How to Make Word Shapes in Inkscape

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Inkscape is a free alternative to vector illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator and Coral Draw. Although it may seem very basic at first glance, the program does allow a lot of creative expression and can be used to create a decent word logo. Inkscape includes several features to enable designers to use typography creatively, including the tools to create your own font. Inkscape supports the SVG and EPS file formats, which are compatible with other commercial programs.

Converting Words Into Shapes

  • In many cases, printers don't have the font you have been using for your logo. For this reason, graphic designers usually convert the text into separate shapes instead of keeping it as one word. As soon as the letters are individual shapes, the designer can further customize the logo by changing the shape of certain letters. In Inkscape, click on the text you want to convert and select "Path" from the top toolbar. Click "Object to Path" and select the node selector arrow from the left toolbar to select and change the individual shapes.

Making Words Follow the Path of a Shape

  • Inkscape allows you to shape text in such a way that it follows the path of a shape. This is useful for designs such as crests or to make it appear as if the text is a shape of its own. After drawing the shape and typing the text anywhere on the page, select both items by clicking on them and pressing the "Shift" key or by clicking and dragging to include both items. Select "Text" from the top menu, and then click "Put on Path." The text will now appear around the shape. If you clear the color of the shape, it will appear as if the text itself is a shape on its own.

Making Words Fill a Shape

  • Another way to make words appear as if they are shapes is to make the text fill the shape instead of using a solid color fill. Select the shape and the text by clicking on both items while holding the "Shift" key. Click on "Text" from the top toolbar and select "Flow into Frame." The text will now appear inside the shape and flow to fill the shape.

Making Your Own Words from Shapes

  • Some designers will create the letters of a word logo themselves instead of using a font. It is possible to create your own font in Inkscape and assign certain shapes to letters on the keyboard. Select "View" from the top menu, and then select "Grid" if you want an even font. Open the SVG Font Editor from the "Text" menu option, and create a new font by clicking the "New" button. To create a font, you need to define each shape as a glyph in Inkscape's SVG font editor. Select your shape. If it consists of separate objects, you need to convert it to one shape first by selecting "Path" and then clicking "Union." Select the "Glyphs" tab in the SVG font editor, and then click on "Add Glyph." Click next to the first glyph, which will automatically be named "glyph 1," and assign a keystroke to your shape by typing the key you want to assign it to. Click "Get Curves from Selection" to have the font editor create the letter. Repeat the process for each letter you want to assign, and save the file as an SVG. Use an online font converter such as Fontconverter, FreeFontConverter or Font2Web (see Resources) to convert the file to a TTF (true type font).

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