I need help with a name sign I'm "trying" to generate

I am totally new to the Glowforge and I thought maybe I could reach out to the pros for some help with a design I am “trying” to make. I am using inkscape as my svg generator, and I must say, it is not very friendly. I work at a school, and they want me to learn to use the glowforge with a free software before we sign up for a program that might be a little easier.

Anyway, I’m attaching the image of what I want it to look like when done, but I don’t know the order of steps to get it done. For example, after entering my text and my object, do I get it all the size I want and then union it? I am wanting the letters and the cowgirl hat to be cute out and glued on a solid background that is the shape of everything. I hope what I’m asking makes sense, lol I don’t know all of the terms that people that actually know what they’re doing use. I am attaching what I want to finished product to look like, and what I have done so far. As you can see, there are white spots in my background outline and that should be solid. I just want to cut the background out, and glue the other pieces onto the background piece after I paint them. I would sure appreciate some suggestions because I am lost on how to get this work out for me. I only have until Friday to get it all done for one of my students.
brooklyn name board


You’re like 70% there!
I’m not on my computer, so if you or somebody else hasn’t figured this out be the time I’m home I’ll make you a walk through.

The remaining steps are:

  1. Make all the interior lines a different colour than the exterior ones.
  2. Remove the lines from around the blue areas.
  3. Make a copy of everything and create and outline, then enlarge the outline to the size you want.

You’re so close!


You’re pretty close. This is the kind of thing that is easy to explain but is best done as a step by step tutorial. I see Deirdrebeth is replying so i’ll see what she says before I reply.


OK cool, I’ll do a quick step by step.


You rock :slight_smile:


You are AWESOME!!! Thank you so very much! I’m just really impressed that I got it 70% done considering I really know nothing :rofl: Again, THANK YOU for the step by step directions. I do better with directions that are written down, so I truly appreciate your help!


OK here we go, warts and all. I’m going to go quickly, ask questions if/when I gloss too much :wink:

I start with your file, and take a look at the nodes with the node editor, just to see what we’re in for.
Load it up…

Go to the node selection tool and click the top outline shape to see what we have:

OK cool it’s paths. That’s a good starting point.

I try lining things up to see how close we are. I use the alignment tools to center the two:

I can immediately see that the outline isn’t right, the border on the right side is too narrow. That’s ok I’ll just rebuild the whole thing.

Kill the original outline and duplicate the Brooklyn name:

Decide on a border width, I choose 0.25" because why not. I simulate this by changing the stroke width to 0.5" and turn off the fill just for visual clarity:

I immediately identify a problem with the kerning (the space between letters) that has no connection between the L and Y. I want to fix that and since this is a path, we’re all good. I go into the node editor, select the nodes of the YN, and move them over to the left with the arrow keys.

Once the Y is touching the L on top and bottom edges, we’re ready to proceed. First though, we need to now delete the original BROOKLYN and copy our new (red) one so we have two of the same paths.

Once that’s done, lets turn that into an outline. Select the red BROOKLYN, and do Path->stroke to path. This will make the outline of your paths now a real shape. If you inspect the nodes, it’ll look like this:

The process of removing the interior nodes (white space) is easy: Use the Path->break apart command to split all those little shapes into separate paths (which will look awful), then do Path->union, to weld it all together. I changed it to pink just for visual clarity:

Now let’s use the alignment tools to see how it might look:

Looking pretty good!

OK cool, that’s our outline. Let’s turn our attention to the name itself. Drag it back off our pink outline.

First step, we duplicate it, because we’re about to modify the name. We need to make an outline of the letters to cut and also the filled vector for the engraving. So lets take our new copy, give it a stroke and no fill so we can see what’s up.

Now we need to do a similar thing to the outline, where we Path->break apart and then do some unioning. What we’re trying to do is get all the letter outlines and the inner holes in the O, B and R letters. To do that you have to do a little careful selecting. I drag a selection around the whole thing,

then use Shift-clicks to carefully deselect the inner holes.

At that point I can do a Path-Union to merge them all into a single outline. You should have letter outlines with inner holes at this point. I’ve color coded them (this makes the inner holes a different step so the glowforge can be told to cut them first, which is good practice) and made the stroke a little thicker to show you the end result:

Align your letter outlines to your filled engrave and now you have engraved letters with a cut outline.

OK almost there!

Now to make your life easier, I like to put a copy of the letter outlines in the larger cut outline. You can score them and it helps you align the letters when gluing. I copy, paste, and then use the centering tools to align everything:

But wait! What’s this nonsense?!

Screenshotcr (384)

Uh oh, that’s an issue, the original path has what the technical experts call “jankiness”. This is annoying and just won’t do, so we have to start over and repair the original path.

Looking closely we can see there’s an error in the path.

We delete that node and repeat everything, with one extra step.

The Jankiness has me spooked on the filled BROOKLYN engrave, so I am going to convert that path to a image using the “make bitmap copy” command.[1] We aren’t in the habit of making ugly engraves, so it’s important that our bitmap copy is high resolution. We head to preferences, search for DPI and make sure your bitmap copy export DPI is set to 300 or more.

Now, when you do a make bitmap copy, it’ll be a very high quality.

Move your vector BROOKLYN off to the side, we don’t need it anymore. Use the alignment tools to make sure everything is centered, and we have our final version:

And I think we’re good to go.

Here’s the final zipped SVG:

brooklyn.zip (423.4 KB)

Ignore the vector engrave, engrave the image, score the black stroke, cut the blue and red strokes. Assemble :slight_smile:

Just a quick note: With practice this is very fast. I timed myself when I had to go back and redo it after repairing the globe path, it was about 4 mins and 30 seconds from that until it was done.

  1. this is because if the path has other issues (it will, and it does just by a cursory examination of the nodes. There are all kinds of extra nodes that tend to happen when tracing an image etc) then you can get weird rogue lines in your engrave that will ruin the end result. Rasterizing (converting to a bitmap file format) will eliminate that possibility, and give you exactly what you see on screen. ↩︎


To help you along on your inkscape adventure tune in to https://www.youtube.com/@LogosByNick
Tons of videos that will guide you through everything you need to know about the program.


To help you along on your Inkscape adventure without videos tune into

Tons of written guides to teach you everything from the basics to much more advanced topics.

It was written for an earlier version of the program, so you may need to double check the locations of menus and what not but generally speaking all of the features behave the same way. These are still some of the best guides that I know of for Inkscape. Like you, I prefer to learn by reading instead of watching.

(Apologies to @beerfaced for lifting his format :slight_smile: )


All good.


WOW!! I cannot thank you enough for this! The examples and directions you’ve given me have helped me tremendously! I sincerely appreciate your help so very much. I was trying to get this made for a student of mine that comes from a less fortunate home. She told me several months ago that she really likes the “disco cowgirl” theme but since everything you can buy in it is pink she didn’t want it. I thought I would make her something personalized in her favorite color. She is a senior, so her last day of school is tomorrow, and you helped me to achieve what I wanted to do just in time. Again, I can’t express my gratitude enough! You are a great teacher!!!

Many thanks and blessings always :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: