By Michelle Grace of Davao
Inkscape is a free vector software. Vector graphics is efficient especially when it comes to logo creation. It helps maintain the image pixels even if you resize it many times. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the basic Inkscape tools and create your own vector company logo.
The image below is the final output of this tutorial. So, let’s get started.
First, you need to download Inskcape. Click this link to download it now. Open Inkscape when done installing. You will see a canvass (see image below). The upper portion is where the Properties and Filter effects are located. The tool bar is on the right and left panel.
To start off, you must create a new layer. Remember that each objects or effects you create, you need to place them on a separate layer. Click Layer from the tool bars above the canvass and click Add Layer.
A small window will pop up asking you to name the new layer. You have an option to position your new layer above or below the current layer. Click Add button to continue creating the new layer.
To view the layers you created, click on Layer tool and click Layers.
You will now see all your layers on the left side panel of the Inkscape window. You can move and arrange them using the green arrows to position each one.
The Object layer is now ready. All you need now is to place an object. To do that, click on the Circle tool on the toolbar, located on the right side panel. This tool is used to create circle, ellipse or arc shape.
Drag it on the canvass to create a circle. On the image below, notice that the logo is very near the circle. You can use the Circle tool and just play with the nodes to reshape it.
The circle shape you have created is still an object. Inkscape uses nodes to create or draw a shape you want. Select the circle object or the layer you just named as Object, click on Path, then select Object to Path.
After selecting Object to Path, select the Node tool on the right tool bar. Node tool is used to manipulate the nodes on the object you have selected.
You can now see that the circle object has nodes on each side points.
You will then use these nodes to reshape the object. Drag each nodes to position it. You can play along with the nodes until you get the desired shape. You can also delete a node by selecting it and then pressing Delete on your keyboard. You can add nodes by selecting a portion where to add a new node.
In my case, I draw a leaf shape. I just used 3 nodes. Just adjust each node to have a shape just like the image below.
Click the Arrow tool to make the nodes disappear. The final shape will be like this:
Use the Arrow tool to select and transform an object. When black arrows appear, you can drag the object to any portion on the canvass. To rotate the object, click on the object and rounded black arrows will appear. Drag the rounded arrow to rotate it.
Next step is to duplicate the object. Press CTRL+D or you can just copy the selected object and then paste it on the canvas.
You can not see the copied layer yet as they have the same color and is still on the same position. To flip the copied object, hover your mouse on the third tool. You will see a tool description on how to flip the selected object horizontally.
Click that property to flip it horizontally. Then flip the object again by clicking flip object vertically tool.
The image below is the result of flipping the copied object horizontally and vertically. You can adjust its position using Selection tool again.
The next step is to color the object. Select the first object, then underneath the canvas, there is a fill and stroke properties. Click on that and a color properties window will appear on the side panel.
There are three tabs; Fill-use to fill the object with color. You can choose solid, gradient and pattern fill; Stroke Paint – use to place a stroke and Stroke Style – styling the stroke by adjusting size and stroke styles.
In my case I just used a solid color blue. And then fill the 2nd object with a lighter blue.
Here’s the output after filling both objects with solid color:
Next step is to create a shadow behind the object. This will make create an embossed or 2D look. Click on Layer and then select Add Layer. Name the new layer as Shadow.
Duplicate the first object or simply copy and paste it on the Shadow Layer. Color it black. As you can see the Shadow layer is positioned on top of the Object layer. You don’t want that. We want to place it behind the Object layer to make it look like its shadow.
Click on the Layer Palette and place the Shadow Layer before the Object Layer. To do that, select the Shadow Layer and then click the green arrow that points downward.
After that, Shadow Layer will now be positioned behind the Object Layer.
You might need to adjust the nodes again for the Shadow Layer. Simply drag the nodes to align them on the blue Object Layer.
Again, play along with the nodes until you get it right, just like the object below:
Fill it with a darker color blue. You might want to adjust the opacity to lighten the tone of the shadow.
Do the same thing with the second blue object.
Now you should have an image like this:
Next step is to polish the object. Make it look glossy and somehow artistic. We will add some highlights effect or simply a gloss effect. To do that, use a Draw tool. This is used to create and draw Bezier curves and straight lines.
Before using the Draw tool, add a new layer and then name it Highlights. Then freely draw a shape on the edge of the object. It does not matter if you draw an imperfect shape, you can just adjust it by nodes.
Close the highlight layer by connecting the first and last nodes. Then fill it with the color white and remove the stroke.
Using the node tool, adjust the white shape to make it thinner.
On the Layer Palette, there is a blur and opacity properties. Scroll the blur or set its value to 0.04. You can play with the values until you meet the blur effect you desire.
Do the same thing with the second blue object.
This would be the final result of the logo object with the glossy and shadow effect. Now remember, what you have created is a vector object, which means the pixel will not change when you drag the object to resize it, whether small or large scale.
You can group all layers to make dragging easier. Dragging ungroup objects can sometimes leave objects behind. Better group your objects first by selecting all layers and then press CTRL+G. To ungroup it, press CTRL+U. When the object is already grouped as one, you can now drag it to make it smaller and position anywhere on your canvass.
To add some text, select Text tool and then type the text on the canvas.
While the text tool is still active, change the font style by selecting fonts from the dropdown font menu. Font styles will depend on the installed fonts on your computer.
You can also change the text size.
Add another text for the company’s slogan. Make it smaller. You can change text color the same way as changing colors on the objects. You can group both texts by selecting them and pressing CTRL+G.
Here is the final ouput of a vector company logo. Resize the logo icon to pattern it with the text size. Easy right? Again, since this is a vector image, you will not have a problem resizing it for future use.
How To Save Your Inkscape Project
To save your project, click on File then Save as. Find the location where you want it saved. Save as SVG file for future editing purposes.
To save your project as image, click on File then Export Bitmap.
A window will pop out. You will see an option on how to save the image. You can save it by Page, Drawing or Selection. You can also adjust the width and height and the bitmap size. To save the exact size of the image, click on Drawing tab, then select a storage location. Click Export to save it.
That’s it! Your vector image is all done!
Watch the video tutorial!
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