Shattered / Smashed Text using Inkscape

Here is a tutorial to create shattered and smashed text using the vector graphics appliation, Inkscape. I first posted this tutorial on my personal blog a few years ago. This version is slightly refreshed, but is pretty much the same tutorial that i first published.


Step 1 — Type your text

Choose the text tool and click on the canvas and type the text you desire. Be sure that you single click the canvas with the text tool to create a normal text object (not a flowed text object).


Step 2 — Kerning!

With the text tool still selected, place the cursor in between two of the letters in the text. Then hold down the alt key and then press an arrow key on the keyboard. This will manually adjust the spacing between the letters (Kerning). Repeat this process for all the letters in your text.


Step 3 — Living on the wedge

To take a wedge out of the text, first draw a wedge over your text using the path tool. In the example below, my wedge is red.


Next, select both the wedge and the text, and duplicate them (Right click > Duplicate). Ensure that you do not deselect then after the duplication.


With one copy of the text / wedge combination still selected, choose path > intersection, to create the wedge. Change the colour of the wedge to something that will stand out (i chose magenta).


Finally, select the other red wedge and the other text path and choose path > difference. This will remove the wedge shape out of the text.


Step 4 — Wedgies all round

Repeat Step 3 on the black text for a bunch of different wedges. You should end up with something like this…


Next, move the wedges out a bit to create the “shattered” look.


now, combine all these seperate paths together by pressing  ctrl + A to select all, then choose path + combine


Step 5 — Getting Dirty (adding grunge)

To apply a “grunge” look to the text we first need a grunge “brush”. Máirín Duffy wrote a great tutorial on making a grunge texture. Once you have your grunge brush as a path, lay it over the text.

Finally, select both the grunge and the texty path, and choose path + difference to create…

…the finished version!

7 thoughts on “Shattered / Smashed Text using Inkscape

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