I need to make a t-shirt with a one color design that is EASY as a .png. But the shirt company wants it as a vectored .eps file. I tried sending them an import of the .png but that wasn't good enough.

All I need is a red square with transparent text and a logo: a one color stencil that includes text and the logo. But I am finding it near impossible to create with Inkscape. I can't seem to get the transparent text to cut out (erase?) from the red background square. If it's transparent, then all I see is a red square. If I make the text and logo black or white, it looks fine, but I need a ONE color design with the color of the t-shirt showing through the transparent parts.

Can anyone help me with a simple tutorial for this? I'm quite versed in GIMP but haven't done a ton with Inkscape. I just need to make text and the logo and have it erase from the red background, rather than being a layer on top.

Hope this makes sense. Thank you for any help!!! :-)

  • Hi, and welcome to GD. I have not used Inkscape in years, I use Illustrator, so this is just a general hint. But what you are looking for is a way to use a clipping mask. Basically, you "cut out" the text from the background square. Hope it helps.
    – benteh
    Jan 25, 2014 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


This is quite basic, actually.

Caution, I'm writing this without an inkscape at hand, so I may be wrong.

  1. You have to create two elements (the text and the box).
  2. Then put the text on the box.
  3. Then select both elements, and make an "exclude" boolean operation (I think it's CTRL+-).

I'm not sure, but step 3 may not work, if one the element is a Text Element. In this case, select the text, convert it to a shape (CTRL+SHIFT+C), Ungroup (CTRL+SHIFT+G), Assemble (CTRL+K).

Again, I have no inkscape to test it here, but read well the messages in the status bar, and search the menus, you will surely manage to cut two shapes ;)

  • +1 just tested it. To exclude both, a text, and a logo we have to combine them first.
    – Takkat
    Jan 25, 2014 at 21:22
  • Thank you SO much: this worked beautifully for the text part -- three simple clicks and it was done! For the logo, which is a .png that I'm "importing" it's not working...I'm guessing I need to convert it (maybe?) to paths or some such thing first?!! Does that sound right? Jan 25, 2014 at 23:56
  • Okay, I figured it out!! This worked great! Thank you! Jan 26, 2014 at 1:14

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