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About Graphic Design
About Vector Images
About Free Software and Open Source
These are installers, source code, license, and checksum files of Inkscape. The installer files represent Inkscape is cross platform for windows (exe), gnu/linux (appimage), and macOS (dmg) platforms. This means Inkscape can run on your PCs, laptops, and Macintoshes. The source code and license files tell that Inkscape is free libre open source software. The checksum file tells that Inkscape software is secure and authentic so user feels safe which are traits special to free software community as opposed to the tradition of grabbing software from untrusted yet rather random sources. The file size tells that Inkscape is small and not bloated. All these files in one tell that Inkscape is good for you.
Inkscape is a professional computer drawing program. It can be obtained gratis, easy to learn, fully unlimited to use, and can produce any kind of digital creativities as user wishes. For example, Inkscape is good for making logos, illustrations, banners, posters, flyers, business cards, user interface mockups, and many more. In licensing, it is categorized both as Free software and as Open source. In graphic design, it is categorized as vector editor. In technology, it is cross platform meaning available for all major operating systems Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux. In technical advantages, it is extensible as user can add new functionalities by plugins and the program itself is modifiable up to source code level. In real life, it can be considered as replacing alternative to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW as Inkscape can read and write both document formats.
How To Get Inkscape
On Ubuntu computer, for example, open your menu and search for inkscape and you find the program Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor and finally run it. See picture below. On other computers, the procedures are similar. If you don’t find it, it means it is not installed yet so please read section above to get Inkscape into your computer.
- 1) Menubar: a series of function groups starts with File ends with Help.
- 2) Titlebar: a display of program’s name and document’s name.
- 3) Toolbar: a series of main function buttons.
- 4) Toolbox: a series of drawing tools.
- 5) Sidebar: a right positioned various options.
- 6) Colobar and statusbar: color palette and action information display.
- 7) Rulers: horizontal and vertical measurement tools.
Inkscape user interface is considerably very easy to understand even for beginners. However, you will not learn all items at once but start from the most used first little by little. You will rely on experiences so try to exercise a lot!
Toolbox is one of the things that are most accessed in Inkscape. There are twenty tools available but you will not always use them except several ones. Every tool can be activated by a click or by pressing a particular keyboard key. When you hover mouse over a tool, you will see the tool name and its shortcut key.
There are two sidebars you will use often in Inkscape they are Export and Fill & Stroke. Press Ctrl+Shift+E and Ctrl+Shift+F shortcut keys to open both respectively. You use Export Sidebar when you want to produce real images of your designs. You use Fill & Stroke Sidebar when you want to adjust color, transparency, and blurriness plus shapes of lines of your designs.
How To Play
- Cursor: clicking a tool enables that tool.
- Saving: pay attention where you save the document.
- Exporting: make sure to click Export.
Let’s exercise! Here you will learn the first basics of Inkscape. Don’t afraid to make mistakes. You will do only five steps below.
- I) Create new document
- II) Make vector out of bitmap
- III) Make rectangle
- IV) Make text
- V) Combine everything
- VI) Save and export
Okay, let’s go!
I) Create New Document
- Go to File > New > a blank canvas created.
II) Make Vector Out Of Bitmap
- 1) Download this logo picture in bitmap format inkscape.png.
- 2) Drag and drop logo to Inkscape canvas.
- 3) If asked, just answer with ‘yes’.
- 4) Logo inserted.
- 5) Select logo item.
- 6) Go to Path > Trace Bitmap > OK.
- 7) Paint it white.
- 8) Move traced logo item from original logo under it.
III) Make Rectangle
- Create a rectangle by size about 4:3. It’s okay to be not too precise.
- Color it red.
IV) Make Text
- Use DejaVu Bold font. It is the default on Ubuntu systems alike.
- Create text that says HELLO\nINKSCAPE wher \n is one newline.
- Give Spacing between lines = 0.77.
- Give Spacing between letters = -10.
- Resize text so its length 3/4 rectangle’s, height 1/3 rectangle’s.
V) Combine Everything
- 1) Move the text to bottom left corner of rectangle.
- 2) Move the logo upper left of the text.
- 3) Final picture should be like this.
V) Save and Export
- 1) Select red rectangle item. Item selected.
- 2) Press Ctrl+Shift+E keys. Export Sidebar appeared.
- 3) Select Export area = Selection.
- 4) Fill Image size = 300 dpi.
- 5) Fill Filename = drawing.png. Click Export As to select saving folder.
- 6) Click Export.
- 7) Picture saved in your selected folder.
Finished. Congratulations for you first artwork!
Up to this point, you learned at least 10 very basics graphic design movements of Inskcape namely selecting items, moving, resizing, drawing rectangle, writing text, adjusting text, coloring, tracing (translating bitmap into vector), saving and exporting. We will continue to exercise these set of movements along with this series. I hope this 1st part will be useful for you. See you next time!
to be continued…
This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.