Every time I visit other websites with cool vector graphics, I always mourn the fact that I have no idea how to go about creating such things. I recognize that it’s not everyone’s preferred style, but I really feel that some tasteful vector based icons and graphics can really boost a websites wow factor.
Getting Started with Vector Graphics
While I know that Adobe Illustrator is the premier software for such artwork, the entrance fee of $535 for the Mac version and $577 for the Windows version is simply too steep for something that I’ll most likely just play around with for the time being. And no, I really don’t know why the Windows version is more expensive. However, in doing a little searching, I found that Inkscape is a free alternative. That’s right! Absolutely free! And it’s available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Learning to Draw Vector Graphics
After downloading and installing the software, where do I start? I was always daunted by this task — believing that it was much more difficult than it really is. A little searching and I found a site with 35 Inkscape Tutorials some of them are step by step instructional articles, and some are even video tutorials so you can really get a feel for what is being done.
I chose to start with “Creating a Coffee Cup with Inkscape” as it looked like it was well written (it was) and at my skill level (also true). It took about 30 minutes, and here is my result. I realize that it’s slightly different than the picture, but I didn’t like the stripes or the handle so I simply omitted those steps.
Overall, I think it turned out quite nicely! It’s inspired me to continue to mess around with these techniques — I wonder what else I can create?