Book Review: Inkscape Beginners Guide by Bethany Hiitola

Packt Publishing recently sent me an e-copy of Inkscape Beginners Guide by Bethany Hiitola to review. For my review I am going to look at a couple of key areas that are important to me when reading and using books such as Inkscape Beginners Guide. And that would be Content, Formatting/Layout and my Overall Impression of the book. So, let’s get to it.

First a quick look at the description from Packt Publishing:

Learning to use Inkscape, an exciting open-source vector graphics program, broadens your software toolkit as a graphic designer. Using practical, real-world examples, you’ll learn everything about the software and its capabilities so you’ll be able to design anything from logos to websites.

Inkscape Beginner’s Guide is a practical step-by-step guide for learning this exciting vector graphics software. Not only will it take you through each menu item and toolbar, but you will also learn about creating complex shapes, text styling, filters, working with images, extensions, and the XML editor—all using real world examples.

The book starts with an overview of vector graphics and how best to use them when designing for digital and print mediums. Then we install Inkscape and start learning all the ins and outs of the software.

You’ll build your first vector graphic while learning best practices for using layers, and build simple and complex objects with shapes and paths that will ultimately become exciting graphics to be used in your designs.

Beyond designing sample logos and brochures while learning the software, you’ll also learn how to use filters, install and use extensions, and the ins-and-outs of SVG and the XML Editor in Inkscape.


I looked at both the mobi (kindle format) and the pdf ebook versions. Both were formatted cleanly and flowed properly when read. This is very important when viewing on the growing number of mobile devices available for these formats. I personally used a small android device to view the mobi ebook and had no problems reading the book or viewing the screenshots.

Each chapter is organized similarly, in a an easy to digest manner that leads you through new information quickly and efficiently building on what was previously learned. Each new concept is introduced with a “Time for Action” heading where instructions are given to perform or create what is being covered, followed by a “What just Happened” section that explains in more detail what was just done. Then there is a Pop Quiz to test your knowledge and then “Have a Go Hero” section of practical exercises to reinforce the concepts.


This book is aimed at beginning users, both those new to Inkscape and those new to vector graphics in general. The chapters and exercises take the reader on a tour of Inkscape’s tools and abilities in a well thought out manner. Once finished, the reader should have a fairly good grasp of the basic fundamentals of Inkscape and the ability to start experimenting on their own.

Project files and resource links are provided as required for individual exercises so that the reader can follow along and achieve the same result as shown in the exercise.

Additionally, because of the way the book is laid out, going back to reference individual tasks will be easy and make this a great reference guide to refresh your memory on specific tasks.

My Overall Impression

Inkscape Beginners Guide does a good job at presenting the basics of using Inkscape. The exercises were interesting, easy to follow and presented good launching points for further experimenting and exploration. This book is not going to turn you into a master vector genius, but it will provide you with a good foundation to continue learning and exploring on your own.

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 298 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2012
ISBN : 1849517207
ISBN 13 : 9781849517201
Author(s) : Bethany Hiitola
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Beginner’s Guides, Open Source


One response to “Book Review: Inkscape Beginners Guide by Bethany Hiitola

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