February 20, 2023
If you are interested in learning how to work with Inkscape, start by downloading it here for free. Inkscape is an open source program for designers and is how I have made all of the free SVG Files you see on my page today! Also check out my beginners guide to inkscape blog post to begin your SVG journey along with my YouTube channel to learn how to create your own SVG designs.
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The most basic elements of any design are shapes, and both Cricut Design Space and Inkscape make creating shapes simple. Both programs feature customizable shape tools, such as circles and rectangles, that allow you to easily customize the size and shape of your design elements. There are also a variety of tools for curving lines or manipulating shapes with ease in order to create complex designs. Once you have mastered the art of changing shapes in Inkscape you can really start unleashing all your creativity when making your SVG files. If you want some basic shape SVG files with no work - check out my full list of free basic shape SVG files.
The Align and Distribute feature in both programs is essentially the same. This allows you to precisely align objects with other objects, or with a predetermined reference point. The align features in Inkscape actually give you more options in terms of lining up with corners or furthest points and the distribute option is the same. I use this feature on almost every SVG file that I make. Inkscape is super user friendly, scroll over the feature and it will tell you what it is. To find the align and distribute panel just use your dropdown menu under object towards the bottom in inkscape.
Both Cricut Design Space and Inkscape also have a few other useful features. These include the ability to slice objects into pieces, weld separate shapes together, and attach shapes so that they move as a single object. This can be very useful for creating complex designs quickly, or making subtle adjustments to existing designs without needing to redo the entire project. I feel as if Inkscape does a better job with these features in terms of clean cuts and welds. They make it easier to work within the program and I know Cricut has short cuts but I feel like it can be super glitchy (not that Inkscape is perfect). Once you learn short cuts in inkscape - which I will definitely do a full post on soon - the creation of your SVG files becomes so simple.
Both Cricut Design Space and Inkscape have the ability to create an offset of your object. This feature lets users add more depth to their designs than just basic fill colors and can be used for many purposes like adding layers to cake toppers or outlines to vinyl projects. Offset is a relatively new feature in Cricut Design Space and originally when this feature was not available many crafter relied on Inkscape for this! It's a great feature in both programs. I have found though that if the design is very intricate in Cricut Design Space that the offset can stall and not work. Just another reason to start learning Inkscape for all your SVG files!
The programs have some similar features as you see above, but over all Inkscape is going to give you more in the design aspect in the long run. Cricut is great for basic projects but when it comes to creating your own SVG files (and for free) I highly recommend starting your journey with Inkcape.
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