Sharing in open source and swag

This week I feel like I should share not only what I’ve done, but a lot of things my fellow contributors made, and then go on to a summary of interviews I’ve had with Fedora ambassadors and event organizers.

Fedora way

And to start here is a very nice article about what it means to do things the open source way and what is open source. Some of the best quotes for me:

Users who aren’t programmers also benefit from open source software, because they can use this software for any purpose they wish—not merely the way someone else thinks they should.

Doesn’t “open source” just mean something is free of charge?
No. This is a common misconception about what “open source” implies. Programmers can charge money for the open source software they create or to which they contribute.

This is something that most people don’t realize when they hear words “open source”. And I feel it is important to understand that open source doesn’t include just programming, though it originated in the context of computer software development. But is also about the way of life and what is called the open source way. Which means that to contribute to open source projects you do not have to code! (You might if you want to 😉 ). Just remember that it is important to share and sharing is caring.

Specifically for designers: you might consider using the open source programs. It presents an opportunity to be free from proprietary Adobe software, as there exist Inkscape and Gimp, which are frankly pretty amazing. Also Krita for more artistic types ;). I mostly use Inkscape for my work, as it allows you to create vector graphics – logos, icons, posters, etc – and design for web, too! If you want to get started with Inkscape I highly recommend this set of tutorials. When I just started contributing to Fedora, I was a little concerned that these tools might not be enough, but I was totally wrong. Mo is a big open source enthusiast, you might want to read her posts on the tools available.


In the past months I’ve also found some great sources to help me in my work:

  • amazing collections of free images here;
  • cool vector clipart here and contributed a couple images there;
  • great font collection here.

It really makes me sad that not so many designers consider contributing to open source projects, and often said projects end up looking not so great; so I want to share my view on the matter and possibly attract new members the community. I’ve been a design intern at Red Hat for 3 months now, and it’s quite surprising to see how many people have approached me with various design problems. Wish I had time to help all of them!

Going on to the 2nd part of my post, I’m going to give a summary of how my work goals are going.

First of all, I did interviews with some Fedora ambassadors and event organizers to help me determine, which Fedora swag items are the most popular and / or useful. Mostly they didn’t tell me anything special. Tom, Ruth and Josh all said the same thing: the most popular items are

  • t-shirts
  • stickers (specifically, the metallic “powered by fedora” sticker)
  • USB flash-drives.

Siddhesh Poyarekar gave me more info, providing a really detailed list of everything they have produced, also saying that DVDs, buttons and stickers tend to be the most popular. And he gave me some really nice ideas, saying that umbrellas, socks and key-chains were a hit in the context of specific conferences.

Last, but not at all least, Jiří Eischmann gave me a whole presentation. He is a Fedora ambassador for the Czech Republic and is conveniently working right next to me =) With him we focused not only on what is produced, but also on what should be produced and how to advertise Fedora to potential new users. For that specific reason we consider using flyers, stickers, cheat cubes and a special book called “Starting with Fedora”, which is currently in production, I believe.

To sum up here’s a link to a table with links to different Fedora swag files. I wish to organize those into a wiki page or some other place easily accessible by everybody, and give more detailed descriptions. Sparkleshare is a way to go, but it doesn’t allow for labeling files. So maybe Pagure or GutHub would be the best tools…

Sharing in open source and swag

4 thoughts on “Sharing in open source and swag

  1. Carlos Soriano says:

    It’s encouraging seeing that you use free software as a tool to work and as a mentality for it.
    Probably everyone already know, but this blog post is a clear example how much necessary is having designers (and even more with an open mentality like you) in our projects.
    Keep the good job!


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