How a Graphic Artist Can Contribute to an Open Source Project

Usually when people think about contributing to open source projects, their first thought is about programmers and coders who work together to develop a piece of software. If you are not a programmer, you probably feel like there is very little that you can do to contribute to the project. The reality is that there are many different tasks that need to be done outside of the code itself including artistic input and graphic design.

First of all, every open source project needs some quality graphics. These can include icons, buttons, tabs, graphic user interface, splash screen, and other visual effects that may comprise the program. Go to the project’s forums and see what they have planned for graphics. If they are not sure or do not have anything in mind, create and send them some basic designs and mockups to see if your work will fit into the project. If the application does not look visually appealing, less people will use it. For this reason, your skill are important to the overall project success.

A second area to consider is working on the website. Many times people will find an open source project for the first time by finding it online. The website introduces them to the project for the first time. If you can improve the look of the site with your design skills, it can greatly improve the program’s visibility and potential download rates. In many situations, these sites will need some design help where you can utilize your artistic skills to contribute.

If you try hard enough, you will surely find a place where you can help. At times, you might not find projects where your particular graphics skills will be needed, but there are probably still other tasks that you could take on. The important part is to become involved in the community behind that project so that you are aware of what needs to get done and how you can help fulfill those needs.

As a a graphic artist, there is definitely a place for you to contribute to open source projects. Learn more about ongoing open source projects that interest you and the ways in which you can help make the project a success.