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

Concepts is drawing app based on vector, designed with touch interface in intellect and is offered on Iphone, iPads, Windows and Android devices.

I’m a major admirer of the application and have been using it for a number of many years. This application is easy to master due to the fact it truly is a straightforward and straightforward application. This app is terrific for people today who like sketching, visual journaling and vibrant colours.


Principles is based on the freemium design. The application is cost-free to use with certain features locked guiding the paywall.

There are two means to unlock all the attributes.

You can unlock some of the options with a a person-time order of the US $10 Essentials pack. This will unlock infinite levels, tap+maintain range, transforms, far more export formats which involves lossless PNG, SVG, DXF, PSD and Ideas native. This is the greatest deal for the reason that it unlocks infinite levels and offers you the selection to export your artwork in lossless file formats.

Also, there are many other a single-time purchases offered, these kinds of as a variety of brush packs, far more file formats and object templates. On normal, each invest in is all around US $2, or significantly less when bought as a bundle.

Unfortunately the a single-time purchases are not synced throughout Concepts on different OS platforms. For case in point, if you have Ideas on Android and Home windows, you have to invest in the exact brush pack two times.

The next way to unlock the functions is by way of subscription at US $5/thirty day period or $30/year. Membership will provide all the tools on all OS platforms, including team collaboration and sharing features not readily available via one-time buy.

For individual use, it will make a lot more sense to get the Essentials pack first, then take your time to check out the app ahead of you choose to obtain other things. Obtaining the Necessities established will give you most of the Concepts sketching expertise.

Distinction involving Concepts on iOS, iPadOS, Android and Windows

There is a prolonged listing of variations in attributes for Principles on iOS and iPadOS vs Android and Home windows.

Just to summarise the variances under.

The file structure on iOS and iPad is .Thought, and the file format on Android and Windows is .Ideas.

The documents produced on iOS and iPadOS simply cannot be opened by Principles functioning on Android and Windows.

The information designed on Android and Windows can not by opened by Principles on iOS and iPad.

And even even though Android and Windows use the identical file structure, occasionally the information are not interchangeable, e.g. mismatch of versions.

Tophatch, the organization that made Ideas, said they are at the moment doing the job on convergence for Concepts throughout all platforms. Are not able to wait for that to come about mainly because Android/Windows versions are lacking in a lot of features available on the iPad version.

The edition of Ideas I am making use of for this evaluation is iPad variation 5.10.12 (Could 2022) and Android/Windows variation 2022.04.8.

What is vector?

Artworks can be categorized as raster or vector.

Raster artworks are produced up of pixels. Every pixels takes up storage area.

Vector artworks are centered on math formulas. These math formulation produce the pixels and colours.

For case in point, with a vector line, you can alter the thickness, color and path of the line easily. To make improvements to a raster line, you will have to re-draw or re-colour the line.

Vector file measurements are normally tiny and this is fantastic for tablet end users with constrained storage.

Vector artworks are normally associated with clear strains, flat colouring – gradients are possible also, but not with Principles, yet.

Distinction amongst Concepts and Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer

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

The main variance is Concepts is manufactured for sketching. It’s complicated to produce artworks that require precision, e.g. logos, typography, graphic style and design, poster design, world-wide-web design and style, which are all considerably less difficult to develop with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. You can sketch with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer, but their drawing tools and brushes are restricted.

The other variation is there are way additional features with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. The file higher than was developed with Adobe Illustrator. I created the human figures with styles, which is also achievable with Ideas. The black outlines (remaining) have been developed by combining the separate shapes, a little something not attainable with Concepts, so with Concepts, the outlines have to be attract independently. It is also not probable for Ideas to edit particular person details that variety the paths that build the styles.

Principles behaves very substantially like a drawing software. Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer are for designing, and can be utilized to produce illustrations way too.

Drawing equipment

Principles has a minimal but valuable set of drawing tools and brushes. More brushes are offered for purchase but the default brushes function just great.

Ideas brushes support stress sensitivity, tilt sensitivity and palm rejection. The force sensitivity would not feel as sensitive in contrast to other applications however. A lot more particularly, other drawing apps can detect slight changes to stress more easily when compared to Principles.

Person interface of Principles is minimalist. This application is effective fantastic on compact tablets far too.

There are the software wheel, palettes for layers and guides, and a top rated bar for settings.

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

The colour procedure is dependent on the Copic colouring system, and this is a actually attractive and intriguing looking colour wheel. Draw back of this wheel is the limitation of darker variations of vivid colors. You can find no way to make your possess colour due to the fact you cannot adjust the RGB or HSV.

Concepts functions an infinite canvas. This means you can draw for as much as and will not operate out of canvas area. This is particularly excellent for sketching panorama scenes.

And simply because the application is vector-dependent, you can zoom in as close as attainable and however keep the sharpness and facts.

The textured brushes appear truly good. If I see a sketch like the a person over developed by someone else, I will not have guess it can be from a vector-dependent application.

An additional aspect I like is you can simply utilize diverse variations to the same artwork to get a distinctive search. In the sketch earlier mentioned, I could find the reliable strains and implement the pencil brush to get the textured glimpse below 5 seconds.

I genuinely appreciate utilizing this app for sketching. It’s also a great application for visual journaling.


There are several constraints with Concepts. And lots of of the constraints will come down to the deficiency of features that you commonly find in other drawing applications.

There is no Fill Bucket resource
To fill an enclosed condition with color, you have to attract the form with the Fill tool. This requires extra time in contrast to utilizing a fill bucket tool. And drawing a condition appropriately so that it functions as a filled color is tough if you want to fill an irregular condition.

You can’t blend styles
There’s no way to incorporate distinctive styles employing Boolean applications, a common feature with vector applications.

No quick or rapid way to organize depth of objects
You are not able to transfer just one item on major of yet another. The workaround is to place the objects on different levels and set up the levels.

There are no mixing modes with levels

I ordinarily build shadows on its personal layers and utilize a Multiply blending method so that the shadows blend with colors beneath.

So my workaround to producing shadows is to use transparency in its place. I use black for shadows and make the shadow layer 50% clear. It does not search as good as Multiply mode nevertheless.

The way Ideas regulate layer opacity is not like other application. With Principles, when you modify opacity of the layer, you are modifying the opacity of each item and not the opacity of the layer. For case in point, if you regulate a Principles layer to 50% opacity, two objects will have transparency overlay and I can not get the designs (in this scenario the shadow styles) to merge into a one form the overlap appear.

Also note that in the above example, you will find no Fill bucket instrument so I had to redraw the condition to fill the color, and it’s difficult to attract exact designs and as a end result color overflows out of the lines. This isn’t really a dilemma for my type of art which is free and sketching, but the lack of a correct Fill Bucket resource has an effect on efficiency.

Ideas on iPad has far more functions than Android/Windows
Concepts on iPad has numerous handy options not available on Android and Windows.

With Android and Home windows, there’s no way to build customized color palettes, no textual content resource, renovate resource is constrained, and far more.


Backup of documents is managed differently on iPad, Android and Home windows.

On iPad, the iCloud is employed to backup almost everything, together with information produced within just Concepts. If you use Iphone or iPad, you use iCloud. If you will not have iCloud, do your self a favour and subscribe to the iCloud plan. If one thing happens to your iPad, all data files will be restored by iCloud.

On Android, a Google Push is desired to backup the documents. There’s only backup but no sync. Indicating if you have many Android gadgets, your artworks will not show up on all Android equipment. If anything comes about to your tablet, you will have to manually and tediously import the Concepts documents 1 by one again to Concepts.

On Windows, backup is handled by whatsoever backup company you have. I use Microsoft OneDrive to backup my entire personal computer and that consists of the Concepts files. If one thing happens to my computer system, all information will be restored by OneDrive


It is really a fantastic application for uncomplicated or in-depth sketches. The $10 Essentials pack to unlock selected applications is really worth the income. And this is definitely an application well worth checking out.

By Zigong