What is Penpot?
Penpot is the first Open Source design and prototyping platform.
We like to see Penpot as the tool that invites designers all over the world to fall in love with open source while getting developers excited about the design process in return.
Free & Open Source Software is our foundation and we believe that it is possible to build amazingly well designed products that are community-first and community-driven.
Penpot was (effectively) born in a Kaleidos’s personal innovation week (PIWEEK, aka recurring hackathon) in 2018. Back then we had been recently forced to break one of our sacred rules at the company “only open source tools and platforms are allowed to build technology” due to F1gm4’s overwhelmingly productivity boost for designers at the company. “We are second-class citizens in open source, it’s frustrating and it’s painful!” they cried, and they were right.
You see, when developers have come to respect, admire, trust and value their peer designers’ work and process and you have pro-open source designers, you should expect some sort of rebellion against the status quo. And if, on top of that, you happen to have the right skills and attitude, you end up giving birth to Penpot.
People say “free & open source software is eating the world” (for good) but that won’t ever be completely true if we are denied a fundamental tool in the critical path for innovation; a professional collaborative design and prototyping tool.
With its open source ethos, Penpot is built by designers for designers that wish to bring developers, technologists and other stakeholders into the design process. Current design collaboration schemes are still monochrome, we want to make designers not only first-class citizens in open source but first-class citizens in the whole development process.
Also, Penpot is great for making visual memes!
We have all the nice and queer hobbies you would expect from people that enjoy curiosity but, above all, we love free & open source software and pursue the right match between technology and its impact on society. We operate on trust and generosity and we make sure to listen to other people’s perspectives.
We are based in Europe with a truly global and inclusive aspiration, hence the name of Penpot, something so universal and accessible and yet so easily customizable and personal. An open tool that should appeal to everyone.
This team is a team within a team, Kaleidos, which is the technology company we created in 2011 and that we decided to transform in 2021 to fully focus on our open source products. The other product is the award-winning and credited Taiga, an agile/lean project management tool. You should expect cross-pollination and interbreeding between both teams.
We know we are a privileged bunch of people that can be picky about our employer. So we work for ourselves.
This means that we are really passionate about the technologies and skills we put in practice, the projects we aim for and the people we work with, every day.
We are optimistic about the potential of open communities and shared knowledge but we also take technology’s potential very seriously. We believe technology is not neutral and neither are we. And we know we need to ensure our projects are successful and sustainable, which means being honest about income models.
You should find that we develop the tools that we wanted for ourselves in the first place. Tools that encourage participation and a joyful and productive conversation between design and code, creativity and engineering.
We build bridges.