Creating a vector version of a logo

This week I’ve been rebuilding the Workshopshed logo as a vector graphic. The previous small version used a photograph of some planks for the background. I wanted to blow the image to a large size and hence a low-resolution photo was not going to cut it. If you try this you’ll end up with a pixelated image.

One thing to watch is that not everything that is stored in a vector file format e.g. EPS or SVG is necessarily a vector. It is possible to import bitmapped images into most vector editing software and those would not have scaled. Also watch for these when adding textures to an image.

My choice of tools to create this is InkScape, I learnt quite a bit about that package whilst creating the art for the little saw book. I also already had the main part of the icon as an SVG vector, this had been created with the “draw bezier curves and lines” tool.

A vector drawing of a jewellers saw, a small hand saw for cutting metal
Jewellers Saw

Ensuring the image looks good when zoomed in

My first step was to tidy up the screwdriver/callipers by selecting that and choosing the “Edit paths by nodes” function. I removed a few of the nodes and converted curves to straight lines. As well as turning some of the nodes into corners to get a sharper outline on the internal measuring part of the callipers and the tip of the screwdriver. I also modified the screwdriver so it was a bit more symmetrical.

As the tools and the planks will be quite separate I moved the tools onto their own layer by creating a new layer for the background. I turned that off for the time being.

Creating vector planks

For the planks I added a background rectangle the colour of the gap between the planks and added a green rectangle on top of this. It was shaded with a gradient fill from top to bottom. The roughen filter was used to make the edges of the rectangle a little wavy.

The Materials -> 3D Wood filter was applied to this rectangle to create the wood texture. This can be fine-tuned by moving the gradient fill controls and also by resizing the plank. The plank was copied 4 times and adjusted so that the planks all looked a bit different.

By creating a white square the same size as the image the planks can be “clipped” back to the size of the square. At this point I spotted that the planks had some strange artefacts on them when zoomed in. So I added a very fine blur filter which smoothed these out,

The final step was to re-enable the layer for the tools and to save the results.

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