About Me

My name is pronounced “maw-reen” or “mo-reen” – Máirín is Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge). Most people call me “Mo” though!

I’m a senior principal interaction designer with Red Hat. I live in Boston, Massachusetts USA. I’ve been involved in various open source projects over the past several years.

Actually, I’m a really weird designer. I dislike Apple and Adobe. I design for free & open source software and I also I use 100% free & open source software to create my designs; here are some of my favorites:

Want to learn more? Here’s an outdated interview that’ll give you the gist about how I do what I do; here’s a newer interview that demonstrates my approach to design. Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. Carl Friend says:

    What type of laptop specs would you advise somebody who wanted to be doing video editing with Pitivi while using Gimp and the other apps that you mention? I know I need something besides my lil 8 inch acer netbook running Fedora 15 with Gnome 3. This would be for my brother for church stuff and for my own pleasure.

    1. mairin says:

      I would say any current laptop would be suitable, honestly. I have a 3-year old laptop (Lenovo x61T, not exactly a huge workhorse) and it works fine for those apps.

  2. Hey Mairin,
    Is there a way to contact you?
    I love your work and wanted your feedback on an open source project I am working on.

    1. mairin says:

      Sure, you can write me at duffy at fedoraproject [-.-] org. 🙂

  3. Hi Mairin!
    I discovered your tutorials on Inkscape – very nice!
    Thank you for the great beginner’s lessons. I’ll use them for myself!
    What can I do for you? I would love to send a little gift your way.
    Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  4. Cesar says:

    Hi, Mo!! 🙂

  5. Marian, have you checked out GroupServer.
    My non-profit is interested in many of the things you’ve suggested and have invested in some of these ideas already.
    We went with GroupServer years ago because they seems to get the need for an e-mail list that was also fully experienced web-only. I encourage you to take a look: http://groupserver.org … and you can see it in action here for example with some custom additions: http://e-democracy.org/se

    1. mairin says:

      I have, Michael Jason Smith pointed me to it (Group Server devel discussion on these ideas.(
      My goal is to improve communication between contributors of free software projects which, as good or bad as the case may be, are dominated by Mailman mailing lists. I don’t think it’s feasible to convince hundreds/thousands of projects to drop Mailman for GroupServer at this time, so I am working with the Mailman developers in the hopes that an upgrade in versions of the same software is more palatable projects over a whole-hog migration to a different type of server, especially considering the depth of their existing archives. Would a migration involve losing that history? If so, it may be a non-starter. The Mailman devs have been very active and have at least a couple of Google Summer of Code students hacking on it this summer full time so I think it has a lot of promise. I like what GroupServer is doing though; if any of these ideas are useful for them (or anybody really), awesome!

  6. Steven Clift says:

    Yes, I would doubt many would drop one tool for another.
    A lot of this to me is about “what works” and how might it transfer across many tools.
    I am monitoring mailing list/drupal connections as well.
    It was over a decade ago that I posted to various mailman e-lists (when we used Mailman) suggesting that a full web interface was crucial. I was sent many-o-flames along the line of “its a mailing list, not a web forum.” 🙂
    I’ve noted that many newer open source projects in the last few years have opted for decidely non-open source Google Groups. So hopefully web improvements will help Mailman compete so to speak.
    Anyway, there may be some people who might find adding to GroupServer a quick route to testing ideas for broader introduction to web ideas with Mailman (and vice versa).

  7. beta says:

    you are my hero

  8. I am using Ubuntu/Kubuntu for Graphic Design? I hope it is not a problem! 🙂 I tried Fedora 18,19 KDE, but I have met some obstacles. E.g. to install VLC Player, Krita, Openshot Video editor, etc. So I continue to use Ubuntu/Kubuntu 13.04.
    Else Fedora is very good and nice distro. I would like to know about how did begin to draw by pencil and made the best achievements in Gimp, Inkscape, Blender, Scribus. I have an idea: to create tutorials. This is my portfolio homepage: http://portfolio76bg.blogspot.com
    I wish you a success in your professional work! God may bless you forever and ever!

    1. Hi Rumen,
      I tried Fedora 18 and 19 a lot. F 19 is specially good, really excellent. But I came back to other excellent, Fedora 17, KDE. Why? my notebook was made in Jun/2010, and not necessary the last minute software will run best on an old hardware. Perhaps is your case, perhaps an older version may give better results. Hope this help. regards,

  9. Hello Mo’ =) I have a question… as I can make a blog as your blog?

  10. Hi Mairin,
    I found your font overview page (by license) while searching for some fonts that match my LGPL project and further also some commercial usage where I use these fonts (I need to finance my open source efford).
    I do not always use open source, but where it fits my needs, I do. For my current task (rewriting my project documentation), I am using Scrivener and at the end LaTex, where I need to replace a commercial font from an example textbook project.
    From a design point, what font would you use for a software application textbook? I have absolutely no expertise in that but need to stick with LaTex, because that gives me the most versability at my current old Snow Leopard. And with the Scrivener software, I have a good and well known text / book / screenplay / and more writing software (after a long thinking period about how to improve my document writing experience).
    I need Adope Type 1 fonts that my current LaTex installation can handle (no TTF).
    PS. I am using Inkscape, Blender, Gimp and Shotcut (video projects) beside Linux and other stuff 🙂

    1. mairin says:

      Hey Lothar, I missed your post, it got lost in the spam queue. I’m going to email you privately some ideas.

  11. Peter V. Daniels says:

    Top of the Day Mairin
    I thought I’d send a thank you for your hard work. Thank you!
    For me a Fedora user mostly on the Workstation I’m busy mostly with my Music and Libre
    Calc., for some data processing for my sister. I’m signed in on Bugzilla of course too.
    Cannot Imagine me on any other OS. So till I’m pushing up daisies as they say I will love Fedora Linux…………
    Logo Shift to me might be (
    Music Related rather than Techno i.e.:
    Varied fonts expressing themselves are floating in my mind.
    SO :EXPRESSIVE ( f e d o r a ) sort of kinda thing!


    Peter V. Daniels

  12. Heather Leenders says:

    Hello Máirín,

    I came across an entry on your previous WordPress site called “Teaching Kids About Bitmaps and Vectors.” (https://mairin.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/teaching-kids-about-bitmaps-and-vectors/)

    I’m am doing just that. And I was wondering if you still had access to the worksheets you and your co-teacher created. It’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for to help my special needs young adults understand this important concept. If you can help, please let me know! Thank you.


    1. mairin says:

      Hi Heather! I do still have access, and have updated the links – it seems the server hosting them changed its configuration which changed the URLs, so I’ve fixed them and they should work now! The same post & files with fixed links are available on this blog as well (I migrated off of the wordpress.com one): https://blog.linuxgrrl.com/2009/04/09/teaching-kids-about-bitmaps-and-vectors/

      Note the source SVGs are available too, so if you need to make any modifications feel free! I’m so glad these might be useful to you, and thanks for letting me know about the broken link so I could fix it. I’ll email you with the updated link as well.


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