The Open Design movement has been gathering pace internationally. It is pretty much important for designers to understand the basic standards and principles of open design.

Open Design Manifesto forked from Open Design Foundation written by Garth Braithwaite

I will:

  • find opportunities to design in the open
  • share my design experiences; both the good and the bad
  • find time for meaningful projects
  • openly participate in design discussions
  • work with other designers by choice
  • improve my toolbox

Conjugatively, the above point adds to the spirit of Open Design. The manifesto is more about guidelines than rules. The created designs are better shared in open formats.

What would be the use of sharing openly design which in a closed format restricts access for other designers?

For example, you design a picture in Adobe Photoshop and share the edit file i.e PSD format to your friend who is using another tool. Would your friend be able to use or edit the file? Then what is the use of sharing it with that person?

Here are a few open graphics formats to help you (graphics designers) out with sharing :

  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
  • HVIF- Haiku Vector Icon Format
  • WebP
  • FLIF- Free Lossless Image Format

Container formats of Editors :

  • XCF - eXperimental Computing Facility
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics

Formats and tools are next to Licenses in Open Design. Although designers are open, they lose the fundamental open spirit when they don't free their work due to reasons like negligence. This would be a deadly blow to the idea itself.

A design is open or free only if it is licensed under an open or free license but not if it is shared widely by word of mouth that it is free. There is any and every opportunity of misuse of this types of sharing.

You may have the question about the economics of this open and free model of sharing Intellectual property. That would be a topic for another blog. . .