Inkscape text reflection tutorial

Inkscape Beginner Tutorial: Reflective Text Effect

Inkscape Beginner Tutorial: Reflective Text Effect 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use Inkscape to create a reflective text effect where it appears that the top half of the text is reflecting — or casting a shadow of — the bottom half. The two main processes of note in this lesson are the division function and the perspective live path effect. This is a simple, easy-to-follow lesson that would be perfect for a beginner or first-time user of Inkscape.

The following is a brief overview of the steps that will be taken. Proceed to the bottom of the page to watch the video tutorial with complete step-by-step instructions and voice narration.

League Gothic Font

The first thing I would recommend doing is downloading and installing the League Gothic font (it’s free) before you open Inkscape. If you install the font while Inkscape is already open, it won’t be picked up in the font registry. You’ll need to restart the application.

Logo Design Guide

Curious about the creative process that inspires me to come up with design ideas and how I go about executing them? Be sure to check out my logo design guide for a look behind the scenes at my systematic approach to coming up with design ideas.

Download the League Gothic font for free here:

Reflective Text Effect with Inkscape

The first (and obvious) step is to simply generate some text. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ll be using the word “REFLECT” in all caps. It’s important that you use all caps when doing this.

Generated text

Next, we’re going to create a rectangle half the height of the text and use it as a reference point to perform a division path effect. This will split the text in half horizontally, as depicted below…

Inkscape path division

Once that’s done, we’re going to create another rectangle that matches the size of the lower half of the text. This rectangle will be the reference point for applying a perspective to the bottom half of the text.

Rectangle placed over bottom half of text

Now we’re going to grab the edit paths by nodes tool and use it to bring the bottom two nodes of the rectangle up further, then scale them outward to form the following shape…

Edited rectangle

Finally, we’ll use the perspective live path effect to make the bottom half of the text take the shape of our rectangle.

Perspective path effect applied

And with that, our design is complete!

Inkscape text casting a shadow

Video Tutorial

For complete step-by-step instructions with voice narration, watch the following video tutorial. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, do not hesitate to post them below. 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.

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