Custom swatch in Inkscape

Create Custom Swatches in Inkscape

Create Custom Swatches in Inkscape 1024 601 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating two things — first, how to create a gradient color palette between two different colors where it appears as if it’s a gradient, but it’s really just a series of individual colors. Then, I’ll be demonstrating how to create custom swatches within Inkscape from that same series of colors.

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This is something that comes in handy if you’re coloring in a graphic and would like to use a specific theme, like in the following example…

Example of how a custom swatch can be used

Gradient Color Palettes

First, create two squares and color them in with the two different colors you’d like to create your palette from. For this example I’m using yellow and pink, but you can use whichever colors you’d like.

Yellow and pink

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Next, we’re going to use the Interpolate extension (Extensions > Generate from path > Interpolate).

The interpolate menu

Set the values as depicted in the above image. Please note that the interpolation steps input reflects how many different colors you’d like in your palette + 2. For this example I’m creating a swatch with 10 colors, so I input 8. The reason for this is because two of those colors are defined by the two squares you’ve already created.

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Once applied, a series of objects reflective of your simulated gradient will be generated…

Simulated gradient

Now it’s time to create our custom swatch.

Custom Swatches in Inkscape

To add a color to a swatch, simply select one of the squares, and in the Fill and Stroke panel, click the Swatch button.

The fill and stroke menu

You won’t notice anything happen on your screen, but the color of the selected object will be added to your swatch. Now, go through the rest of the squares and do the same thing.

To view your custom swatch, simply open the Swatches menu by going to View > Swatches.

Custom swatch made in Inkscape

And there’s your newly-created gradient color palette! You can now use those colors to color in objects the same way you would using colors from Inkscape’s stock color menu.

Video Tutorial

For step-by-step instructions with voice narration, please watch the video tutorial below. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, simply leave a comment. 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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