Practical Primer for F/LOS Design
or, Why Free Culture makes sense (cents?)
Utilizing free — free as in freedom — resources as a designer has a number of immediate practical implications.
- you can (for the most part) get images, fonts, tools, etc. for NO cost.
- you can share and redistribute the resources you use with your colleagues, clients, friends, students, etc. with no retribution or legal ramifications.
- you can use and remix and modify and tweak to your hearts (and designs) content; again with far fewer limitations or EULAs or production limits.
There are however differences in the “free-ness” or liberated ness or open ness of works of cultural production. There is the Public Domain — and so these things are useable by anyone for anything and you need not even ask for permission or credit the works. Then there are the various kinds of Creative Commons licenses (CC0 = Public Domain); there is also the Free Art License, and there are also various software licenses that in different degrees might also apply to creative art and design works (for example, OFL applies to typefaces, though you could also use GPL or Apache or MIT for typefaces, as they are really computer files/programs).
Free (No cost/Gratis) as useful side effect of Free (Freedom/Libre) cultural works:
If you are working for say, a non-profit cultural organization, you might need to budget concious — maybe they can't afford a typeface license for a ton of computers, or at all; maybe they have no photo/art budget; maybe you want to do something else cool that requires money for printing/production, and so need to save on tools and images and new type — This is another place "free" comes in!? And it can even be a selling point for what you want to do.