Episode 48

Penpot Fest with Dima Davidoff, Madeline Peck & Michal Malewicz


August 15th, 2023

39 mins 3 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guests

About this Episode


Dima Davidoff | Madeline Peck | Michal Malewicz


Pia Mancini | Eriol Fox | Perrie Ojemeh

Show Notes

Welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! We’re at Penpot Fest in Barcelona, Spain having some insightful conversations. Today, Pia, Eriol, and Perrie are joined by three guests. We start off with Dima Davidoff, a product designer, who shares his experiences working as both a freelancer and full-time. He sheds light on his usage design tools and highlights the potential of open source alternatives like Penpot, emphasizing the importance of trust and community in the design world. Next, we speak with Madeline Peck, the team lead for the Fedora design team at Red Hat. She shares her work with several open source programs, stresses the importance of community involvement and outreach in design, and touches on the necessity of greater diversity and inclusion within open source communities. Finally, we speak with Michal Malewicz, a designer with over two decades of experience who now focuses on teaching. He shares his experience working with different types of companies, the importance of solid fundamental design skills, and emphasizes critical learning for designers. Hit download now to hear more!

[00:01:19] Our first guest is Dima Davidoff, a Product Designer, who discusses freelancing alongside his full-time job and the differences in design tools used.

[00:04:04] Dima shares his frustration with the lack of migration tools from Adobe XD to Figma and questions his trust in the company.

[00:05:38] Eriol reflects on the evolution of design tools and emphasizes the importance of community to the development of the tool. Dima advises starting with open source tools for financial reasons and the ability to contribute to the development of the tool, an encourages designers to contribute to open source projects like Penpot.

[00:08:57] Dima highlights the importance of user-centered design and the value of open source in listening to user feedback and delivering features promptly.

[00:11:32] Our next guest is Madeline Peck, who’s an Associate Interactive Designer at Red Hat and the team lead for the Fedora design team. She mentions using open source programs like Inkscape, Penpot, Blendr, and Krita.

[00:12:33] Madeline talks about involving the design community in Fedora and Red Hat’s work and mentions using different social media platforms to spread the word, such as PeerTube, and the importance of sharing tutorials and engaging with social media to reach a wider audience an promote open source.

[00:14:58] Madeline discusses moving away from the logo work and focusing on creating brand identity and asset libraires for teams using tools like Penpot.

[00:18:00] She talks about the need for more diversity and inclusion efforts in open source, particularly in terms of representation and creating a welcoming environment for marginalized benefits.

[00:19:44] Madeline shares her transition from college to working in open source and the benefits of using open source tools like Inkscape, as well as the need for more open source awareness in educational institutions.

[00:21:42] Eriol discusses the challenges educational institutions face in adopting open source tools and the potential impact on design education.

[00:22:42] Madeline suggests highlighting the cost savings and the sense of community and collaboration in open source as reasons for students to consider using open source tools and expresses interest in cross-platform collaboration in open source.

[00:26:32] We welcome our third guest, Michal Malewicz, a Designer for 24+ years, who now focuses on teaching other designers.

[00:27:09] Michal discusses his experience working with both small startups and large corporations, preferring startups right now. The agency is run by his wife, and they focus on projects they are passionate about.

[00:28:55] We hear a funny story from Michal about how he started teaching by accident after speaking at a conference, and then being asked to teach at a university.

[00:30:25] Perrie asks Michal to talk about some challenges he’s had to face, and one is junior designers being focused on trendy tools like Figma and skipping fundamental design skills.

[00:33:04] Michal advises designers to follow only a few design influencers and be critical in their learning process.

[00:34:44] Michal talks about creating neologisms or hashtags to make design concepts more accessible, and he expresses support for Penpot and their goal of allowing design freedom and self-hosting options.