Designing a Sports Logo in Inkscape

In this tutorial, you will be designing a sports logo from scratch. A lot of such logos are similar in style: a mascot with a thick outline and bold shadings. Unlike the Meteor and Instagram tutorials, you won’t be using shapes for this one. Instead, the Bezier and Node tools will take up most of your workflow.

I have chosen the fox as the mascot today and came up with a simple sketch for the design. You can use my sketch by right clicking on it and Save Image As… However, if you have a drawing program such as MyPaint and a graphics tablet, it’s recommended that you come up with a design that you can call your own; you just need to the techniques that will taught here.

Once you have the image saved as a PNG, let’s open up Inkscape and import it by pressing CTRL + I. A dialog will pop up; the options doesn’t really matter, so choose whatever works best for you. A note though: Embed saves the image to the document, while Link captures the image from its current directory. In other words, should you ever delete the sketch from your workstation, you will still be able to see and edit it in the SVG file if it’s embedded instead of linked. In this case, since you won’t need the sketch once everything is said and done, feel free to link it to save space.

Next, use the Bezier tool to trace out the sketch. You don’t to be accurate — just add nodes to the corners and turns for now.

Because the traced lines are not very visible since they are all black, it’s a good idea to make them thicker and change them to a different color. Also, notice how the traced lines are grouped below (as shown by the colors). The reason there are 2 other groups of traced lines for the eye and left ear is that they are shapes that are outside the outline. If you are using your own sketch, you will have to group the traced lines based on your own discretion. It’s a bit hard to explain in words, but you will understand with more practice.

Once the traced lines are in place, you can use the Node tool and adjust the lines until they fit the sketch. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, please refer to An Introduction to Inkscape to learn more. It’s pretty straightforward for sharp corners, but for curves such as the one below, you have to make the selected node smooth. Don’t be afraid to play around the Node tool and see what it has to offer.

You should get something like this:

Let’s make the outline thicker and fill in the shapes to better match the sketch. Remember, you can go to the Fill and Stroke dialog and adjust the stroke width.

For the eye, you want to cut out the orange part from the rest of the shape. Use the Node tool and select both the blue and orange lines by holding down SHIFT. Now, go to the Path menu, click on Difference, and be amazed by the result! You might notice a few more options, such as Union and Division. Again, feel free to try them out. Also, be sure to remove the stroke from all the filled shapes.

Change the RGBA of the outline and filled shapes to 0A1632FF. 

However, the right ear doesn’t look too nice; we want it to be a straight curve to the tip instead of two bends. Let’s fix that by bringing the filled shape up to the tip, then adjusting the curves so it looks smooth.

Now, click on the outline and fill it in with FF3402FF. We’re almost there.

Since a fox’s face is white at the bottom, create two shapes like the example below and fill them in with FFF9FBFF: one for the face and the other for the eye.

For the eye, you can simple bring the white color down by pressing Page Down. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same for the other since pressing Page Down will bring it under the face.

My solution is to select the outline, duplicate it with CTRL + D, then remove the fill color. Here’s what you should get now:

Let’s give it a background color as well — you can’t really go wrong with the same color as the fox.

Looking good, but for the final touch, duplicate the outline with CTRL + D, change the stroke color to D1D0DFFF, make the width much thicker than the original, and bring it to the bottom. Do the same for the left ear.

Done! Hopefully your own logo looks good as well. Feel free to share them in the comments below.

2 Replies to “Designing a Sports Logo in Inkscape”

  1. It would interesting to see if you could do the same thing, using the path->trace bitmap tools.

    1. Yep, it’s definitely possible, though it’ll result in quite a number of unwanted nodes. Personally, I feel tracing it manually is cleaner and saves more time.

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