OpenGL® Licensing and Logos

OpenGL Licensing Programs

Application developers do not need to license the OpenGL API. Generally, hardware vendors that are creating binaries to ship with their hardware are the only developers that need to have a license. If an application developer wants to use the OpenGL API, the developer needs to obtain copies of a linkable OpenGL library for a particular hardware device or machine. Those OpenGL libraries may be bundled with the development and/or run-time options or may be purchased from a third-party software vendor without licensing the source code or use of the OpenGL trademark.

The following are the currently available licenses:

  • Open source license, for use of the S.I.. This is a Free Software License B closely modeled on BSD, X, and Mozilla licenses.
  • Trademark License. for new licensees who want to use the OpenGL trademark and logo and claim conformance. This license is available free of charge if you are developing open source implementations on open source platforms. For closed source licenses or licenses on proprietary platforms, a charge will be associated with a trademark license.

    As an added note, past Level 3 licensees could distribute modified OpenGL source code only to either level 2 or level 3 licensees. With release of the S.I. to open source, SGI has relaxed this requirement to some extent. Provided the distributor (a current level 3 licensee) is willing to sign a Retro Agreement with SGI and change the copyrights on the code to the open source copyrights (and then submit the code to SGI for inspection), the distributee does not have to be a level 2 or level 3 licensee. If the Distributor chooses not to do the preceding, then the distributee must become a level 2 Licensee.

    New open source licenses of the OpenGL S.I. can freely distribute source and modified source within the liberal terms of the open source license.
    Note Licenses for Windows® platforms ARE obtained directly from Microsoft. Developers should send an e-mail to with the words line 3-D Graphics DDK Licenses in the subject line.

    In the past, licenses included source code (depending upon the license) and documentation. Currently, all the source code is available as open source and the documentation is available on the website. So licenses now convey rights and have no deliverables associated with them.

OpenGL Logo Style Guidelines for Print

The OpenGL logo changed and evolved into a new identity in November 1996. This page contains digital display and printing guidelines for the new OpenGL logo usage. Establishing a strong identity plays an important role in the success of any product. This is achieved through a consistent look and feel in all communications including advertising, brochures, packaging, technical publications, marketing materials, on-screen demos, forms, legal documents, and the Web.

We urge you to use the OpenGL logo in an original electronic file format. Using an original file ensures the integrity of the identity. Maintaining logo usage format and color standards are of vital importance. Through adherence to the guidelines described, a strong cohesive visual image will reinforce the OpenGL name and industry presence.

Color Specifications
The OpenGL logo should be reproduced in the two-color version whenever possible. The two colors are Pantone 646 (blue), and Black. When it is reproduced in four-color process, match against a Pantone color swatch (cyan: 69%, magenta: 8.5%, black: 23.5%). These two verisons are to be used only against a light background.

  RGB   Grayscale
  TIFF format (ZIP)   TIFF format (ZIP)

When the logo is reproduced in one color (100 or higher linescreen) use the greyscale version. If using 85 or lower linescreen use the 100% black version. When the logo appears against a dark background use the reversed-out version. The dropshadow is used only when the logo is at least one inch wide and in color.

  B/W   Reverse
  EPS format (ZIP)   EPS format (ZIP)

Minimum Size
The OpenGL logo should never be reproduced smaller than 3/4" width (proportionally) on print materials.


Clear Space
The "clear space" guideline is to ensure legibility and easy recognition. No written information or other company logos should appear within the specificed area.


Logo Integrity
Never alter the OpenGL logo. To maintain the integrity of the logo, use the electronic file. This will ensure proper size, proportion, and color separation.

Web Usage
When reproducing the OpenGL logo on the Web, always use the color version with the dropshadow (unless it's against a dark background) or use any of the animated versions. When reproducing against a dark background, use the reversed-out version shown above. The minimum size is 1" width.

SGI's OpenGL licensees may use the OpenGL trademark in print in accordance with these guidelines (PDF), as provided by their license agreement. These guidelines are intended to assure proper use of the OpenGL trademark, to preserve its distinctiveness and enhance its value for everyone's mutual benefit.