App, Graphic design
Visual Culture is an application to visualise, archive and exchange changes in design projects. Rooted in the vibrant world of free and open source software, Visual Culture will make novel collaboration methods accessible to a public of visual professionals. Working on your existing design files, Visual Culture will let you retrieve previous versions, and share and publish these versions with others.
HARNESS THE POWER OF GIT FOR VISUAL PROJECTS
As a group of designers, we use a software called Git to share files both between us and with the public. This system, originally developed for computer code, tracks the history of computer files, allowing one to go back to retrieve previous versions. These changes can be exchanged amongst users, allowing multiple people to work collaboratively on a project whilst having them keep their own versions and histories. Git has been a crucial part in the success of the collaborative open source culture, being used to develop projects like Linux and Firefox. It is sophisticated and free. Yet the existing interfaces to Git are designed with text files in mind. They can show the history of text-files, but not of images, typefaces and vector drawings.
Visual Culture will be able to visualise the evolution of a design object: this is the evolution of a poster on which OSP worked together.
Visual Culture will allow designers to harness the full power of Git on their own computer in a visual workflow. Visual Culture offers visualisations of the different versions of files, allowing one to understand and explore the history of these digital objects, and to asses the extent of new modifications before one shares them with collaborators. Once one has changed a file, these modifications can be shared with collaborators and with the public at large. Users of Visual Culture will be able to use existing (free) services for sharing and archiving: Gitorious, Github, Gitlab. As different collaborators start to publish, at multiple versions of a file can start to co-exist.
Visual Culture will make it more easy to collaborate on designs and to maintain different ‘forks’, parallel versions, of one project. For more information on the notion of the fork and how it applies in the culture of design, we refer to our article: I like tight pants and no-one starts from scratch: type design and the logic of the fork
CONTRIBUTE TO A NEW APPROACH TO DESIGN
With OSP we have already started to transform Git into a visual publishing tool: on our website one gets to explore all the working files of our projects in a visual interface and to download them. By funding Visual Culture, you contribute to a new open source design tool that proposes a new approach to design, and will be available to the design community at large—and to you!
DEVELOPMENT OF VISUAL CULTURE BY OSP - Open Source Publishing
photo: Julie Rouanne
As designers working with new media, appropriating existing tools and creating new design tools is a part of OSP’s practice.
Within the context of graphic design commissions, unfortunately, the time and the budget to further develop such tools is limited.
The amount raised through Kiss Kiss Bank Bank would allow two OSP members to take three months off from commissioned design work and develop Visual Culture from a proof of concept into an accessible tool for creative professionals.
In addition, this would allow us to create a further visibility for the project, by writing blog posts and documentation, and preparing a series of workshops.