I used to design my guitar ideas on paper. Then I started to use Photoshop and it worked much better for me, I could design, modify as much as I wanted and then print on multiple pages.
But Photoshop is a pixel-based software and is not ideal for guitar planning and design. Adobe Illustrator is a much better alternative for this task because it’s a vector-based design tool. However, Illustrator is costly.
Inkscape is an open-source Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) editor similar to Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. However, unlike Illustrator, Inkscape is free!
Don’t let the word “free” fool you, Inkscape is a fully-featured tool.
That being said, Inkscape was never built for guitar designers so it’s not a perfect tool, there are many area that Inkscape can be improved, e.g. the measurement tool. But overall, Inkscape is a great tool and the one I choose to use.
What Can You Do With Inkscape?
- trace guitars
- your own designs (for safe keeping and for modifications)
- any guitar from the Internet
- from a photograph
- modify the design
- using the Bezier curves tool
- make changes to any part of the guitar easily
- extend, scale, twist, straighten, curve, elongate, etc.
- create a database of guitar designs and ideas
- keep many design ideas of body, fingerboard, neck, headstock, bridge, etc.
- be creative
- create completely new designs
- create hybrid designs (combine different elements from different guitars into one)
- incorporate ideas from different guitars into your own
- create any inlay design
- print it only when your design is ready
- using a regular printer, on multiple sheets
If you are new to this type of software, then it may take you some time to learn it. There are many tutorials online, but for the purposes of designing a guitar, focus on the Bezier pen tool and paths.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.