I have been working on an open source project for about 2 years.

I would like to create a web site, but I am on essentially a zero budget. I also need a logo.

My question: How should an open source developer go about improving the project's "visual appeal" without spending a lot of money? Are there graphic designers willing to donate time? How does one find them (if they exist).

With a project you spend so much time on - you want to give it a nice looking web site so that it will grab people's eye. On the other hand, you don't want to spend money on something you are giving away for free.

Has anyone had any personal experiences they can share?

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  • 1
    Have you tried asking your community? (That is, if your project already has one.) – svick Mar 3 '12 at 22:08
  • Yes. I have one bite. Maybe it will pan out. I was also interested in learning what others may have done for their projects. – sylvanaar Mar 4 '12 at 3:49
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    Have you heard of Fiverr? – earthmeLon Jul 2 '12 at 15:59

Since it is open source have you considered using a free, existing site like Github rather than building a new website?

As for a logo, you could try:

  1. Farming the job out and perhaps offering $25, someone in the world might well be willing to do it for that price.

  2. As part of your Githup homepage ask for help designing a logo.

  3. Run a contest and announce it on your Github page. Pick some appropriate prize like offer to send the winner a t-shirt with the logo on it that you signed personally.

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  • Well, I have both a bitbucket and github homepage, but I would like to "Move to the next level" and have my own landing page. – sylvanaar Mar 3 '12 at 19:22
  • A possible next step up is a free wordpress blog, would that work for you? – JonnyBoats Mar 3 '12 at 20:49
  • A free blog? Well I have my own website that I can use to host the page. I just need the graphics really. I like the contest idea. – sylvanaar Mar 3 '12 at 22:53
  • @sylvanaar - If you already have a website great! In the question you said "I would like to create a web site" so I was trying to suggest how someone with no money could get started on the cheap. – JonnyBoats Mar 3 '12 at 23:11
  • yeah, that might have been unclear. I have a web host, but it isn't hosting any web site at the moment. – sylvanaar Mar 3 '12 at 23:23

Use the context.

According to your profile, the open source project you are talking about is an extension for IntelliJ IDEA. This means that:

  • You can inspire yourself from the logo of IntelliJ IDEA to create your custom logo. Since the existent logo is rather basic and not very well though, it must not be very difficult to work from it even with no professional experience in visual identity.

    It also has an additional advantage: by having a logo close to the one already used by IntelliJ IDEA, you show that your product is related.

    This being said, be careful. Inspiring yourself of some parts of the logo doesn't mean copy the logo itself, which would be illegal in most countries.

  • You can talk to people from JetBrains. I'm sure they have full-time designers, and they are also interested in extending their product with third-party extensions. Not only they may be interested in providing you a few services like the design of your logo, but they may even suggest your extension on their website.

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  • That's a thought. I was thinking that I wanted one that looked similar to theirs so it would mesh well. I'll try asking them. – sylvanaar Mar 3 '12 at 22:53

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