Inkscape text portrait

Create Text Portraits with Inkscape

Create Text Portraits with Inkscape 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can create vector text portraits with Inkscape. This will be a relatively simple masking exercise, but I’ll also be introducing a new technique in flowing text into an object.

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The following will be a brief written overview for how to execute this effect with Inkscape. For complete step-by-step instructions with voice narration, skip to the end of the post for the video tutorial.

Inkscape Text Portraits

The first thing we need to do is import our desired image. You can use whatever image you’d like. For this tutorial, I’ll be using the following photo of a dog…

Example photo

Click to download full resolution image

Next, create a rectangle sized at the same width and height of your image and make it black. You can do this by right-clicking the image, copying it, then selecting your rectangle and going to Edit > Paste Size > Paste Size.

Now we need to generate our text. You can use whatever text you’d like, but for this tutorial I’m just going to generate some generic Lorem Ipsum text as a placeholder. To do the same, go to Extensions > Text > Lorem Ipsum.

How to generate Lorem Ipsum text with Inkscape

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It will bring up the following menu…

Lorem Ipsum menu

Based on the example image, I used the values depicted in the screenshot above.

Next, flow your text into the rectangle by selecting both objects and going to Text > Flow into Frame and make your text white.

Example text

I recommend using a bold, heavyweight font with minimal spacing between letters and lines.

The final step is to align your image over your text and mask it by going to Object > Mask > Set.

Here’s the final result…

Finished text portrait

Once complete, you can change the color of your text and the background if you’d like.

Video Tutorial

For step-by-step instructions with voice narration, watch the complete video tutorial with voice narration below. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and as always thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at

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