An announcement

Since 2010, with the help of an irreplaceable set of contributors, we’ve published eight issues of Libre Graphics magazine, spread over two volumes. Sometimes we’ve been slow, but we’ve always gotten the issue out in the end. With the release of issue 2.4, we’re announcing the end of the project. Magazines take a lot of care and feeding, and we think it’s time to let this one go. We’re proud of the two volumes we’ve produced, and we’re stopping while we’re ahead.

Over the last five-and-a-bit years, we’ve published written and visual work that we believe shows off what’s most exciting about Free/Libre and Open Source graphics, design, and art. We’ve published the work of a range of people, with varied opinions on the present and future of a whole collection of issues and concerns in the libre graphics world. We’re pleased to have been a venue for thoughtful writing on subjects as broad as the licensing of fonts, gender representation in F/LOSS, and automatic typesetting. One of the things we’re proudest of is providing a venue where artists and designers who are new to F/LOSS can get their bearings, and can see that amazing work can and is being done with libre software and licenses.

So we’re ending things on a high note. But, being a project inspired by F/LOSS, we’re not disappearing entirely. Though we won’t be continuing active development of the magazine and won’t be publishing new issues, we’ll be continuing to make the work that’s already happened available. Our repositories are still up, and you can still branch them, copy them, and use their contents. We’re leaving our website up, too, so that you can download the PDFs and point other people to them. You can still get and read digital copies of every issue of Libre Graphics magazine, and you can still print them out should you so desire. And, until we run out of the stock we have on hand, you can still order copies of most back issues in print.

We want to thank you for an excellent few years, for the encouragement, the contributions, and for reading.

Ana Isabel Carvalho
ginger coons
Ricardo Lafuente

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Announcing Libre Graphics magazine issue 2.4, Capture


We’re very pleased to announce the release of issue 2.4 of Libre Graphics magazine.

This issue looks at Capture, the act of encompassing, emulating and encapsulating difficult things, subtle qualities. Through a set of articles we explore capture mechanisms, memory, archiving and preservation of volatile digital information, physicality and aesthetization of data.

Capture is the fourth and final issue in volume two of Libre Graphics magazine. Libre Graphics magazine is a print publication devoted to showcasing and promoting work created with Free/Libre Open Source Software. We accept work about or including artistic practices which integrate Free, Libre and Open software, standards, culture, methods and licenses.

We invite you to buy the print edition of the issue, download the PDF or browse through the source files. We invite everyone to download, view, write, pull, branch and otherwise engage.

This issue features pieces and contributions by Raphael Bastide, Antonio Roberts, Eric Schrijver, Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Stéphanie Vilayphiou, Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism, Sebastian Schmieg, Kenneth Goldsmith, Robert M Ochshorn, Jessica Fenlon, Anna Carreras, Carles Domènech and Mariona Roca.

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Call for submissions: Libre Graphics magazine 2.4


Issue 2.4: Capture

Data capture sounds like a thoroughly dispassionate topic. We collect information from peripherals attached to computers, turning keystrokes into characters, turning clicks into actions, collecting video, audio and images of varying quality and fidelity. Capture in this sense is a young word, devised in the latter half of the twentieth century. For the four hundred years previous, the word suggested something with far higher stakes, something more passionate and visceral. To capture was to seize, to take, like the capture of a criminal or of a treasure trove. Computation has rendered capture routine and safe.

But capture is neither simply an act of forcible collection or of technical routine. The sense of capture we would like to approach in this issue is gentler, more evocative. Issue 2.4 of Libre Graphics magazine, the last in volume 2, looks at capture as the act of encompassing, emulating and encapsulating difficult things, subtle qualities. Routinely, we capture with keyboards, mice, cameras, audio recorders, scanners, browsing histories, keyloggers. We might capture a fleeting expression in a photo, or a personal history in an audio recording. Our methods of data capture, though they may seem commonplace at first glance, offer opportunities to catch moments.

We’re looking for work, both visual and textual, exploring the concept of capture, as it relates to or is done with F/LOSS art and design. All kinds of capture, metaphorical or literal, are welcome. Whether it’s a treatise on the politics of photo capture in public places, a series of photos taken using novel F/LOSS methods, documentation of a homebrew 3D scanner, any riff on the idea of capture is invited. We encourage submissions for articles, showcases, interviews and anything else you might suggest. Proposals for submissions (no need to send us the completed work right away) can be sent to deadline for submissions is May 11th, 2015.

Capture is the fourth and final issue in volume two of Libre Graphics magazine. Libre Graphics magazine is a print publication devoted to showcasing and promoting work created with Free/Libre Open Source Software. We accept work about or including artistic practices which integrate Free, Libre and Open software, standards, culture, methods and licenses.

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Announcing issue 2.3 of Libre Graphics magazine


We’re very pleased to announce the long-awaited release of Libre Graphics magazine issue 2.3. This issue is guest-edited by Manuel Schmalstieg and addresses a theme we’ve been wanting to tackle for some time: type design. From specimen design to international fonts, constraint-based type to foundry building, this issue shows off the many faces of libre type design.

With the usual cast of columnists, stunning showcases and intriguing features, issue 2.3, The Type Issue, given an entrée into what’s now and next in F/LOSS fonts.

The Type Issue is the third issue in volume two of Libre Graphics magazine. Libre Graphics magazine is a print publication devoted to showcasing and promoting work created with Free/Libre Open Source Software. We accept work about or including artistic practices which integrate Free, Libre and Open software, standards, culture, methods and licenses.

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Today is the Day Against DRM

We always dedicate a few pages to document useful and free-culture oriented resources in every issue of the Libre Graphics magazine.

Stop DRM Today, we join the Day Against DRM initiative by making a short selection of some DRM-free resources we use in our everyday work. They were picked not only because they provide incredibly useful assets under permissive licenses, but also because all of them do without DRM or other restrictive measures to limit our freedoms.

Open Font Library

The Open Font Library is an archive for libre fonts, launched in 2006. It provides a home to a large collection of fonts published under libre licenses like the OFL. Unlike other font providers and frameworks that force you into their own DRM-laden backends, the Open Font Library respects your freedom. The catalogue page lets you browse the full collection and filter it with several parameters, making it a great interface to look for fonts for your projects. Everything can be downloaded: there are no restrictions, no fees, no obligations other than respecting the license of whatever you download. That’s the kind of service we love and are thankful for: one that respects you as a user and gives you freedom of action to use and repurpose tools and assets.

Public Domain Review

There is a huge collection of work in the Public Domain. The Internet Archive, an ever growing archive of these valuable pieces, hosts a portion of it. Yet, it is so big that it’s hard to grasp without a little help to get started. And that is the Public Domain Review, a project powered by Open Knowledge, that takes you through some of the hidden gems.
It presents a curated walkthrough to the vast commons that are out there. Fortnight essays, collections and curated picks are geared, in their words, to ” the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful”. Get inspiration and stand in the shoulder of giants, that what the Commons free you to do.

Project Gutenberg

While not featuring recent releases, the collection of books available at Project Gutenberg is a true gem, making literature available in several open formats, as well as no DRM whatsoever. While our personal preference leans toward printed matter, there are times when digital books might be handy. And we can really do without DRM through Kindle and other publishing platforms, since we like to know that our books won’t suddenly disappear. So we keep reading through Project Gutenberg.


While not directly related to the work involved in making a magazine, the smartphone is an inevitable tool for all purposes of life and work. It is therefore important to consider the freedoms that you’re granted when used your phone, and the ones that are taken away from you. One of the places where this issue is paramount is the “app ecosystem”. The software “stores” restrict user choice by forcing the existence of a centralized, “curated” and controlled hub, the rules of which you must follow to see your software available to other users. Furthermore, there’s tight control over your own access to the tools and their source code, mostly using DRM and DRM-like mechanisms.

We miss the days when you were able to install any kind of software in your computer, and wonder why we’re not demanding the same for our phones. That’s why we’re thankful for F-Droid, a hub that provides free software tools for Android phones. While F-Droid doesn’t boast the needlessly huge catalogue of its proprietary counterparts, it has all bits and pieces we need for turning our phones into useful, non-surveilled (or less so) and trustworthy tools that don’t restrict our actions.

A world without DRM is an excellent thing. And there many iniatives that make that point clear:
No DRM is all we need.

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Slides from “Dear designer, have these cool tools”

At Libre Graphics Meeting this year, the Libre Graphics magazine team gave two talks. Below, the deck from our second talk, titled “Dear designer, have these cool tools” made with


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Reading suggestions from the “Beyond the women in tech talk” panel at LibrePlanet 2014

Below, we present to you a set of reading suggestions created collaboratively (in real time, on an etherpad) during the “Beyond the women in tech talk” panel held at LibrePlanet 2014. This list is the work of a number of different people who attended the panel. A version which shows revision history can be found at

reading list — suggestions from the LP 2014 Beyond Women in Tech talk

for those coming to this after not seeing the talk — a list of resources for folks looking to educate themselves. 

Published here: &  — list of 140+ journalists of color (with links to personal blogs, etc) covering a variety of topics (via queer, poc, atypically abled voices.the blog’s purpose is NOT to educate about privilege, but is extremely informative if you are willing to think critically about yourself re: what the writers are saying,  and their experiences – “The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC) will create a space of support and camaraderie for hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, in the academy and without” – madprime’s suggestion, Ta-Nehisi Coates, prompting this question. TNC regularly writes about the black male perspective & helps me understand the (or rather, his) African American perspective. TNC’s audience has a lot of white liberals, and he’s figured out how to make us listen (or me, at least!). (but sometimes he talks about a geeky thing or two like D&D ;-) ) written by – “A hip hop maven blogs on urban ecology, evolutionary biology & diversity in the sciences” – “Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture.” – “Colorlines is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis.” – “Take Back the Tech! is a collaborative campaign to reclaim information and communication technologies (ICT) to end violence against women (VAW).”  (They have a feed of posts, but are not primarily a blog org.)

For expediency & to avoid mainstream aggregates & for more decentralization, use RSS!  – Not Your Mom’s Trans 101 – Asher
Nishant Shah rec –

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Web-based IRC, if you’re at #lgm 2014

If you’re at LGM 2014 in Leipzig this week and having trouble accessing the #lgm IRC through the usual *ahem* channels, try this web-based client.

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Happy Document Freedom Day! Have some SVG tools

We dusted off the cover of issue 1.2, for which we had laboriously traced a set of illustrations taken from the Lello Universal encyclopedia, scanned and published by El Bibliomata from the Sevilla Faculty library — be sure to see their other sets!

To mark Document Freedom Day, we’re releasing the source file for all the vector traced images — in SVG, of course!


You can get the SVG file here. Happy Document Freedom Day!

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Open standards allow the unexpected


One of the best things about open standards is their ability to surprise. A proprietary standard is designed with one purpose in mind. And, because only authorized parties have access to the standard’s specification, those designed purposes are generally where its utility stops. Because open standards have publicly-available specifications, anyone who’s interested can develop new tools and purposes.

Here are a couple great examples of people using SVG’s open spec to do the unexpected.

Sozi: A fantastic tool for presentations. An extension to Inkscape, it lets users build zooming presentations, using the capabilities of SVG animation.

Design with Git: Visual version control for SVGs. This project uses SVG’s readable, comparable source code to let designers track the history of their work.

Read the rest of our Document Freedom Day series on SVG:

Celebrating Document Freedom Day, celebrating our favourite open standard
Working together, developing open standards
SVG or: How we learned to stop worrying and love document freedom

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