Penpot : a small revolution in the design world

Penpot (formerly UXBOX) is open source software for design and prototyping. Developed by Kaleidos, Penpot aims to provide an alternative to solutions like Figma or Sketch, but why is this software revolutionary? How does Penpot compare to its competitors?

Penpot strengths

Multiplatform

Penpot is a responsive design web application: no need to install software on your PC / tablet / smartphone, a simple web browser is enough.

Cross-domain

The application allows real-time collaboration and the ability to write comments visible to all.
Forget video conferences where you ask your designer to share his screen, you can view and even edit in real time your projects.

SVG

Where Penpot really stands out is that the application is entirely based on a web standard: SVG.
This makes the result usable on all modern browsers, compatible with many vector and development tools while having optimum quality.

Open Source

The other differentiating factor of Penpot is probably the most important: the software is Open Source.
Access to the code of the solution is free and open, allowing perfect transparency on the use of your data. It also offers the community the opportunity to grow the product and even host it yourself!

The main features

The first release was launched on 02/02/2021 and presented at FOSDEM 2021, but don’t be fooled by the alpha status: the application is already usable for professional use!
 
The application is available at https://penpot.app/ and allows you to create a free account or log in with your Google account. Once connected to the application, you can create a team and invite your colleagues to it by email.
 
Once your team has been created, it will be possible (and we recommend) to design a Shared Library which will contain all of your project’s design system. This will allow your team to create reusable components, colors, icons, etc. in all of your files.
You will then be able to manage the rights of your team members and collaborate in real time on your projects, whether for web / mobile application prototyping or the creation of commercial brochures.
 
You will even be able to visualize the final rendering, share a visualization link and export the different elements of your project.

Monogramm Contributions

Despite its recent launch, the project has been around since the end of 2016. Monogramm discovered the application in 2018 and works closely with the Kaleidos team. As part of this collaboration, we have contributed to the solution:

  • deactivation of account creation via parameter
  • whitelist system to restrict account creation
  • GitLab / GitHub and LDAP third-party authentication
  • theme system for GUI
  • docker images for private use
  • French translation of the application

Conclusion

Penpot is a young but very promising application, developed by an innovative company. The Open Source community very recently discovered the project and is helping to test and correct the new features. While the app still has a long way to go, it is worth giving it a try and spreading the word to your colleagues.
 
Do not hesitate to share with us on Twitter @Monogramm_io your Penpot realisations with the hashtag #MadeWithPenpot.