Organization digital and physical

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Elixer, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Elixer macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2006
    I just recently dove into all my design work from my classes and there is a pretty massive pile sitting on my floor right now.

    I'm curious as to what things graphic designers hang onto and what they toss. Do you keep your thumbs and roughs? Or just finals? And for sorting them do you do it by project type?

    Any tips on staying organized either with digital file or physical files are welcome.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    At the moment, everything I have is stored on a 2TB drive which is backed up every night, sometimes twice a day.

    There will be one numbered and named project folder corresponding to its details on a spreadsheet, all of the following go into this one folder:

    Emails, quotes, invoices, print specs etc all get saved into a Correspondence folder. Pencil scamps get scanned at 600ppi and saved as greyscale high quality JPGs. Intermediate InDesign or Quark files get tossed, except for any Illustrator or Photoshop files that I can perhaps reuse layers from later... and they go into a Working files folder.

    Signoff PDF proofs get stashed in the Proofs folder. Final output files get collected or packaged into separate folders with linked images and fonts. Press PDFs go into a Press PDF folder.

    Once all collated, the job folder is compressed into a disk image with its number and project name, dumped into the Design Archive and indexed using CD Finder so I can quickly retrieve any file just by keyword or file name.

    Hard copies (usually three of each) go into boxes and stored horizontally in the closet. Every year or so, I weed these out, keeping only the best stuff that might end up in the back of a print portfolio at some point... I have to be strict with myself because a lot of the stuff I've done in the past are publications, sometimes with hundreds of pages. They get really heavy and take up a lot of space.

    Also, any decent hard copies (one in eight, say) get photographed with a DSLR from a number of angles, spreads and covers, against a white background for possible inclusion into portfolio.

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