Creating Custom Svg Shapes: A Comprehensive Tutorial For 2023

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Creating Custom SVG Shapes: What You Need To Know

As the technology world continues to evolve, so does the way we go about creating visuals for our projects. The Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format is increasingly popular for creating graphical elements and custom shapes which can be used to enhance a website or application. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the basics of creating custom SVG shapes in 2023.

In order to understand how to create custom SVG shapes, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what SVG is and how it works. SVG is a vector graphics format, which means that it is composed of lines and shapes, rather than pixels. This makes it ideal for creating scalable, resolution-independent graphics that look great on any device. SVG files are composed of XML code, which makes them easy to edit and customize.

Creating Custom SVG Shapes: The Basics

The basic process for creating custom SVG shapes involves drawing the shape in a vector-based graphics program, such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, and then exporting the file as an SVG. Once the SVG file is exported, you can open it in a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit. This will allow you to view the XML code that makes up the SVG file.

To create custom SVG shapes, you’ll need to understand the basic structure of an SVG file. An SVG file consists of three main parts: a tag, which acts as a container for the entire SVG; a tag, which is a group of elements; and one or more tags, which define the actual SVG shapes.

Creating Custom SVG Shapes: Editing the Paths

Once you understand the basic structure of an SVG file, you can start to edit the paths to create custom shapes. The tag defines a set of commands which determine the shape of the SVG. These commands are known as “drawing commands”, and they tell the browser how to draw the shape.

Drawing commands are composed of a set of coordinates and instructions. The coordinates are expressed as X and Y values, and the instructions tell the browser what type of line or curve to draw. For example, the “M” command tells the browser to move to a specific coordinate, while the “L” command tells the browser to draw a straight line.

By combining different drawing commands and coordinates, you can create a variety of custom shapes. For example, by using the “M” and “L” commands, you can create a simple rectangle. By adding the “C” command (which tells the browser to draw a curve), you can create more complex shapes, such as circles and ovals.

Creating Custom SVG Shapes: Editing the Attributes

In addition to editing the paths, you can also customize the appearance of your SVG shapes by editing the attributes. Attributes are properties which define the appearance of an SVG element, such as its color, size, and position. Attributes are defined within the tag, and they control things like the fill color, stroke color, stroke width, and opacity.

For example, if you want to create a red rectangle, you can add the “fill” attribute to the tag, and set its value to “#FF0000” (which is the hexadecimal code for red). You can also adjust the size of the shape by adjusting the “width” and “height” attributes.

Creating Custom SVG Shapes: Animating Shapes

In addition to creating static shapes, you can also create SVG animations. Animations are created by adding “animate” elements to the SVG file. Animate elements are composed of a set of attributes which define the behavior of the animation, such as the duration, delay, and easing.

For example, an “animateTransform” element can be used to create a spinning animation. The “from” and “to” attributes define the start and end points of the animation, while the “type” attribute defines the type of transformation (in this case, a rotation).

Creating Custom SVG Shapes: Optimizing Performance

When creating custom SVG shapes, it’s important to optimize the performance of the shapes. SVG files can become quite large when they contain complex shapes or animations, which can slow down the loading time of a page. To improve performance, you should try to reduce the number of elements in the SVG file and minimize the size of the file.

There are several techniques for optimizing SVG files. One of the most effective techniques is to use a “viewBox” attribute, which allows you to define a “window” within the SVG file. By limiting the size of the “window”, you can reduce the size of the SVG file and improve loading times.

Another technique is to use a “defs” element, which allows you to define commonly-used elements such as gradients and patterns. Defining these elements outside of the main SVG file can reduce the overall size of the file.


Creating custom SVG shapes is a powerful way to create scalable, resolution-independent graphics for your projects. By understanding the basics of SVG files, you can create custom shapes and animations with ease. And by optimizing the performance of your SVG files, you can ensure that your graphics load quickly and smoothly.