Quick Tip: Make Eye Catching Designs with Inkscape


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Sometimes all you need is an abstract or intricate motif to beautify your design, but when you try to find a stock image you often have to pay for it or it's not exactly what you're after. Thankfully there's some interesting tools in Inkscape suitable for this kind of work. In a few easy steps you can make abstract or floral designs in exactly the style that you need.

Step 1: Spiro Path

The main tool we will be using is the Spiro Path. You will find Spiro Path in the latest version of Inkscape (0.47.) Spiro Path is a cool tool that will automatically convert any path you create to be a better and orderly path. There are three kinds of items that we can use to create a Spiro Path. The Triangle, Ellipse, and From Clipboard. Select "None" if you don't want to use a shape and just want to make a good line. Using just the line tool,we can easily create our very own style of floral design or swirly curl.

Step 2: Path Effects

We must understand that the Spiro Path uses two kinds of path effects, Spiro Spline and Pattern Along Path. Pattern Along Path gives us the opportunity to cut shapes, and paste them so we can edit it as we like to get the shape we want. Note that the Spiro Path has limitations, which sometimes makes the path broken when using 'edit on canvas'. Don't worry, you can use undo to fix it.

Step 3: Create Tiled Clones

Another exciting and interesting part is using, 'Create Tiled Clones'. This tool is useful for creating a pattern or forming the composition of the clones of our Spiro Path. There are several types of symmetry you can use when making clones. Using the few Spiro Paths we have made, we can create good designs with this tool. The images shown below are made from a combination of the two shapes above (in image 3 and 4).


Mastering this technique isn't difficult, the greater your curiosity for making shapes with these two tools, the more experience you will have in processing the shapes.