Inkscape is one of the few free vector graphic software out there, and one of the oldest and more robust.
How can such a powerful program be free?
Well, it’s first release was 15 years ago and it’s still being developed and updated to this day by thousands of committed users around the world.
It is efficient and powerful, allowing its users to create professional-grade graphic design indistinguishable from expensive vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator.
You can just download the software and start creating right now.
You can download the latest version of Inkscape for free at the official website: inskcape.org.
Because of this, it is the ideal graphics program for beginning and aspiring designers.
Not only that:
Professional designers around the world use Inkscape to keep costs low and produce high-quality, professional designs.
Inkscape is the graphic design software I recommend for self-taught designers because it allows them to learn the basics of vector graphics and design right now.
What is Inkscape Used for?
With Inkscape, you can do anything that a graphic designer usually does.
It allows you to create logos, fliers, business cards, websites, badges, letterhead, and so on.
You can even create ultra-realistic drawings like this one:
You can also use Inkscape for certain jobs that you would normally do with pixel software (such as Photoshop), like cropping images, applying basic filters, scaling down large images, or applying text to photos, to name a few.
I have personally used Inkscape for many years and I’ve done quite a few different projects in it.
For example, I have created business cards, websites, software interfaces, logos, posters, and flyers.
I even use Inkscape in my college-level graphic design courses because my students have access to it on the very first day of class and can start playing with it right away.
This actually allows them to learn graphic design faster.
Why? Because they:
Can download the program right away on their laptops and they can start creating and learning from the get-go.
Don’t have to rely on campus computers or expensive licenses
Can continue practicing and, as they progress, the software will not become obsolete because it gets better and more powerful every year.
Inkscape is so powerful and complex that there’s always something new to learn, no matter how advanced you are.
How to Use Inkscape for Beginners?
Inkscape is great for both beginners and advanced designers.
It is particularly a great tool for beginners because it teaches you the principles of vector graphics software.
It has many tools you can use to create drawings (such as the transform tool, ellipses tool, pencil tool) that let you manipulate vector objects in complex ways into whatever you need.
With Inkscape, people can create magnificent illustrations that are very realistic and professional.
Inkscape allows you to learn the basics of vector graphics software.
First, you need to learn the basics of the program in order get a feel for it and how vector graphics behave.
SVG images […] can be searched, indexed, scripted, and compressed. SVG images can be created and edited with any text editor, as well as with drawing software. All major modern web browsers—including Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Microsoft Edge—have SVG rendering support.
What does this mean?
It means that Inkscape files are standard and can be read with most web browsers and edited with most vector software, including Adobe Illustrator.
You can definitely use Inkscape for professional design.
In fact, many professional designers prefer Inkscape because it helps them keep production costs low while getting a world-class vector editing program.
All vector graphics software function in similar ways because they come from a common philosophy. This is why learning Illustrator after having used Inkscape is not that difficult.
In other words:
Inkscape and Illustrator function in the very same way because they are both vector software that have the same foundation.
While Illustrator has become the standard in commercial graphic design agencies and studios, Inkscape actually allows you to make creations that are as good as those that are created with commercial software.
As you get more advanced, If you want to move on to commercial vector software such as Illustrator, the learning curve becomes so much easier.
If you were to move from Inkscape to Illustrator, you would have very little or even no problems at all going forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now you have three cicles within a triangle.
Duplicate upper left side 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).
b. Interpolate circles
Go to Extensions > Generate from Path > Interpolate.
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).
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.
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.
b. Delete original (guide) circles
Delete the three original guide circles before continuing with the next step.
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:
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.
Repeat on all sides, according to the fold of the original Woolmark logo.
Turn off unnecessary layers.
You now have recreated a version of the Woolmark logo and learned about circular grids, Boolean operations, and logo design in the process.