I'm making this logo for a website for practice (just new to all this by the way) and I'm struggling to make the circle/ring surrounding the coffee cup look sleek and 3D.

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I feel like the outside of the ring is sleek but when it gets closer to the inside, there's something wrong, as if it's too sharp or maybe the gradient isn't right. I don't have a clear idea on how to make the entire thing look realistic/sleek 3D.

  • Thank you for the answer and instructions @Billy Kerr I wonder could this work if we were to be facing the ring head on, so the 'darker ring' wouldn't be moved off to the side? I will take the time to study this as it's a perfect example and really what I need Commented Feb 23 at 20:48
  • well you could do that, but then the 3D effect wouldn't be as convincing. Real 3D objects cast shadows depending on the direction of the light hitting them.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 24 at 9:52
  • You're very right, thank you, I'll keep that in mind! Commented Feb 24 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


You could give the light some directionality so that the ring is highlighted on one side, and darker on the other, to give the illusion that it's a 3D object. Here's a simple way you could do it.

  1. Create a large circle with a thick stroke, light brown, and convert stroke to path, draw a circle with a thinner darker stroke inside the ring

  2. Move the darker circle off to one side

  3. Blur the darker circle

  4. Copy the lighter circle. Select all and group. Then paste in place, select all and do Object > Clip > Set clip

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You could then take this a step further by adding stronger white highlights. I made the highlight using a white stroked arc of a circle, and added a Power Stroke effect to create the variable width.

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For added silky smoothness, add a slight blur to the highlights

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It's not realistic drawing. Geometry of the coffee cup and the saucer below the cup is totally distorted, but it's distorted in a playful way, so I cannot see a reason to fix. (see Note 1)

One possibility to connect your ring better to the rest of the image: Make the ring a part of a tray. (I inserted a filled circle).

![enter image description here

Compensate the contrast loss of the texts! Make them darker. I tried to do it by increasing the contrast, but it affects the colors, too.

It's possible to draw the ring in Illustrator by 3D-revolving a small circle. Illustrator makes geometrically sound shading automatically. Directing the light downwards gives this ring with zero effort.

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Inkscape does not have this 3D effect, so making the same shading in Inkscape needs some work You can layer 2 rings with opposite radial gradients to get this:

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It needs 3 shapes. They are separated in the next image. The white to black linear gradient is the opacity mask for the "light to the outer edge" -ring:

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The placements and the colors of the radial gradient stops are critical. These gradients needed only 2 stops. here's the "light on the outer edge" -ring. The brightest spot is slightly off from the edge.

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Note 1

The opposite: Trying to build it of elementary 3D models makes it geometrically right, but removes the handcrafted appearance. It's too plastic to be a drawing. Without a pro quality 3D program (Maya, Blender etc...+ plausible materials and light environment) it's far too simple to be a realistically rendered 3D job. An example:

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  • Thank you, this looks great and I'll try to figure out how to replicate it. I understand it's not going to be realistic, I was definitely aiming for a sleek look, something that as my 'client' said could look as if it was a real logo on the wall. Commented Feb 23 at 20:50
  • This works great, just wondering how do I use the opacity mask? I don't think I understand that part Commented Feb 25 at 10:09
  • 1
    @MofBMBFamily Have the opacity defining linear BW-gradient on the top and the object to be masked below it. Select both and apply Object > Mask > Set Mask. You can release the opacity mask, if needed. The function is non-destructive. The mask can be any single item or a group. Black causes transparent and white causes opaque. Grey and color causes something between. Commented Feb 25 at 11:14

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