Although Adobe Illustrator is the most popular vector design software, many designers (professionals and amateurs alike) are interested in finding a suitable alternative. If you’re looking to save some money or avoid ongoing subscriptions for software, there are some other vector editing apps worthy of consideration. One of the most popular options is Inkscape.
Inkscape is free open-source software. Even though it doesn’t cost anything to download and use Inkscape, it’s a very capable program that includes most of the important functionality of Illustrator. Many designers find that Inkscape offers everything they need. (See our Inkscape vs. Illustrator comparison for more details.)
If you’re looking to learn more about Inkscape and how you can use it in your own work, here are 35 Inkscape tutorials that cover all the basics, as well as step-by-step instructions for creating certain designs.
Inkscape Tutorials for Beginners
If you’re new to Inkscape, it helps to get a solid foundational knowledge of the program and how it works. Later on, we’ll showcase tutorials that teach how to create specific designs, but in this section, you’ll find videos that cover the basics of Inkscape. You’ll learn more about Inkscape and the essential tools you’ll be using to create your designs.
Inkscape Ultimate Quickstart Guide for Beginners
This video is about 40 minutes long, and by watching it, you’ll get an excellent overview of Inkscape. If you’re new to the program, this is an outstanding resource that will help you as you move on to more in-depth tutorials.
All 21 Inkscape Tools Explained in 10 Minutes
Like other design software, Inkscape includes many tools that can be used in various ways. This short video quickly looks at each of the tools and what they do. You won’t get in-depth info on any of the tools here, but you’ll get a big-picture view that will help you understand which tools you’ll need to use in specific situations.
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How to Work with Text in Inkscape
Many of your designs in Inscape will include text, so it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the type tool and your options for working with and styling text. This brief video is less than three minutes long but it quickly covers the essentials you need to know about working with text in Inkscape.
Curved Text, Circular Round Text, Text on a Path
Building on the previous tutorial, this video shows step-by-step how you can use text on a path to create rounded or curved text. This is a technique that you may use in logo designs and other types of graphic design.
How to Work with Lines and Paths in Inkscape
Many of the vector designs you create in Inkscape will use lines and paths, so it’s essential to understand how these two work and what you can do with them. In about six minutes, this video provides an excellent overview with specific examples of how lines and paths can be used in your work.
How to Create and Work with Shapes in Inkscape
Just like lines and paths, shapes will be one of the most common building blocks for your designs in Inkscape. This four-minute video shows how you can use shapes creatively and effectively to create just about anything.
How to Create and Apply Patterns in Inkscape
Custom repeating patterns are very easy to create and use in Inkscape. Patterns can be highly useful for backgrounds and other elements within your designs. In only about two minutes, this video shows how you can start using patterns right away.
Saving and Exporting Files
Knowing how to save and export files is another important aspect of learning Inkscape. Being able to create something beautiful is a good start, but you’ll need to get that design into the format that you or your client need. In this section, you’ll find tutorials that explain how you can save or export your work when it’s done.
Exporting Vector Graphics from Inkscape
This three-minute video provides a solid overview of the process of exporting from Inkscape. It covers the save screen and the file format options you’ll see whenever you want to save or export a design. You’ll also learn the difference between vector vs. raster images, which is important to understand so you can choose the right file format.
How to Create Transparent PNGs from Vector Files in Inkscape
When you’re saving or exporting designs, using the PNG format will be one of the most common choices. If you’re creating a logo, icon, or another element that will be used on a website or within an app design, you may need a transparent background. This two-minute video explains how to save PNG files with transparency.
Exporting Images from Inkscape for Powerpoint
If you’re designing something to be used in a PowerPoint presentation. This video shows how to export the design in a format and size that can be used within PowerPoint.
Exporting Images from Inkscape for Google Slides
If you’re using Google Slides instead of PowerPoint, this video explains how to export files the right way.
Inkscape Design Tutorials
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Inkscape’s tools and how to save or export files, let’s move on and look at some more in-depth tutorials that walk you through the process of creating something specific in Inkscape. Find a few videos that appeal to you and work through the steps by following along.
Convert Handwriting to Vector Art in Inkscape
This quick tutorial shows how you can trace an image to create a vectorized design in Inkscape. For the purposes of this tutorial, you’ll be working with hand-written text, but the same approach can be used with other types of sketches and drawings.
Create a Quick and Simple Sketch Effect in Inkscape
This is a simple approach you can use to give text or shapes a sketched look with path effects. You have full control over details like the density and direction of the sketch effect, so it’s highly customizable.
Vector Image Trace
This 22-minute tutorial walks you through the process of creating a vectorized version of a photograph so it can be scaled to any size.
In about 15 minutes, you can follow along with this video that shows you the exact steps to create a nice vector donut design.
Simple Letter Logos
One of the most common projects for vector-based design involves creating logos. This eight-minute video shows how you can design beautiful and relatively simple letter logos in Inkscape.
Business Logo Design
Here’s another logo design tutorial that shows how to create a more abstract logo.
How to Make a Logo Design from an Image
This 12-minute video shows how you can create a logo design by starting with a photograph. The photo serves as the basis for the design, and the end result is a beautiful and memorable logo.
Logo Design Process Start to Finish
If you’re looking to learn more about logo design, this 23-minute video provides an overview of the entire process. It starts with a sketch on paper and ends with a completed logo designed in Inkscape.
Line Style Letters
By following along with this tutorial, in less than 10 minutes you’ll learn how to create these interesting line-style letters that can be used for logos or other text.
How to Create Custom Type Design
This custom type design is fairly easy to create once you know how to do it. This four-minute video shows the exact process you can use to create and customize the text effect.
Background Tile Patterns in Inkscape
In about 10 minutes, you can learn how to create an advanced custom tileable pattern that can be used in your designs.
Halftone Background in Inkscape
Halftone backgrounds can be used in a lot of different designs, and this tutorial shows how to create custom halftone backgrounds and patterns in Inkscape.
Cool Rainy Background
In less than seven minutes, you can watch this video tutorial and learn how to create a fun abstract background that’s sure to stand out.
Glitch Effect in Inkscape
Glitch effects are common in retro-inspired designs, and this 10-minute video shows how to create your own custom glitch effect vector.
Simple Line Art Designs
This in-depth video shows how to use line art for logos and other designs. You’ll learn very useful and practical techniques that be can be applied in a wide variety of projects.
Vector Smoke Effect
The vector smoke effect created in this five-minute tutorial works very well as an abstract background for your designs.
Liquid Gradient Effect
Here’s another way to create beautiful, colorful abstract backgrounds. Once you learn the technique, you can apply it with a variety of shapes and colors to get unique results each time.
Flat Vector Landscape Design in Inkscape
This detailed 30-minute tutorial shows how to design a beautiful nature-inspired scene.
How to Create Vector Portrait Illustration from Photo
This 27-minute video walks you through the process of creating a vector portrait that’s based on a source photo. Vectorized portraits can be fun to create and use within your work, so this is a technique you’re sure to find a use for.
How to Create a Flat Portrait Illustration from a Photo
This tutorial is similar to the previous one, but it walks you through the process of creating a portrait illustration with a different style.
How to Make Minimalist Map Art
Creating vector maps is a common and practical design project, and this 14-minute tutorial shows exactly how you can do it in Inkscape.
Create a Planet Vector
In this four-minute tutorial, you’ll learn how to use shapes to create a simple planet vector.
Neon Text Effect
Neon text effects are a lot of fun to use in the right situation. This 15-minute tutorial shows exactly how you can give the text in your designs a beautiful and realistic effect that resembles a neon sign.
How to Create WPAP Art
Wedha’s pop art portraits (WPAP) have a distinct and bold look. Creating a similar effect is possible in Inkscape. This 25-minute video explains the entire process so you can use this effect in your own work.
Inkscape is powerful open-source vector design software that provides a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. If you’re new to Inkscape, or simply looking to improve your existing skills, the Inkscape tutorials featured here will prove to be valuable resources that help you to master this popular program. Be sure to watch the videos that provide an overview of the basics, and then choose the specific design tutorials that interest you.
Lead image by Yuda Rizwan Simatupang.