool To Resize Objects And Their Properties

I found it useful to be able to scale an element and its properties (stroke, effects applied to the object, etc.) all at the same time with the Scale tool (K). I found Figma a bit easier than Sketch in this regard, as you don’t have to select the size of the object. When you scale the object, both the object’s dimensions and its properties will resize proportionally. And by holding Shift, you’ll also keep the ratio while expanding or downsizing the object.

Note: If you need to change the size of an object without changing its properties (stroke, effects, etc.), use the Select tool to select the object, then resize it by using the Properties panel. If you use the Scale tool and resize the object, then both the object’s size and its properties will resize.

 

Resize tool in Figma
The difference between the normal resize and the scale tool (Large preview)

 

12. Resize A Frame Without Resizing The Layers Inside It

When designing for different screen resolutions, you want to be able to resize the screen frame without having to resize all the elements inside the frame. In order to do that, hold Ctrl/Cmd while you perform the resize operation. Magic!

 

Resize frame in Figma
A quick view of resizing frame without resizing the layers inside (Large preview)

13. Create Graphs/Arc In Seconds

With Figma, you can create graphs/arc in literally seconds! No more cutting paths on a circle to create a custom graph. Here’s how you create a loading arc — and all those values can be precisely controlled from the Properties panel on the right.

 

Graph tool in Figma
A quick look on how to create graphs in seconds (Large preview)

14. Change Spacing On The Go

I love Figma’s feature that allows you to change the spacing for a group of elements. It makes it super easy to lay out a group of elements around your screen. I use this feature for multiple elements but also for single elements as well.

 

Change spacing in Figma
A quick look on how to change the spacing between objects (Large preview)

15. Component Keywords For Easy Search

When you’re starting to have lots of components, it becomes difficult sometimes to find a specific component in your library. That’s when the component keywords come in handy. You can add keywords to any component so even though the component’s name is different, you’ll have the keywords which will allow to find it more easily. You’ll find an example below:

 

Keywords in components in Figma
Add keywords in components for easy searching (Large preview)

16. Restore An Earlier Version Of A Design File Or Share The Link To An Earlier Version

I love the feature to be able to go back to a previous version of the file I am currently working on.

No matter the reason (you made a mistake, or a client asks you to switch to an earlier version, etc.), it is really handy to be able to go back in time to a previous version. And not only that, but Figma also lets you copy the link to the previous version so you don’t have to delete the most recent version of the file. Smart!

 

History version in Figma
Going back in time in your history version (Large preview)

17. UI Kit Libraries To Kick-Start Your Projects

I often use the UI kit libraries to kick-start my projects. For example, I use the Wireframy Kit whenever I need to design some wireframes. I just need to activate the library, and I’m ready to go! I also often use Bootstrap Grid and Figma Redlines. (There’s a ton of free assets available — check them out and pick the ones you need.)

 

UI Kits in Figma
One of the UI Kit “Wireframy” which I use. (Large preview)

18. Use GIFs In Prototypes

Figma just added the ability to add GIF files to your prototypes, thus adding the possibility to add user interaction animations within your prototypes. Here’s a preview of it from Aris Acoba:

 

19. Figma, Tidy Up!

Figma’s Tidy Up feature is really when you want to quickly rearrange elements in a grid or just to make everything aligned. Together with the features which I mentioned in point 4 and point 14 — it’s super powerful! Also, another way to tidy up is by hovering over the bottom-right corner of a selection and clicking the blue icon.

 

Tidy up in Figma
A quick look on the ‘Tidy Up’ feature in Figma (Large preview)

20. View Settings

It took me a bit of time to find those settings but they are quite handy when you know where they are located. You can configure how you see your workplace in the “Settings” dropdown menu in the top right corner of the window. Allowing you to show Rulers, the Grid, enable/disable “Snap to Pixel Grid” (which sometimes is a bit annoying), but also hide the other players’ (designers) cursors when you want a bit of focus and don’t want to be distracted by others.

 

View settings panel in Figma
The ‘View’ settings panel in Figma (Large preview)

21. Bonus Tip: Figma Plugins

Figma just recently introduced their new plugins feature which will allow people to build custom plugins tailored for their own workflows.

I think plugins will add a lot of value to the entire Figma ecosystem and will enhance our design workflows. Some of the best plugins I have tried so far include:

  • Content Reel
  • Unsplash
  • Stark
  • Image Palette
  • Google Sheet sync
Plugins in Figma
A list of Plugins in Figma (Large preview)

Have a try yourself and maybe you could even build your own plugin to suit your needs!

 

10 Free Open Source Fonts That You Need in 2020

10 Free Open Source Fonts That You Need in 2020

There’s nothing like creating an amazing design that your client loves, while also saving some money in the process.

You don’t have to compromise on the quality of the fonts you choose, just because you’re not paying the big bucks for them.

Better yet, why pay for fonts at all when there are some really great ones out there that are ready for you to use for free?

10 Free Fonts That’ll Change Your Life

I’m going to introduce you to your new best friends, aka 10 open source fonts that’ll spice up all your designs in 2020.

You ready to do this? Cause I am.

Let’s jump right into it.

1. Manrope

We’re going to start today’s list of 10 free fonts with Manrope.

I’ve mentions this font before, but that’s only because it’s my all time favorite.

It’s modern, it’s sleek, it’s everything you want in a free font.

It’s versatility is what really hits home for me and that’s why I recommend that you start incorporating it into all your new designs.

2. Inter

You might’ve seen Inter take a step into the scene as of recent, and I truly believe it’s here to stay.

Inter has become a staple font for many, so don’t be the exception! Add this font to your collection and start adding it to your design projects right away.

3. Public Sans

I can’t lie, I love a good sans serif font.

But what’s special about this font is that it was developed for the US government and is all over their websites and is a huge part of their design.

It looks very similar to another open-source font that you may know of, Libre Franklin.

4. Alice

It’s time to step away from the sans serif, and into the serifs.

When I saw the type-face Alice, I knew it was going to have a new and special spot in my font collection.

Alice is a very unique serif font, which seems kinda old-fashioned, but at the same time, pretty modern.

You can find this font on Google-fonts!

5. Urbanist

Another one of my all time favorite free fonts is Urbanist.

This geometric sans serif is most definitely a modern font that can be used in a variety of different projects.

From logos, to headlines, this font is perfect to add to your colelction of fonts.

What are you waiting for? Go and download it now!

6. Evolventa

Were you surprised when you saw another modern sans serif?

Me either.

Evolventa is a Cyrillic extension of the open-source URW Gothic L font family.

7. Object Sans

If this font isn’t eye-catching, I don’t know what is.

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of Swiss neo-grotesks and geometric fonts, then Object Sans is the one for you.

This font is perfect to replace any of those pricey fonts, because it looks just as good as the rest of them.

8. Lunchtype

I love a good back-story to any font that I use, and Lunchtype has one of the best.

The designer who created this font created it during a lunch break on 100-day project.

We love a good lunch-break, and I can’t deny that that’s when some of my best ideas come to me.

Food is life, and so is an amazing font.

9. Work Sans

What’s cuter than a good font and a hedgehog?

I’ll answer that for you.

nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

10. Monoid

And finally, we’ve come to our last free font, which is Monoid.

Monoid is another great font that we know you’ll love and be using on the daily, if you code.

“The clever thing about Monoid is that it has font-awesome built into it, which they call Monoisome. This means when writing code, you can pop a few icons in there easily. Monoid looks just as great when you’re after highly readable website body text.”

Let us know in the comments which font was your favorite of this list and which ones you’ll be incoporating into your daily design life.

Until next time,

Stay creative folks!

Top 10 Logo Fonts In 2021 That All Designers Want To Get Their Hands On

Top 10 Logo Fonts In 2021 That All Designers Want To Get Their Hands On

Picking the right logo font can be an excruciatingly hard and tedious task.

The font you choose and the colors that go with it will make or break your design.

As font trends are always changing, we’ve got you covered and are here to share our most recent top picks with you.

The Best 10 Logo Fonts You’ll Want To Use In 2021

There are loads of lists of fonts out there, but we’ve picked the best of the best.

From our professional designers to you, here’s our personally curated list of the best logo fonts of 2020.

1. Ambit

logo fonts of 2020

Starting off the list with a bang, I present to you, Ambit.

Ambit is a classic font that I’ve loved for a long time now and have used it in a fair amount of logos that I designed.

This classic and timeless sans serif was designed by CoType Foundry, with their inspiration coming from early grotesque, but has now been adapted for modern design use in the 21st century.

From Thin to Black, Ambit features 7 different weights, so that there is something for everyone.

Ambit is the perfect font for a modern and sleek logo.

2. Bodoni

bodoni logo font

Bodoni is next up on the list.

Bodoni is the perfect font to use for any type of elegant fashion logo.

Giambattista Bodoni created this font in a time when loads of designers were experimenting with a dramatic contrast between thick and thin lines.

This font looks like it came straight out of a Vogue or Calvin Klein magazine.

Give it a whirl on your next design. You’ve got nothing to lose because it’s free!

3. Didot

Didot is another gorgeous, yet dramatic serif font that would go great not only with fashion logos, but anything modern, sleek, luxurious, and elegant.

There are many different versions of Didot, but perhaps the most well-known version is the one that Giorgio Armani used in their logo.

With the right tracking and kerning, this logo could be the perfect font for your next elegant logo project.

4. Helvetica Now

After being named one of the most widely appreciated fonts of 2019, we see no slowing in its widespread use and continual growth.

Helvetica Now is available in 3 optical sizes, Micro, Text, and Display.

Helvetica Now is essentially everything you’ve ever loved about Helvetica, with all sorts of little tweaks and improvements, all wrapped up into one new font.

And that font, may just be your new favorite.

It might be mine.

5. Untitled Sans

Meet Untitled Sans.

Untitled Sans is the product of the Super Normal project, created by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa.

Untitled sans comes in 10 different styles, so you can find the one that works best for you.

6. TT Norms Pro

Another great typeface we want to highlight today is TT Norms Pro.

TT Norms Pro was the #1 best selling geometric sans on Myfont in 2017 and continues to trend in 2020.

The font comes in an astounding 22 different styles. 11 uprights and 11 italics.

7. Big Caslon

This font is actually pretty historical. Back in the 1600s, there was a group of serif typefaces created by by William Caslon I.

Big Caslon is a revival of the said font group that dates all the way back to the 1600s, and is now making a marvelous appearance in the digital age of the 21st century.

8. Abril Fatface

You may recognize Abril Fatface from the Abril family of fonts.

Abril Fatface has 18 different styles and variations of the serif for you to use.

9. Aileron

Aileron was inspired by aircrafts of the ’40s and is a Neo-Grotesque sans serif typeface.

This sleek sans serif comes in 16 different weights and the best part about it all?

It’s free-99.

10. Brandon Grotesque

Brandon Grotesque is a staple font for me.

One of my go-to’s.

Brandon Grotesque gets its origin inspiration from old gothic fonts from the 1920s/1930s and is aesthetically pleasing as heck.

We predict that we’ll be seeing this font all over in 2020, so you might want to hop on this train soon!

Stay Safe, Everyone

We hope you enjoyed this list and that it took your mind off of the current events going on around us.

If you’re working from home now due to COVID-19 and are looking for tips on how to stay focused and productive, we’ve got you covered.

Stay safe and stay home if you can, everyone.

And as always,