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Libre Graphics magazine: A year of fantastic

Wed, May 11, 2011

Blog

Liveblogging from the Libre Graphics 2011 meeting in Montreal… The joys and challenges and processes used to create Libre Graphics Magazine — which is made with all F/LOSS software! Yeah.

ginger coons

Produced using all libre software. Show what can be produced with open software. Print several hundred to a few thousand conferences four times a year. Distribute at conferences, to students, and sell to cover costs. Issue 1.1 was released in November 2010. Issue zero was produced in May 2010 — in three days!

The magazine serves

  • Designers and artists who are ‘like us’ — to connect them
  • The F/LOSS-curious designers and artists, to raise awareness
  • Software developers (and folks who establish standards and processes) to show them what folks do with their work

Feels like a design magazine. Not a tutorial or showcase or how-to magazine, addressees discourse and design issues. Shows off excellent work. High design values. Collaborative and iterative. Important step in showing how to produce print with a F/LOSS workflow.

All-proprietary tools, in long view, are a blip on the radar.

Have an ISSN, on worldcat.

Wins

  • Featured on Boing Boing
  • Supported by larger Linux and hacky geeky community

Challenges

  • Funding (supported with advertising, subscriptions, donations)
  • Getting contributions
  • Sticking to production schedules (like any publication!)
  • Being taken seriously

See video of ginger giving a similar talk at FOSDEM.

Ana Carvalho

Design choices and workflow.

Inspired by Emigre, Eye. Also looked at Linux Magazine.

Layout guided by Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style. Use a six-column grid with eight rows. Careful about details.

Workflow: Took from software development version control so that could collaborate with distributed team and have a central repository. No separate versions all over the place. Transparent. Use Sparkleshare with Gitorious to share files (over 3BG and works great so far). Can see comments from ginger, the editor. Creates a nice timeline that others can see. Look into how decisions are made. Nice!

14-year old Python hacker in Porto’s hackspace shared a script to render images from type.

Ricardo Lafuente

Manufactura Independente design studio. Getting used to libre methodologies. Four years now have been only using F/LOSS software.

We wanted our own typeface. Not much time to design from scratch. Took something that existed — NotCourier Sans, by OSP — and hacked it a bit with FontForge. A monospace font and updated the spacing to make it proportional. Call it PropCourier Sans. Improve the font with every issue so it evolves gradually (kerning, spacing, punctuation, etc.). Example: Used a python script to import spacing from another font that had already figured out the fine details.

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