Concepts (app review): Sketching with Vector and Infinite Canvas


Concepts is drawing application centered on vector, created with touch interface in thoughts and is accessible on Iphone, iPads, Windows and Android units.

I’m a large admirer of the application and have been working with it for many several years. This application is effortless to discover for the reason that it really is a very simple and simple application. This app is great for folks who like sketching, visual journaling and lively colors.


Ideas is based on the freemium design. The app is totally free to use with specified capabilities locked driving the paywall.

There are two strategies to unlock all the attributes.

You can unlock some of the capabilities with a one particular-time purchase of the US $10 Essentials pack. This will unlock infinite layers, faucet+maintain variety, transforms, additional export formats which features lossless PNG, SVG, DXF, PSD and Concepts indigenous. This is the greatest offer since it unlocks infinite layers and offers you the option to export your artwork in lossless file formats.

In addition, there are numerous other a single-time buys out there, these kinds of as different brush packs, additional file formats and item templates. On normal, every buy is all over US $2, or fewer when bought as a bundle.

Regretably the a person-time buys are not synced across Principles on various OS platforms. For instance, if you have Principles on Android and Windows, you have to acquire the same brush pack two times.

The second way to unlock the capabilities is through membership at US $5/thirty day period or $30/12 months. Subscription will provide all the instruments on all OS platforms, such as crew collaboration and sharing features not accessible by way of one particular-time obtain.

For private use, it can make a lot more sense to get the Necessities pack first, then take your time to check out the app right before you decide to obtain other stuff. Acquiring the Essentials established will give you most of the Ideas sketching working experience.

Big difference among Concepts on iOS, iPadOS, Android and Home windows

There is a extensive list of distinctions in features for Concepts on iOS and iPadOS vs Android and Windows.

Just to summarise the distinctions below.

The file format on iOS and iPad is .Principle, and the file format on Android and Home windows is .Principles.

The files established on iOS and iPadOS simply cannot be opened by Ideas operating on Android and Home windows.

The documents established on Android and Windows cannot by opened by Ideas on iOS and iPad.

And even though Android and Home windows use the exact same file format, from time to time the documents are not interchangeable, e.g. mismatch of variations.

Tophatch, the enterprise that created Concepts, mentioned they are currently performing on convergence for Concepts throughout all platforms. Can’t hold out for that to take place since Android/Windows versions are lacking in a lot of attributes readily available on the iPad variation.

The model of Ideas I’m applying for this evaluation is iPad variation 5.10.12 (May perhaps 2022) and Android/Home windows edition 2022.04.8.

What is vector?

Artworks can be categorized as raster or vector.

Raster artworks are made up of pixels. Just about every pixels usually takes up storage house.

Vector artworks are based mostly on math formulation. These math formulas develop the pixels and colours.

For case in point, with a vector line, you can change the thickness, colour and course of the line quickly. To make changes to a raster line, you will have to re-attract or re-color the line.

Vector file sizes are ordinarily tiny and this is good for tablet people with minimal storage.

Vector artworks are typically associated with clear lines, flat colouring – gradients are feasible far too, but not with Concepts, nonetheless.

Change between Ideas and Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer

Principles, Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer are all vector centered applications.

The principal difference is Ideas is built for sketching. It can be challenging to develop artworks that involve precision, e.g. logos, typography, graphic design and style, poster design, world-wide-web style and design, which are all a great deal less complicated to develop with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. You can sketch with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer, but their drawing equipment and brushes are constrained.

The other difference is there are way much more performance with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. The file over was produced with Adobe Illustrator. I established the human figures with styles, which is also doable with Principles. The black outlines (still left) had been designed by combining the individual styles, one thing not doable with Concepts, so with Concepts, the outlines have to be attract separately. It is also not possible for Concepts to edit individual factors that sort the paths that produce the shapes.

Ideas behaves very significantly like a drawing instrument. Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer are for planning, and can be utilized to make illustrations also.

Drawing tools

Principles has a restricted but handy set of drawing equipment and brushes. Extra brushes are obtainable for invest in but the default brushes get the job done just fine.

Ideas brushes guidance strain sensitivity, tilt sensitivity and palm rejection. The stress sensitivity will not feel as sensitive compared to other applications however. Much more exclusively, other drawing apps can detect minor improvements to stress far more quickly when compared to Concepts.

Consumer interface of Ideas is minimalist. This app will work wonderful on small tablets as well.

There are the resource wheel, palettes for layers and guides, and a prime bar for settings.

You can set up to 8 resources, e.g 8 pens with different colours, on the wheel.

The color method is primarily based on the Copic colouring method, and this is a seriously gorgeous and attention-grabbing wanting color wheel. Downside of this wheel is the limitation of darker variations of vibrant colors. There is no way to make your personal colour considering that you cannot adjust the RGB or HSV.

Ideas capabilities an infinite canvas. This signifies you can attract for as a great deal as and won’t run out of canvas room. This is in particular good for sketching panorama scenes.

And since the application is vector-centered, you can zoom in as close as attainable and continue to retain the sharpness and particulars.

The textured brushes glance really great. If I see a sketch like the a person higher than produced by anyone else, I will never have guess it truly is from a vector-based mostly application.

A different attribute I like is you can very easily use different styles to the very same artwork to get a diverse glance. In the sketch above, I could pick the good lines and use the pencil brush to get the textured glance less than 5 seconds.

I actually take pleasure in utilizing this application for sketching. It can be also a wonderful application for visible journaling.


There are various limitations with Concepts. And several of the limits comes down to the lack of characteristics that you normally obtain in other drawing applications.

You can find no Fill Bucket software
To fill an enclosed shape with color, you have to draw the shape with the Fill software. This normally takes far more time compared to utilizing a fill bucket software. And drawing a condition correctly so that it functions as a crammed color is challenging if you want to fill an irregular condition.

You can not mix shapes
There’s no way to incorporate different shapes using Boolean applications, a prevalent characteristic with vector apps.

No quick or rapidly way to arrange depth of objects
You are not able to move just one item on best of yet another. The workaround is to put the objects on various levels and arrange the layers.

There are no mixing modes with layers

I usually create shadows on its possess levels and utilize a Multiply mixing mode so that the shadows mix with colors beneath.

So my workaround to building shadows is to use transparency in its place. I use black for shadows and make the shadow layer 50% clear. It does not seem as excellent as Multiply method though.

The way Ideas change layer opacity is not like other software. With Concepts, when you adjust opacity of the layer, you are modifying the opacity of every single item and not the opacity of the layer. For illustration, if you change a Ideas layer to 50% opacity, two objects will have transparency overlay and I can not get the styles (in this scenario the shadow shapes) to merge into a one form the overlap seem.

Also be aware that in the previously mentioned example, there is no Fill bucket resource so I had to redraw the condition to fill the color, and it’s tricky to draw exact styles and as a result colour overflows out of the lines. This is not a issue for my style of artwork which is loose and sketching, but the deficiency of a correct Fill Bucket tool has an effect on efficiency.

Concepts on iPad has more capabilities than Android/Home windows
Ideas on iPad has many helpful functions not obtainable on Android and Windows.

With Android and Windows, you can find no way to make custom colour palettes, no text tool, change tool is constrained, and far more.


Backup of information is managed in another way on iPad, Android and Home windows.

On iPad, the iCloud is utilised to backup every little thing, together with documents produced in just Principles. If you use Iphone or iPad, you use iCloud. If you do not have iCloud, do by yourself a favour and subscribe to the iCloud strategy. If a little something comes about to your iPad, all documents will be restored by iCloud.

On Android, a Google Push is essential to backup the information. You can find only backup but no sync. Which means if you have a number of Android devices, your artworks will not surface on all Android units. If something transpires to your pill, you will have to manually and tediously import the Principles information one by just one back to Principles.

On Home windows, backup is managed by whichever backup assistance you have. I use Microsoft OneDrive to backup my full computer system and that features the Principles data files. If something comes about to my pc, all files will be restored by OneDrive


It really is a superb application for straightforward or specific sketches. The $10 Essentials pack to unlock picked resources is worth the dollars. And this is undoubtedly an app value checking out.


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