I am launching my own publishing operation, where I can publish my own books and maybe, in the future, even books by other authors, too. I’m also toying with the idea of releasing books with my illustrations in. Anyway, for the new publishing operation, one of the first things I will need is a new logo. Step one was to draw the logo in my sketchbook. I did this the old-school way with a pencil and a sheet of paper, so the first step to turning my idea into a logo was to get the logo into my computer so I could I work on it and make it look beautiful. Usually you would just scan it, but my scanner is so old that Windows 10 refuses to even talk to it. Instead I took a picture with my mobile phone. It is super blurry and the white paper of the sketchbook looks orange, but that doesn’t matter. I’m just using it as a guide, after all.

The next step was to open Inkscape. Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor that can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, and logos. Inkscape makes an SVG file that can be used to export the logo at any resolution without loss of detail. Inkscape is perfect for building images using abstract, 2D shapes and text. The image is then filled with solid colors or gradients to create a professional looking result. In short, it’s the open source version of Adobe Illustrator.

I just imported the photo I took into Inkscape and started tracing the outline. It’s possible to do this with a mouse, but I have a nifty Bamboo graphics tablet, so I used that instead. Of course it’s a little more complicated than that. You trace the sketch by placing nodes, and Inkscape draws lines between them. Inkscape draws a straight line or a curved line depending on what type of node you place, and then you have to tidy things up a little, depending on how much of a steady hand you have.

Part of the logo is the outline of a cat’s head, and to make sure it was symmetrical, I just traced one side of the head and mirrored it, which I thought was pretty clever. Then I put the two sides together with the path, union function. The shape wasn’t perfect at the join, but it was pretty easy to fix up. After that I had a finished SVG file that I can export at any resolution, and in any color. It can have a color background or a transparent one, so it’s very versatile.

The very first place it is going to go, after this post, is the new Spiralcat Books website, and then onto the books themselves, as they get published.

Cosmic Girl

Cosmic Girl

A small Californian town becomes the scene of a mystery involving UFO sightings, terrifying supernatural forces, and a new girl in town. A few of the local children begin to understand that there’s more going on than meets the eye as the story continues with the discovery of a portal to another world, a sinister monster, unnerving supernatural forces, and kung fu. Cosmic Girl is a love letter to the 1970s, a sci-fi adventure, and a horror story with a terrifyingly sinister monster.