How To Create A Material Design Pattern with Inkscape

How To Create A Material Design Pattern with Inkscape 800 470 Nick Saporito

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how to create a vector material design pattern with Inkscape. The pattern is an abstract design with layered waves. The finished pattern could work well for clipping text and various other objects.

The following is just a brief overview of the steps taken to create this material design pattern. For complete step-by-step instructions, please watch the video tutorial at the top of the page.

Material Design Pattern

For this tutorial I’ll be working with a predetermined color palette. If you’d like to follow along with what I’m doing then feel free to download the palette below and paste it into Inkscape, otherwise you can use your own colors if you’d like.

Material design color palette

Click for full size image

The first thing we’re going to do is create a large square — roughly 800 pixels in width and height, but it doesn’t need to be exact. Bring the opacity down to roughly 50%.

Step 1

Now we’re going to use the Draw freehand lines tool to draw some wavy lines going over the square. You can learn more about Inkscape’s tools and uses in my overview tutorial.

In the tool settings menu make sure to select Spiro and set the smoothing to 46 (or somewhere thereabouts.)

Tool settings

This will allow us to create curved lines with smooth edges.

Step 2

Next, select all of the lines and combine them together by going to Path -> Combine. Then, select the combined lines along with the square and navigate to Path -> Division.

This will divide the square into separate pieces based on the spiro lines we previously created. Bring the opacity of everything back up to 100% and color them using the palette (or any other colors of your choosing.)

Step 3

The final step is to duplicate each piece individually, make it black, lower it, and give it a slight blur. This will create the appearance that each wave is made of material and layered above the other waves.

Step 4

Now we can group everything together and use another object as a clipping path. For this tutorial I used the Inkscape logo as an example, but you can use any object you’d like.

Finished material design pattern

And with that our material design pattern is complete! If you have any questions simply leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Hi, I'm Nick— a Philadelphia-based graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. Each year millions of users learn how to use design software to express their creativity using my tutorials here and on YouTube.

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