Inkscape Vector Logo Tutorial [23 Step-by-Step Images]

This Inkscape tutorial shows you how to use Inkscape to make a logo. Specifically, you will create a corporate logo using circular grids. We will be imitating the Woolmark logo, by Franco Grignani, from 1964. Grignani was a pioneer in incorporating optical illusion in graphic design. This logo exemplifies a clean, symmetrical design that is both interesting and timeless.

In this tutorial, you will learn about:

  • How to make a logo with grids
  • Boolean operations
  • Optical illusion logo design

Step 1

Overview:

  • Create layers
  • Set the grid
  • Create an equilateral triangle
  • Align triangle

a. Create the layers

First, create four layers using the Layers dialog (Layer > Layers).    Name the layers, from bottom to top, like so: Triangle, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3.  This will help us organize our work and deal with the complexity of the design as we move forward.

Create layers using Inkscape's layers dialog
Create layers using Inkscape’s layers dialog

b. Set the grid

Create a grid for the document by going to View > Page Grid.  Be sure to set the grid size (spacing) large enough so you can easily work with its scale.

Create a grid for the Inkscape document by going to View > Page Grid
Create a grid for the Inkscape document by going to View > Page Grid

c. Create a triangle

Now, create an equilateral triangle, using the Stars and Polygons tool , by setting its corners to “3. ” Move the triangle to the Triangle layer by selecting Layer > Move Selection to Layer Above or Below, depending the layer on which the triangle was created.

Create an equilateral triangle, using the Stars and Polygons tool in Inkscape
Create an equilateral triangle, using the Stars and Polygons tool in Inkscape

d. Align the triangle

Select the triangle, align its tip to a grid intersection and, pressing the SHIFT and CTRL keys *, enlarge (drag) the triangle so that its height is equal to an even number of squares (mine is 6 “grid squares” high).   You may enable the snapping tool for more accuracy.

*  The SHIFT key makes the object scale from its center of rotation, while the CTRL key makes it scale symmetrically.

Align the triangle tip to a grid intersection in Inkscape
Align the triangle tip to a grid intersection in Inkscape

Step 2

Overview:

  • Create a perfect circle
  • Duplicate and position circles

a. Create a circle

Locate the center of the triangle in terms of its height: In my case, it’s 6 “grid squares” high, so its center intersection lies on square 3.

Position the cursor slightly upward off center, as shown.  This will make our rendition more accurate in terms of the original logo.

Select the Circles tool.  

While pressing the SHIFT and CTRL keys, enlarge (drag) the circle so that it becomes a perfect circle.  Make sure the edges of the circles touch the edges of the triangle.

Convert the circle to a path by selecting Path > Object to Path.

Use Inkscape's Circles tool to create a perfect circle within your triangle and convert it to a path
Use Inkscape’s Circles tool to create a perfect circle, then convert to path

b. Duplicate and position circles

Duplicate the circle (CTRL + D keys or Edit > Duplicate).  Move the duplicate to the lower left side.  Press the CTRL key to drag the circle to the bottom, then press CTRL to drag to left, until it touches the left and bottom edges of the triangle.

Duplicate the lower left circle and drag to the right, using the CTRL key.

Duplicate your original circle (use CTRL + D) and align within your triangle
Duplicate your original circle (CTRL + D) and align as shown

Now you have three cicles within a triangle.


Step 3

Overview:

  • Duplicate upper left side circles
  • Interpolate circles
  • Move selection to layer above

a. Duplicate upper left side circles

We will now create the circles that will make up the black crescents of the design.

Select the lower left circle and, pressing the SHIFT key, also select the upper circle (the order of selection is important).

Select circle and interpolate them
Interpolate circles

b. Interpolate circles

Go to Extensions > Generate from Path > Interpolate.

Use the Inkscape extension Interpolate to duplicate circles accordingly
Use the Inkscape extension Interpolate to duplicate circles

In the dialog, select “Duplicate endpaths” and be sure to set interpolation steps to 8.  This is so because the extension will “fill” the space between the circles with duplicates of the same circles.  If you look at the Woolmark logo, each side is composed of 10 circles.

c. Move selection to layer above

The interpolated circles will be grouped, with a total of 10 objects.   Select the group, then move the selection to the layer named “Level 1.” Turn off the layer (in the Layers dialog, click on the little eye icon to close it).


Step 4

Step overview:

  • Repeat process on step 3 for right side 

a. Repeat interpolation for each side

Select the upper and lower circles by pressing the SHIFT key.

Repeat the interpolation process.

Move the selection to the layer named “Level 2” and turn off.

Interpolate circles for the right side
Now interpolate circles for the right side

Step 5

Step overview:

  • Repeat process on steps 3 and 4 for bottom side
  • Delete original circles 

a. Repeat interpolation process for bottom side of triangle

Select the lower right and left circles by pressing the SHIFT key.

Repeat the interpolation process.

Move the selection to the layer named “Level 3” and turn off.

Interpolate for the bottom side

b. Delete original (guide) circles

Delete the three original guide circles before continuing with the next step.


Step 6

Step overview:

  • Apply the Boolean operation “Difference”
  • Fill black and remove stroke to create crescents
  • Repeat to create all the crescent shapes

a. Apply the Boolean operation “Difference”

Start with layer “Level 1”.

Turn on the layer and ungroup the interpolated circles by selecting them and pressing the CTRL and U keys.  You now have 10 separate circle objects.

b. Fill and remove stroke to create crescents

Create the crescents from the circular grid.  

Select the outermost circle and the circle that follows.

Apply Path > Difference.  Apply black fill and remove stroke (Object > Fill and Stroke).

You now have your first crescent.

 

c. Repeat for creating the other crescents

Repeat with all crescents of that side.  You now should have something that looks like this:

d. Repeat crescent creation on remaining sides

Turn off the layer and repeat with the remaining two sides:


Step 7

Step overview:

  • Use the eraser tool to clean paths
    • Turn on all layers
    • Select crescents with protruding tips
    • Erase tips with the Eraser tool
    • Repeat for all sides

a. Turn on all layers

For the final step, turn on all layers.

b. Select crescents with protruding tips

Select the crescents whose tips protrude unto the opposite crescent set.

c. Erase tips with the Eraser tool

Select the Erase tool.  At the top of the page, in Mode, select “Cut out from object.”

Start “erasing” the protruding crescent tips by passing the tool just to the contour of the opposite crescent.  Be sure to remove all parts of the tip while the object is selected.

Use Inkscape's Eraser tool to remove unwanted portions of the path
Use Inkscape’s Eraser tool to remove unwanted portions of the path

e. Repeat

Repeat on all sides, according to the fold of the original Woolmark logo.

Turn off unnecessary layers.

DONE!

You now have recreated a version of the Woolmark logo and learned about circular grids, Boolean operations, and logo design in the process.

Our final version of the Woolmark logo using Inkscape
Our final version of the Woolmark logo using Inkscape!

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