In efforts to learn the Inkscape software, I decided to create the blog’s logo completely in Inkscape (with a little help from Vecteezy!) Let me show you how I took a sketch and turned it into the logo you see at the top of the website.
- First, grab your sketchbook and colored pencils- It’s time to start brainstorming! In the below sketchpage, you can somewhat see my train of thought. I start out writing, then sketching, coloring, back to writing, erasing, coloring, etc.
I started out thinking that the graphic would be a combination of D4L (Design 4 Libraries) but came up on a snag… D4L is the name of a rapper… a rather scary looking rapper at that who might squash me like a bug if I use his name on my innocent Library site.
- After picking out a sketch that worked the best, I went to Vecteezy and “shopped” around for some inspiration and/or basework that I could use. Lo’ and behold! I stumbled across that colorful graphic I mentioned in my Vecteezy post and plotted how I could use it in my design. First things first, I imported it into Inkscape and started eliminating the excess design layers that I didn’t want to include.
- Next thing you will want to do is lay out all of your text you want to include. Start playing with different font styles and sizes and don’t be afraid to mix and match. Below, I used a very simple serif type for the words and a “prettier” font for the 4 to make it really pop. The next thing I did was grab the pen tool and create the outlines of a corner page turn. It doesn’t look that great yet, but no “designs in progress” do! Laying out the structure and basic look is the hardest part!
- My corner page turn didn’t look that great so plain. I wanted to add a pop of color- kind of like paint blobs. So I began deconstructing the vecteezy design and making a pattern out of the blobs. Once I was happy with the way they were blobbed together, I selected them all (click and drag your mouse much like you would highlighting a line in Word) and selected > Objects to pattern. It will appear like nothing changed. Don’t worry! You just created a pattern that can be found under the Fill and Stroke area.
- In order to fill the color of a shape, you must first click on the shape you wish to fill. Then go over to the Fill and Stroke options (if this is missing, try opening your Properties under the Window tab), and peruse through the fill options to find your newly made pattern. Below, I’ve added my custom pattern to one shape and an orange gradient to the other.
- All was going well until… bum, bum, bum! My near tears self was relieved when I reopened the software and everything had been saved. Lesson learned!
- I really wanted the 4 to POP out so I started playing with colors and a drop-shadow to give it more of a 3D feel.
- The corner page turner still didn’t feel enough like an actual page turning – especially since it wasn’t in the corner of anything. To solve this problem, I gave it a little more context by adding a stroke outline. When the stroke looked too heavy, I played with the weight, color, and pattern of the stroke. The dash look was purely accidental at first but ended up being just what was needed – the “unfinished, temporary” look I was hoping to achieve!
- Time to resize the document so my logo isn’t HUGE. This is done easily in the Document Properties options.
- A few more adjustments, like adding my tagline, and some rearranging of the graphic with the text and I’m close to done!
- Finally, time to export! Since I was exporting for the web, I chose the “Export as Bitmap” option so it will compress into a smallish file while still retaining the ability to scale for large screens. Don’t forget to also save your Inkscape file in case you want to make changes later!
Questions? Comments? Chat away!