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How to Make a Gradient in Inkscape
  • By Design Bundles
  • 05 Jul 2021
  • 10 Mins
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Make a Gradient in Inkscape

Learn how to make a linear or radial gradient with a font in this step-by-step Inkscape tutorial.

Gradients are the smooth transition from one or more colors to another. In Inkscape there are two general gradients, Linear and Radial. These are easily applied to fonts and SVGs with one click. The gradients can be edited by changing color transition, shape and size. A gradient fill is also useful as a shading option.

In this tutorial we will show you how to Create a Linear Gradient and Create a Radial gradient with Font.


Create a Linear Gradient

A Linear Gradient transitions colors in a straight line. By default the gradient has two color stops when first placed. Additional color stops can be added throughout the gradient. Begin by opening Inkscape and clicking on New Document.

Step 1 - Create and edit a basic Linear Gradient

We are going to start with a quick square with a gradient fill. Click on Create Rectangles and Squares on the left side panel and draw out a square. Click on the Create and Edit Gradient tool also on the left panel. At the top of the screen select the Linear Gradient.

Double click anywhere in the square to place the gradient. The last color used will be applied to the one color stop.

Add gradient Inkscape

Click on one color stop to select it. It will highlight in dark blue. Choose from the color palette at the bottom of the screen. Repeat this for the second stop.

Adjust color stop Inkscape

Step 2 - Adjust position and size of color stops

The gradient can be repositioned and resized by moving the color stops. Placing the color stops further apart creates a better transition/blend between colors. The closer they are the harder and more defined the transition.

Click on one color stop and drag it in any direction. The color stops for the top square were moved to the corners. The transition remains smooth.

In the second square the color stops were moved closer together. The color transition no longer blends smoothly.

Reposition Linear gradient Inkscape

Step 3 - Add more color stops

Multiple color stops can be added to a gradient. How the colors blend depends on where the color stops are placed. If you place two contrasting colors together, the transition will be less smooth.

With the gradient still active, place your mouse over an area of the line. The gradient icon will show a plus sign. Double click to place a new color stop. Place more color stops as needed.

Add more color stops to gradient Inkscape

Step 4 - Apply a Linear Gradient to an SVG

Gradients can be applied to SVG objects for a more customized look. In this example a Mommy and Me SVG created by BlackCatsMedia was used.

The gradient can be applied to the entire SVG or the individual parts. To apply a single gradient, all individual objects need to be combined. Go to File top left and click Open. Locate your SVG file and open it.

The single gradient will be applied to the top Mama Shark SVG. Draw a selection box around all of the individual objects. Click on the Path menu top left and choose Combine. Click on the gradient tool, double click anywhere on the SVG to place a gradient. Edit and add color stops as you want.

Add gradient to SVG Inkscape

The Mama Shark SVG at the bottom was not combined. A gradient was applied to each individual object.

Create a Radial gradient with Font

A Radial Gradient has a circular shape with two gradient lines. The lines are at right angles to each other. In this example the Radial Gradient will be applied to the Friendship font created by KA Designs.

Step 1 - Type out text and add Radial Gradient

On the left side panel click Create and edit text objects (symbol A). Click anywhere on the canvas and type out your text. Next, click on Create and edit gradients and select Radial gradient top left.

Place your mouse over the font and double click to place the gradient. The end color stops both represent the same color. Only one end color stop needs to be edited.

Add a radial gradient Inkscape

Step 2 - Edit and add color stops

Click on one end color stop and change the color. The second end color stop will change automatically. Click and change the middle color stop.

When adding color stops you need only add on one gradient line. A duplicate will be placed on the second gradient line. Both will represent the same color. Change color stops using the palette. Clicking and dragging on one changes the blending on both.

Add color stops radial gradient

Step 3 - Reposition and resize the gradient

The Radial Gradient uses the end color stops to resize the gradient. These stops can be moved independently but always at a 90 degree angle to each other. Click on one stop and drag inwards or outwards. Repeat with the other stop.

The middle color stop is used to reposition the gradient. Place your mouse over the stop until it highlights red. Click and drag to reposition around the font.

Reposition resize radial gradient Inkscape

The gradient feature works wonderfully for creating print and cut projects.

Check out our tutorials on how to make gradients in Affinity Designer, Adobe Illustrator, or Sure Cuts a Lot.


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