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


Principles is drawing application centered on vector, made with touch interface in thoughts and is available on Apple iphone, iPads, Home windows and Android units.

I’m a major supporter of the app and have been applying it for numerous decades. This app is quick to learn since it really is a uncomplicated and uncomplicated application. This application is fantastic for folks who like sketching, visible journaling and lively colours.


Ideas is centered on the freemium design. The application is absolutely free to use with specified features locked at the rear of the paywall.

There are two methods to unlock all the functions.

You can unlock some of the attributes with a a single-time purchase of the US $10 Essentials pack. This will unlock infinite layers, tap+hold choice, transforms, a lot more export formats which involves lossless PNG, SVG, DXF, PSD and Concepts native. This is the greatest deal since it unlocks infinite levels and presents you the alternative to export your artwork in lossless file formats.

On top of that, there are lots of other one particular-time purchases out there, these as various brush packs, far more file formats and object templates. On average, every single order is close to US $2, or significantly less when acquired as a bundle.

Unfortunately the a single-time purchases are not synced across Ideas on diverse OS platforms. For instance, if you have Ideas on Android and Home windows, you have to buy the identical brush pack 2 times.

The next way to unlock the attributes is by means of subscription at US $5/month or $30/calendar year. Membership will give all the equipment on all OS platforms, together with staff collaboration and sharing features not available by way of one particular-time order.

For private use, it can make more perception to get the Necessities pack initial, then get your time to examine the application in advance of you determine to obtain other stuff. Obtaining the Essentials established will give you most of the Ideas sketching knowledge.

Big difference involving Principles on iOS, iPadOS, Android and Windows

There is a very long listing of distinctions in capabilities for Concepts on iOS and iPadOS vs Android and Windows.

Just to summarise the variances below.

The file structure on iOS and iPad is .Notion, and the file structure on Android and Home windows is .Concepts.

The data files designed on iOS and iPadOS are unable to be opened by Concepts functioning on Android and Home windows.

The information created on Android and Home windows are unable to by opened by Ideas on iOS and iPad.

And even nevertheless Android and Home windows use the very same file structure, at times the files are not interchangeable, e.g. mismatch of versions.

Tophatch, the enterprise that created Concepts, said they are currently operating on convergence for Principles across all platforms. Are unable to wait around for that to take place since Android/Windows variations are lacking in numerous characteristics offered on the iPad variation.

The variation of Ideas I am employing for this review is iPad variation 5.10.12 (May 2022) and Android/Home windows version 2022.04.8.

What is vector?

Artworks can be classified as raster or vector.

Raster artworks are created up of pixels. Each and every pixels will take up storage house.

Vector artworks are dependent on math formulas. These math formulation generate the pixels and colours.

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

Vector file dimensions are commonly compact and this is terrific for tablet consumers with minimal storage.

Vector artworks are generally linked with clear lines, flat colouring – gradients are possible far too, but not with Concepts, yet.

Distinction between Principles and Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer

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

The most important big difference is Ideas is made for sketching. It is really difficult to produce artworks that demand precision, e.g. logos, typography, graphic design and style, poster design and style, internet style, which are all significantly simpler to create with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. You can sketch with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer, but their drawing applications and brushes are limited.

The other variation is there are way additional features with Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. The file previously mentioned was designed with Adobe Illustrator. I designed the human figures with designs, which is also probable with Concepts. The black outlines (remaining) ended up created by combining the different shapes, some thing not feasible with Principles, so with Concepts, the outlines have to be attract separately. It is also not achievable for Principles to edit person details that type the paths that create the styles.

Ideas behaves extremely significantly like a drawing resource. Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer are for planning, and can be utilised to generate illustrations too.

Drawing resources

Ideas has a limited but useful set of drawing instruments and brushes. Extra brushes are out there for purchase but the default brushes perform just high-quality.

Concepts brushes assist tension sensitivity, tilt sensitivity and palm rejection. The strain sensitivity does not really feel as delicate in comparison to other applications while. Much more specifically, other drawing applications can detect minimal improvements to strain a lot more effortlessly when compared to Principles.

Person interface of Ideas is minimalist. This app operates wonderful on little tablets too.

There are the software wheel, palettes for layers and guides, and a best bar for configurations.

You can established up to 8 tools, e.g 8 pens with diverse colors, on the wheel.

The color method is based mostly on the Copic colouring process, and this is a genuinely stunning and fascinating seeking colour wheel. Draw back of this wheel is the limitation of darker versions of vivid colours. There’s no way to make your personal colour considering that you are not able to adjust the RGB or HSV.

Concepts characteristics an infinite canvas. This suggests you can attract for as a lot as and would not run out of canvas space. This is specially wonderful for sketching panorama scenes.

And mainly because the application is vector-based, you can zoom in as close as probable and continue to keep the sharpness and particulars.

The textured brushes search really excellent. If I see a sketch like the one particular previously mentioned established by another person else, I will not likely have guess it truly is from a vector-primarily based application.

Yet another attribute I like is you can quickly utilize diverse types to the identical artwork to get a different glance. In the sketch previously mentioned, I could decide on the solid lines and use the pencil brush to get the textured seem less than 5 seconds.

I seriously love utilizing this app for sketching. It’s also a wonderful app for visible journaling.


There are various restrictions with Ideas. And quite a few of the restrictions comes down to the deficiency of features that you usually obtain in other drawing applications.

You can find no Fill Bucket instrument
To fill an enclosed form with colour, you have to attract the shape with the Fill instrument. This takes a lot more time in comparison to utilizing a fill bucket instrument. And drawing a form thoroughly so that it acts as a loaded color is hard if you want to fill an irregular shape.

You can’t blend designs
There is certainly no way to mix various styles making use of Boolean resources, a common feature with vector apps.

No effortless or fast way to organize depth of objects
You can not shift one particular item on best of one more. The workaround is to place the objects on different layers and set up the layers.

There are no blending modes with levels

I commonly produce shadows on its individual levels and use a Multiply blending mode so that the shadows mix with colors beneath.

So my workaround to producing shadows is to use transparency rather. I use black for shadows and make the shadow layer 50% transparent. It does not glance as very good as Multiply mode however.

The way Ideas modify layer opacity is not like other software package. With Concepts, when you adjust opacity of the layer, you are altering the opacity of every single item and not the opacity of the layer. For illustration, if you modify a Ideas layer to 50% opacity, two objects will have transparency overlay and I are unable to get the designs (in this situation the shadow designs) to combine into a solitary shape the overlap glimpse.

Also take note that in the higher than instance, you can find no Fill bucket tool so I experienced to redraw the shape to fill the color, and it is really challenging to attract precise styles and as a outcome color overflows out of the lines. This isn’t really a problem for my design of artwork which is unfastened and sketching, but the absence of a proper Fill Bucket instrument affects productivity.

Principles on iPad has more attributes than Android/Windows
Principles on iPad has various useful functions not readily available on Android and Home windows.

With Android and Windows, you will find no way to produce customized colour palettes, no textual content device, completely transform resource is minimal, and additional.


Backup of information is managed otherwise on iPad, Android and Home windows.

On iPad, the iCloud is used to backup anything, including data files created inside of Concepts. If you use Apple iphone or iPad, you use iCloud. If you do not have iCloud, do by yourself a favour and subscribe to the iCloud program. If a thing occurs to your iPad, all information will be restored by iCloud.

On Android, a Google Travel is required to backup the files. There’s only backup but no sync. That means if you have several Android equipment, your artworks will not seem on all Android gadgets. If a thing occurs to your pill, you will have to manually and tediously import the Ideas files a person by just one back again to Concepts.

On Home windows, backup is handled by whichever backup company you have. I use Microsoft OneDrive to backup my entire laptop or computer and that features the Ideas data files. If a thing takes place to my personal computer, all documents will be restored by OneDrive


It’s a wonderful application for easy or detailed sketches. The $10 Necessities pack to unlock selected instruments is really worth the income. And this is unquestionably an application worthy of examining out.


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