Use your artistic skills to help open source

Open Source Design connects projects that need design help with the designers who can help them.
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Are you a designer looking to share your talents? Open Source Design may just be the place for you. It is "a community of designers and developers pushing more open design processes and improving the user experience and interface design of open source software."

Open Source Design has many goals, including opening up the design process and involving designers in processes by keeping communication open with developers.

One of the best ways to achieve these goals is through the website's Jobs section, where developers and organizations post open jobs, and designers can review the requirements and submit design proposals.

Project requests range from logos to strategy game creatures to mascots to infographics and much more. Some of these design projects are paid, but most are gratis. You can learn more about the Jobs section on GitHub.

How it works

As a designer and an advocate for open source, I decided to submit a proposal for one of the gratis projects, to design an AntennaPod 2 logo and icon. The project was posted on May 26, 2020, with a submission deadline of June 27, 2020. AntennaPod is an open source Android podcast manager, and the project is looking for a logo that doesn't look similar to the many other podcast logos (e.g., radiating antennas, microphones, sine waves, and such). The organizers provide a very detailed design brief that clearly states their requirements. Even though the project is unpaid, they quickly received replies from several designers.

After the submission deadline, AntennaPod will select three designs and then put them up for a vote by the community.

Design opportunities in open source communities

For designers looking to share their talents and skills with the open source community, Open Source Design is a good place to find opportunities. The same is true for developers and organizations looking for talent to create or improve their projects' design, branding, and user interface.

Designers have many other opportunities to get involved in open source. For example, several months ago, The Document Foundation was looking for logo submissions for its 20th anniversary. This was also a gratis project that I submitted an idea for.

These types of opportunities abound, so keep scouring open source communities for ways you can contribute. You might not get rich, but you may get the glory, and that makes it all worth it!

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Jeff Macharyas is the Director of Marketing at Corning Community College in New York. He is a writer, graphic designer and communications director who has worked in publishing, higher education and project management for many years.


WOW!! This is useful!! Just sent to my designer friends =P


Thanks for writing such a great piece about Open Source Design :D

I'm so happy our process was covered in this and you had a great experience with posting job! As a community-led initiative, we do struggle to make improvements to the process and support/maintain the community so we're always super happy when people find designers to be involved.

We also welcome any designers (or non-designers!) to support us helping with community engagement, coding and supporting our work. Thanks!

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