There’s no doubt that 2019 has been one of the biggest years in Sketch’s history — from announcing our first funding round, to launching the Sketch for Teams public beta it’s been an exciting 12 months. But we’re even more excited for what lies ahead. Before we show you a few sneak previews, though, we thought we’d reflect on this year’s highlights.

Back in March, we announced our first capital raise since Sketch began almost ten years ago. In our Series A round, we took $20 million in funding from Benchmark to help us grow and focus on areas where we knew we could make a bigger difference to the design process — like Collaboration.

Taking funding wasn’t just about raising capital, though. With a portfolio that includes the likes of Elastic, Twitter, Uber and Zendesk, Benchmark have become an incredible partner — helping us bring on COO Matt Langdon and scale up our operations across the whole company.

And of course, this wasn’t the only big announcement we made. It was also the perfect time to share that we’d passed one million paying customers — a huge milestone for us and one that inspires us to continue our mission to help designers do their best work, every day.

In July, we launched the Sketch for Teams public beta and the response has been amazing. We’ve had more than 5,000 teams sign up — and the feedback we’ve received has helped us shape the future of the product and make improvements.

Since the public beta launch, we’ve introduced Mentions and Projects, as well as better Cloud documents and Cloud Libraries support in the Mac app. And we’re not done yet. Sketch for Teams paves the way for greater collaboration across organizations, bringing the right people into the design process at the right time, and we can’t wait to share what’s next with you.

While Sketch for Teams might have been our headline launch for 2019, we’ve still been working hard across the whole platform. On the Mac app, we launched a whole host of new features and improvements. Here are some of the highlights:

Smart Distribute

Smart Distribute

Powerful controls that make it easier than ever to create and manage complex layouts.

Variable Fonts Support

Variable Fonts Support

And better support for OpenType features, for more control and flexibility over typography in your designs.

Components Panel

Components Panel

A new way to organize and use Symbols, text and layer styles.

Smart Layout

Smart Layout

The first native solution for flexible components in a design tool.

In 2020, we’ll kick off the year with some important improvements to the Components Panel and Popover based on your feedback. Then we’ve got something big coming. More on that later.

Our Sketch Ambassadors continue to amaze us with their dedication, commitment and support to hosting fantastic events around the world that bring local design communities together. There are now over 100 Sketch Communities, spanning almost every continent and collectively, in 2019, they hosted 216 events across 35 countries. We couldn’t be more proud to support them.

If you haven’t already, head over to sketch.com/community to find your nearest local group or event. This year alone, new communities launched in Croatia, Pakistan and Japan, just to name a few. And if there’s no community nearby, why not apply to become an ambassador and start one? We’d love to have you on board.

As we’re already well underway with our big projects for 2020, with Sketch 61 we took the time to take a step back, address some bugs and ship a handful of small but significant improvements.

There’s no headline feature in this release, but there are plenty of small updates that should add up to a better all-round experience, including:

  • A performance boost, particularly when it comes to navigating large documents
  • More helpful error messages for Cloud document downloads (and some fixes so they show up less often)
  • The option to copy a Cloud link by right-clicking on a thumbnail in the Documents window
  • And plenty of smaller, but equally important bug fixes.

Sketch 61 is available right now. Head to sketch.com/updates to read the full release notes.

2019 has been an incredible year for us, but with 2020 just around the corner, it’s time to look ahead to what’s next. Over the past year we’ve said hello to 46 new team members in almost every department, and with so much new talent behind Sketch, we’re ready to ship some incredible updates.

With so many exciting plans for 2020, we decided to take just a handful of the things we’re most looking forward to and share them with you in this short film:

We’re very excited about our plans for the coming year, and we can’t wait to share more with you. In the meantime, from all of us at Sketch, we hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday season. We’ll see you in the new year.