For several months now I have been using and evaluating a number of apps for the iPad that allow me to sketch out ideas for design projects I am working on. Here are the apps I’ve used in that time:

  • Concepts
  • Paper by 53
  • Sketches
  • Procreate
  • SketchBook Pro
  • iDraw

Let me begin with the apps that didn’t do well for me (and I say for me because everyone is different). First off iDraw and Sketches just didn’t cut it for me. They were nicely designed apps with a lot of potential, but just didn’t feel right. The next app was Procreate, this one was close but not close enough. I liked feel of the pencil tool, but I was finding that the user interface of the app was getting in my way a lot. It didn’t seem as responsive as I was expecting. The next app was SketchBook Pro by AutoDesk. Now originally I liked this app, but as I used it I found it to be less and less appealing to my style of sketching.

The closest win win for me was Paper by 53. In fact, I still use this app for a lot of sketches. And I plan on keeping it available for doing specific kinds of sketches.

That leaves Concepts. Hands down this app rocked my world. With the ability to do multiple layers like Photoshop and incredibly responsive and smooth performance, Concepts wins hands down. There are a few little things that annoy me about it and those a primarily restricted to the pre-sketch interface and how the app arranges your saved sketches. I think that could have been done a little better.

So if you’re a graphic artist and looking for a really simple but powerful, smooth and clean, app for sketching – it’s Concepts for me. Try it for yourself and make your own decision as to it’s awesomeness.

Here’s the link to the app web site:



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