Recreating the Instagram Icon in Inkscape


If you like to share your photos with the rest of the world, you will probably be familiar with Instagram, a simple way to capture and share the world’s moments. Recently, Instagram has introduced an updated icon design, representing a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. In this tutorial, you will be recreating the icon from scratch using simple shapes, as well as the Gradient tool.

Let’s start by using the Rectangle tool to create a rectangle, which will form the outline for the envelope. Based on the reference, the width should be around 1.25 times of the height. Also, make sure that the rectangle only has a stroke and no fill.

Creating a Rectangle

Once done, take a look at the Tool Controls bar, located near the top of the interface. You might notice that besides the height and width, there are 2 more parameters: Rx and Ry. Adjusting these values allows you to control how rounded the corners of the rectangle will be. Experiment with the values until you get something similar to this:

Adjusting the Rx and Ry Values

Next, use the Bezier tool to draw out the rest of the envelope. For the fold, the process is slightly complicated. You will first need 4 nodes make something similar to an inverted triangle with the top cut off. Remember, you can shift the nodes using the arrow keys until you’re satisfied with the result.

Making the Fold

Click on the line segment between the 2 nodes in the middle with the Node tool, and drag downwards slightly. Now, select the same 2 nodes and Make Selected Nodes Smooth. Notice how the fold is now rounded in the middle, but straight on both sides. You can further adjust the curve using the handles. This trick is a great way to make any corner rounded in Inkscape.

Moving the Line Segment Downwards

Rounding the Corner

Finishing the Fold

The lines are a bit thin at the moment, so let’s fix that. Select all the lines, go to the Fill and Stroke dialog, and adjust the Stroke width until they are thick enough. After that’s done, group them together using CTRL + G and change their stroke to white. It’s a good idea to make a dark background so you can see the envelope.

Making the Lines Thick

Let’s move on to the background. Select the Rectangle tool and hold down CTRL to create a square. Similar to the envelope, make the corners rounded by adjusting the Rx and Ry values in the Tool Controls bar. After that, remove any stroke if present, before filling it in with any color.

Creating a Rounded Square

Now for the fun part — select the Gradient tool and take a look at the Tool Controls bar. You will see two types for gradient (radial and linear), as well as the option to apply the gradient on either the fill or stroke. Here, you will be starting with a linear gradient on the fill. Click on the bottom left corner of the rounded square, and then double click on the upper right corner to create a two-color gradient. With the Fill and Stroke dialog opened, click on the bottom left node (also called the starting node) and change the RGBA for the fill to F9ED32FF. For the top right node, it’s EE2A7BFF. You will get a nice yellow-to-pink gradient. Also, you can move the nodes around to adjust how much of each color is in the gradient.

Making a Gradient

Changing the Colors

Make a duplicate of the rounded square and create another gradient, starting with 002AFFFF on the top right corner and EE2A7BFF on the bottom left corner. However, this time you will have to reduce the opacity of the pink color to 0, before moving the nodes until you get something like this:

Making the Second Gradient

Click on the starting node, go to the Tool Controls bar and Insert New Stop. A new node will be added to the middle of the gradient. Select it, and change the RGBA to 9C2EA6FF. What you will see is a subtle blue-to-violet transition, similar to the reference.

Finishing the Background Colors

That’s about it. Use Page Up to shift the envelope above the background. You might also need to scale the envelope with the Select tool (remember to hold down CTRL so you keep its aspect ratio), so it fits within the background. Finally, go to the Align and Distribution to align both of them vertically and horizontally.

The Final Result

Well done! You have just recreated the Instagram icon on Inkscape. Don’t be afraid to play around with the Gradient tool and see what kind of gradients you can come up with.

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