I am currently working on generating the icon assets for the company I work for. I am using Sketch, and am creating a large library of the icons. They are all Line icons (the style) and basically everything is a 1px line.

I am trying to determine if I should keep the icons in sketch all as strokes, or if I should use illustrator to have them remain in an editable format, and then convert them to shapes and import and use those in sketch.

I am using sketch to export the icons for development. Am using a mixture of mass export as SVG and PNG, and also setting all of them to be able to be exportable. We are using Abstract and the devs can click on an icon and download it from there.

So, here is my question... what is best practice? I have always hung out on the side of the line where I keep them all as strokes because it allows for me to easily change them later on if needed. Converting them to outlines goes against my intuition because it makes them harder to work with, and even possibly scale.

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3 Answers 3


On my desk....


  • Shapes for export so that everything remains consistent.
  • Lines in case they need further editing down the road.

I treat vector files the same as I treat raster files -- a 2 file workflow.

I don't save all my Photoshop documents as PNGs/JPGs then trash the .psd. No. I keep my layered, editable, PSD then export/save for whatever format is needed at the time. This allows for more easily edited images in the future while still providing the assets which may be needed at the present time.

Vector files are no different. I need to export/save the asset which is needed, but I also don't want to make future editing any more difficult. So, I save the editable file as well.


I'd say it's a matter of preference...

However, I advise to keep it editable somewhere in case you need to go back and make changes. It's also great if someone in your team wants to use your icon as a base to create a new one, for example.


I would keep them in both the formats in the same Sketch file.

I like to use the icons as symbols in Sketch. So, converting the paths(strokes) to outlines/fill allows me the flexibility to use the layer styles on the fills.

Later if there is any change in any icon, I would edit the icons in paths copy them and convert to outlines again before replacing it in the symbol and apply the layer style.

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