Digital asset management system for small graphic design operations

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Digital asset management system for small graphic design operations Levy Chandra

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Digital Asset Management System for Small Graphic Design Operations

By Levy Chandra

A thesis

submitted

requirements

in

in the School

in the College

partial

for the degree of

of

Imaging

Master

of

of the

Science

Print Media

Arts

Rochester Institute

fulfillment

of

of

and

Science

of

Technology

June 2005

Thesis Advisor: Professor Franziska

Frey (Primary) (Secondary)

Professor Bill Klingensmith

the

School of Print Media Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York Certificate of Approval

Master's Thesis

This is to certify that the Master's Thesis of Levy Chandra has been approved by the thesis committee as satisfactory for the thesis requirement for the Master of Science degree at the convocation of June 2005 Thesis Committee:

Franziska Frey Thesis Advisor

Bill Klingensmith Secondary Thesis Advisor

Twyla J. Cummings Graduate Thesis Coordinator

Twyla J. Cummings Graduate Program Coordinator

Patricia Sorce Chair, SPM

Permission to Reproduce

Title

of

and

R.I.T. Thesis

Thesis

"Digital Asset Management System for Small Graphic Design

I, Levy Chandra, hereby

grant permission to the

to reproduce my thesis in

whole or

in

part.

commercial use or profit.

Date

n

Any

Operations"

Wallace Memorial

Library

reproduction will not

be for

of

R.I.T.

Acknowledgements

I

wish

to especially thank my parents, for their continuing

my thesis; Professor Franziska research

all

for her

patience and guidance

process; Professor Bill Klingensmith

fourteen

to all my

Frey

research

participants,

resourceful peer

Dolinskiy

for

for his

who allocated

friends in the SPM Class

of

support

in

throughout the

guidance and

their time

for this

completion of

directions. I thank

case study.

2005, especially Diana Mross for being

advisor, Howard Vogl for sharing his research experiences,

helping

this

research

to

reach

in

its

completion.

Lastly, such a

and

Lana

Table

of

Contents

1

Abstract Chapter 1: Introduction

and

Statement

of

the Problem

2 5

Chapter 2: Literature Review 1.

Introduction

5

2.

Graphic design firms

6

2.1.

Background

6

2.2.

Job titles

2.3.

Managing

2.4.

The designer-to-client relationship

8

2.5.

Designers

9

Digital

assets

9

3. 1

Images

10

3.

.

3.2.

4.

design firm

creative people

and organizational skills

3.1.1

Image formats

3.1.2.

Image

7

12

3.2.1.

Font

management

3.2.2.

Font

management software

Common

6

resolutions

Text

asset management strategies

14

4.1. Loosely-structured databases

14

4.2.

15

Naming

4.3. Image 4.4.

5.

at a

15

replacement

Backup/archiving

Storage 5.1.

conventions

systems

15

media

16

CD/DVD

16 iv

5.2.

Tape drives

17

5.3.

Hard drives

17

5.4.

Servers

17

Digital

asset management

18

6.1.

How

a

19

6.2.

Who

uses

6.3.

The future

DAM

solution works

DAM of

20

solutions

DAM

21

solutions

21

DAM technology 7.1.

7.2.

7.1.1.

Types

7.1.2.

Challenges in

7.1.3.

Metadata

Search

engine

7.2.1.

Internet

7.2.2

Desktop

7.2.3. 7.3.

User-

8.2.

metadata

standardization attempts

24

technology search engines

search engines

friendly

solutions

27

Proprietary

Available DAM .

of metadata

Databases 7.3.1

8. 1

22

Metadata

server and

database

solutions

29

solutions

Enterprise-scale

Specialized

29

solutions

30

software/ small-scale solutions

8.2.1 Price Ranges Things to

consider

9.1.

Initial

9.2.

Challenges

9.2. 1

.

9.2.2.

before

implementing

new

DAM

solutions

31 32

steps of

DAM

Skilled

32

worker shortage

Management

expectations

10.

DAM

and graphic Designers'

10.1. 10.2.

35

designers

35

limited foundation

The importance

of asset management

35

for designers

Chapter 3: Research Questions

37

Chapter 4

:

Methodology

39

Chapter 5

:

Data Analysis

42

1.

2.

Chapter 6 1

.

:

Interview summary

42

1.1.

Subject V

42

1.2.

Subject VIII

47

Tables

and comparisons

52

2.1.

Demographics

52

2.2.

Project naming & back up

2.3.

Archival

2.4.

Folder nesting

2.5.

Archival

2.6.

Other issues

57

2.7.

Asset

60

2.8.

Exemplary

2.9.

Future

Summary How

and

system and

54

system

proprietary

55

software

55

56

storage systems

management problems

61

asset management solutions

plans to

improve

61

asset management system

Conclusions

small graphic

2.

Problem faced

3.

Things to

by

63

design firms

participants

consider when

manages

in managing their digital

creating

64

their assets

an asset management

65

assets

strategy

....

66

3.1.

Naming

3.2.

Folder nesting

67

3.3.

Archiving

68

3.4.

Backup

68

3.5.

Searching

68

3.6.

Means

67

convention

of asset

transfer

vi

68

4.

Improving

5.

Software

6.

Implications

Chapter 7

:

current asset management strategies

69 70

solutions

of weak asset management system

Suggestions for Further

70 72

Study

Bibliography

73

Appendix

78

Appendix A. Questionnaires

78

Appendix B.

80

Preliminary interviews

Appendix C. Interviews

85

summaries

Subject I: Graduate

student/freelance

designer

85

Subject II: Instructor/freelance designer

90

Subject III: Two-person design business

93

Subject IV: Lead designer

98

with

Subject VI: Veteran designer

many freelancers

who

currently teaches

1 03

Subject VII: An in-house design department

1 07

Subject IX: Two-person, 29-year-old firm

112

Subject X: One-man

115

operation

Subject XI: An in-house design division in

Subject XII: Somewhat larger firm

vu

with six

a

hospital

full-time designers

118 122

List

of

Figures

Table 1 Image file formats

11

Table 2. Enterprise-scale

29

.

Table 3. Management Participants'

Table 4.

challenges of

34

DAM

53

demographics

Table 5. Project naming Table 6. Archival

vendors

and

back-up

system and

54

systems

proprietary

55

software

Table 7. Folder nesting

56

Table 8. Archival

57

storage systems

Table 9. Reprint, metadata, IT consultant, Table 10. Search processes,

asset

ownership,

Table 11. Asset

management problems

Table 12. Asset

management solutions

Table 13. Future

plans

Table 14. Folder

organizations

Figure 1 Things to .

faced

distribution

media

58

and central asset repositories

59

by

60

participants

61 61

consider

Figure 2. Design firm V

and asset

in

67 asset management system creation

file-naming convention

Figure 3. Design firm Ill's

file-naming convention

Figure 4. Design firm IV's file naming

convention

vm

66 45 95 99

Abstract

to the 1999 data

According firms of

are

small,

of

with no more than

literature relating to digital

These

graphic

design firms

each, such as text,

images,

management software

workflows

research

management systems

by

to

and

is in

a case

study

and

using

choose

backup

consider when

to

there

is

a

graphic

limited

relation

to this

multiple

digital

use

design

amount

population.

proprietary

assets

for

asset

their assets, while others set up

can

of

the current

First,

practices of asset

asset management problems

the basic challenges

asset searchability.

their file

Most

include naming

participants

in this study

management practices.

improve

their asset management system

DAM technologies;

organization; and

managing digital assets,

backup,

as simple as

digital

and

of current

and more on systematic

design firms.

identified. Some

Graphic design firms informed

which observes

small graphic

make improvements- in

archiving,

fonts. Some firms

than 75% of

Currently,

(DAM) in

asset management

to manage, search,

participants were

themselves

employees.

work on various projects

conventions, folder nesting,

want

four

more

that utilize existing network systems and graphic software.

This

faced

Census Bureau,

the U.S.

by

relying less

by developing

namely:

by keeping

on personal

a checklist of

memory

important items to

naming convention, folder nesting,

searching, and means of asset transfer. In some cases, the solution

applying

available

desktop

search engines

1

to the

workflow.

is

Chapter 1 Introduction

Statement

of

the

problem

Graphic designers digital assets, and

they

such as

often

to

need

text, images,

have to be

designers

work on more

designers

can work on

the

increase in

project

and

than

fonts. These

to fulfill a

repurposed

of projects, each of which use multiple

one project at

any

assets can come

client's request.

given

storage capacity.

Designers

need

to

More

time. At the

the same projects. The number of

files

juggle

all

in different

same

stored

this

often

is

versions,

than not,

time,

multiple

increasing with

and still meet

their

deadlines.

To

effectively

work

in

an environment as

manage

manage, store,

be

kinds

work on various

described above, designers

their workflow. An asset

and search

for files

without

management system must

obstructing their

achieved either with a software solution or

available

in every operating

be hidden, lost,

or

even

redesigning

even

disrupt

a

system.

corrupted,

job. A

forcing

Without

by designing

a workflow

their clients.

may

time

cause

to

designers to

creative workflow.

waste precious

weak asset management system

relationships with

help

This

can

using tools

a proper asset management

designers to

designers'

need a system

system, files

searching for

financial loss

or

or

can

Background

and present significance

Digital Asset Management

assets.

Many

services

do

not

graphic

design firms

they

will

to finance

of

other

them

created

the

DAM

programs and others provide

systems and

to

need

than half the total

to start-up designers to

manage

a special

hosted

order

number of graphic

with

few

assets

files, they may

system.

not

to

be

sure

Smaller firms usually

assets.

that larger

review shows

implemented them. in

their

DAM

to manage digital

the literature

personnel

They

to increase

are

enterprises

have

realized

willing to invest time

efficiency.

and

Larger firms usually do

manage assets.

for interest in the study

of a graphic

understand

belong

investing in

software and equipment

reason

designer

goes

beyond

creative work.

Graphic designers

must

the basic skills necessary to manage their files. This understanding

strong infrastructure,

many designers do

Instead,

of

personnel

hand,

DAM

have dedicated IT

The job

tool for managing one's digital

powerful

constitute more

aware of

benefit from

have dedicated IT

the benefits

a

Many

While they may be

On the

The

very

have

software companies

design firms in the U.S.

whether

a

to their clients.

Small

manage.

(DAM) is

not

which will

in turn

support

have the opportunity to

the need to learn

management skills

the

creative process.

acquire

is forced

will create

Unfortunately,

these skills at an academic

on

level.

them in real-life experience.

Small them have

other

designers

were chosen as

the

subject of

this study because

not made sophisticated asset management a priority.

scale makes

create a

graphic

them easier to

basic

observe.

By

analyzing

they

can

implement. This

workflow which

individuals

who wish

small graphic

to manage their digital assets.

their small

Additionally, design

workflow

firms,

may

also

most of

I hope to

be

useful

for

Chapter 2 Literature Review

1.

In the

Introduction

graphic arts

organize

industry

digital files.

there

Many

has been

graphic

a

rising

design firms

clients'

digital

attention

to their

From

Young

assets.

file

experience, I have found that many

their current systems, and

designated DAM

system.

graphic

designers

extensively used, graphic software.

However,

designers

management system.

the need

for

systems

to

the service of managing their

would

do

well

to pay close

organization systems.

personal

graphic

now offer

design firms

and small graphic

comfortable with

increases,

awareness of

such as

the

will realize

This literature

work and

as

do

not

feel the

number of

the

need

to

designers invest in

necessity

a

specifically

of a good asset

illustrate factors that influence the way

think. There are available technologies that

searching features

are

their sources, projects, and clientele

unavoidable

review will

graphic

and metadata

filing

have

options,

not

been

available

in

2.

Graphic design firms

2.1.

Background

A design

studio

design

carrying

or

is

in different kinds inhouse division

an

to as

department,

a

design

department,

a creative

who wants

a

worked

Freelancing

Job titles

at a

working solo,

many

entry level. At the

director, design director,

designer,

people

positions can

creative

manager.

The

senior art

in

an

an art services

freelancer. A freelance

some period of time, or

and

simply

starts

his

or

be

of

graphic

a recent graduate

her

own small graphic

directly with

the

discipline (Fleishman, 1992).

design firm

level,

design

work

a creative services

the designer the opportunity to deal

higher degree

are employed

group (Fleishman, 1992).

others

for

department,

services

for

support

or

design

simple

design department is

graphic

design department,

as small as a single

there are

department,

an art and

or a graphic

offers

require a

design studio,

graphics

of

An inhouse

be

studio can

client, but it does

In

group,

a

include

can

institutions. Some designers

and

company.

department,

department,

the freedom

design firm.

2.2.

an art

identity. Services

to completion. Graphic designers

concept

bigger

as a part of a

designer may have

name and

businesses, industries,

often referred

A design

from

a project

of

definite

with a

entity

creative or

director,

art

be

involved,

all with

at a managerial

managerial

corporate art

level,

level,

different titles

creative or

tasks. In a

design level,

the designer's job title would be

director,

creative service

design level includes the titles

director,

and

and graphic editor.

manager, or

of senior

The

support

designer, level

personnel

are called

junior designers,

directors,

assistant art

ladder is the entry

Many media

and each

has its

competition

design,

on

Managing

Managing order

to

other

a

If the

team

job

Different design

and

and

from

paper

to

target. It is difficult for

the limited

project

corporate

demand

and

design, book

editorial, advertising, environmental,

lettering (Heller,

1999).

is different than managing

team,

creative employees

a manager

like

in

freedom,

the team

a widget

factory may

greatly

creative professionals requires great sensitivity.

designers because

a

with

team. In

not

be

chaotic.

The best

linear

backfire."

and

On the

managers of

that

treating

(Tischler, 2004)

individual creativity, managing

Design firms

design firm's

7

will

creativity.

is

processor

balance between freedom

maintain a

creative process

value of a product varies

their

data-entry

a

hinder the team's

"that the

workers

has to

too much

structure will

creative personnel understand

relationships with

media range

include

specialties

the

that involve switching

focus

of

of

freelancers (Heller, 1999).

of

The

or client.

type of media because

manager gives

confining

Since the

help

of projects

variety

of a specific

type and

manage a creative

hand,

At the bottom

creative people

a creative

and structure.

work on a

associate art

designer, junior designer,

also utilize the

design, information design,

and

media, motion,

2.3.

one

(Heller, 1999).

music/record

assistant

own requirement with a unique

just

directors,

art

production artists or art associates.

design firms

designers

graphic

designer to focus

new

some

designers, deputy

includes the

which

according to the demand

screen,

a

directors,

level,

interns. In addition,

assistant

need

most

to maintain good

important

assets are not

machinery, software, capital, more

than one person

can

raw

only be

individuals,

talents of multiple

a

think

making

They

than most

efforts and

and

be

"Creative

people."

(Gold, 1995) In

to define

an employer needs

shortcomings,

management

people stick

are encouraged

nothing

system

news

is that

many

other

stand at all

patient.

what needs

It helps for the

order

to

to be

employer

to

to that

techniques involve

system.

to break the mold,

that has to be

This is

how

not

be

which will

maintained with

finding

professionals, designers

times.

They

have

a

expect

hunger for

DAM is

a problem since

an all-or

(Romano, 2001). The

good

to teach and train them. Just

to be kept informed

learning

that works perfectly

creative professionals work.

consistency

creative professionals expect employers

a system

and

trying

and

new

to know

things

like

where

(AIGA,

they

1989).

The designer-to-client relationship

2.4.

Design firms

that

harmonize the

employs

of him/herself as a coach.

Traditional

and

specific

can

A firm that

which requires effective people management.

designer's performance,

improved, identify

it

successful when

people need rewards and attention more

improve

inventory, but people.

or

materials,

need

to

will attract more

themselves and

satisfying.

graphic

clients,

need

while at

the

expect,

same

make a

profit,

time creating

a

and produce materials

working

pleasant and

creatively

design firms to be

creative and

imaginative,

employees

and responsive and

design firms

they

is

for their

Clients

dependable,

give clients what

that

flexible. A

and

environment

financially

experienced and

proper asset management system will

serve all of these needs

(Gold, 1995). 8

for

help

-

There

two

are

handling more jobs depends

other

on

the

hand, is

or

in

which a graphic

"Manually

design firm

by charging higher prices.

demand for the firm's

within

Automatically

ways

the

the

power of

The ability to

design firm to

clients'

images

repurposing

repurposing

...

is

not

charge a

The ability to handle

services.

by

can make more money:

higher

more

jobs,

price

the

on

(Gold, 1995).

control

quickly inflate billable hours.

can

only saving time, [but]

.

.

.also

saving

a client's

money."

(Jacobs, 2003)

2.5.

Designers

Many designers

and organizational skills

will arrive at a state of

because their intuitive them. But

in

fact,

natures will

to be successful,

control support each other.

come

from well-organized,

finish the

required project

and make

it

3.

a

"The

balk

disorganization, at

the

graphic

most

rigid

because they intend to, but

structure

designers

consistently

not

that has been imposed

must realize

upon

that creativity and

high-quality design work tends (Gold, 1995) To have

to

shops."

well-managed

well,

on

time,

and at a profit.

Designers

control means

must recognize

to

this

habit.

Digital Assets

Just like every manage

other graphic arts

their digital

company.

These

impossible for

assets.

Every

assets consist of

me

to

cover

every

design

company, small graphic

company has

a

library

to

of assets that are valuable

images, templates, text, asset

operations need

etc.

category that designers

to the

(Romano, 2001) It is use

to do their projects.

The

following

images, text,

section will

and

typefaces,

3.1.

Images

3.1.1

File format

Designers

name a

color

discuss

work on projects

few. To

settings,

some of the most commonly-used assets,

which all need

managing

and controlling.

in different image formats

make matters more

complicated,

and other specifications.

Table 1

file formats.

10

they

including

PICT, TIFF, EPS, also require

explains

the

and

JPEG,

to

different resolutions,

most commonly-used

image

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10.

DAM

DAM is

Graphic Designers

and

special

in that it is

search and retrieve

spend a great

system

is

approval

10.1.

deal

files

of

not

just

about

storing

files,

Many people have

quickly.

but it is

to manage

also about

a

lot

of

the ability to

files,

process, because it

can

the creative process. DAM

tally up

all

the results

will also

(Kornbluth,

improve the

2004).

'

Designers limited foundation

graphic

designers

understand

pre-flighting,

workflow and

file mastering,

there are no best practices related to the organization, archival and retrieval

According

to GATF research,

searching for images

store and manipulate

print

encoded

electronic

for future

current practice

to

web or

of the average creative person's

images is

files.

time is spent

is for

CD-ROM,

becoming more

important

Hence,

there is

a

growing

browsing images (University

graphic

and

for designers

as

documents. These digital images

retrieval.

sophisticated ways of retrieving and

The

50%

of asset management

increasingly incorporated into electronically

almost

of

(Evans, 2002).

The importance

The ability to

from

therefore

time searching, retrieving, organizing and sharing files. If this

improved, it will improve

Although many

10.2.

and

designers to

back to

store

print again.

35

of

need

images

are

are stored and

for

more

Maryland, 2004).

images in

an

image server,

High-resolution images

are

the

largest

consumers of space.

developed, (Romano,

better

management of graphic

systems and

images is the best

hard drives have been solution

to the

problem

2001).

This preliminary researcher

Although better IT

research of

the opportunity to derive

information

of

both

a

graphic

from

and

the DAM

industry

strong relationship between the two

the industry's current state. The

understandings gathered

design

available

researcher will use

literature

36

as

given

by providing

these basic

the basis for the

has

case study.

Chapter 3 Research Questions

In this digital age,

almost

Everything

assets.

designers have to available

digital

is

everybody has to deal

"going

digital,"

and

digital

manage various

with an

increasing

apparently this trend is assets to

asset management solutions on

number of

not

going

digital

away.

do their jobs. Currently, there

the market, both for

big

Graphic

are

many

enterprises and

small organizations.

Since this is

designers

graphic

will

help

chosen

to

lay

an

and

exploratory study, it

their digital

asset management.

are

fewer

their operations,

their actually design,

both to

on

the

meet project

following 1

.

2.

graphic

sound, layouts

images, text,

scale

is

design

and correspondence.

and manage

however,

operations were

to them than

graphic

digital

manage various

On top

of this,

design firms have to

assets.

Therefore,

this

digital

small graphic

use

research

What kind

assets?

of problems

do they face in managing their digital

assets?

operations manage

37

to

do

their time

their digital

design

assets

they have

questions:

How do

relating to

more manageable.

designers have to

job, designing! Small

deadlines

graphic

asset management solutions available

to bigger enterprises, and because their

such as

Some basic questions,

the groundwork for future study. Small

both because there

During

will not answer all of the questions

is based

The

research conclusion will

require minimal

created

by

operations

financial

include

a suggested

commitment

studying the digital

from the

list

of points

graphic

to consider

designers. This

which will

model will

asset management systems of various small graphic

through the case study

method.

38

be design

Chapter 4

Methodology

The

is to learn the

purpose of this research

current situation of small graphic

design

operations'

asset management systems.

designers,

small graphic

from these three types

with

industry

overview of

knowledge for further

Data

research

groups

inhouse

being

observed

creative

generally face

limited time

and

divisions

similar

financial

include: freelance of a

limitations in

resources.

of

digital

dealing

This study

the current situation, while adding to the

in the field

firm. Designers

will

store of

asset management.

collection plan

A secondary

lay the

about

and

of design operations

their digital assets, namely,

provide an

to

design firms,

The

in the form

research

foundation for field

their

research.

questions,

which

helped to

ended questions gave subjects

personal experience.

to

give

A copy

them

an

The interview

cover

important

the opportunity to

of

the

literature

Graphic designers

asset management workflow.

open-ended

advance

of an extensive

were

areas of the study.

their

research questions was sent

opportunity to

prepare

39

order

interviewed to learn

process was guided

elaborate

in

review was conducted

answers

to the

themselves for the

by

a

list

These

based

actual

open-

on

participants

of

their

in

interviews. Two

interviews

pilot

research participants are

The

searching.

size.

They

before

were conducted

mainly located in

main areas covered

Small

graphic

researcher

by the

design firms

also constitute a

large

upstate

finalized the

The

New York.

include file archiving,

research

were chosen

because

the total

portion of

set of questions.

of

backup,

and

their relatively manageable

number of graphic

designers in the

U.S.

Components 1

.

of

the

An initial loosely-formatted

for in the study, helped

design include:

research

with

set of research questions

issues,

theoretical

to determine

and guided

what

to look

the type of evidence to

look for (see Appendix A). 2.

Subjects

of

the

research

study from the

population of small graphic

design

operations:

Two

small

design firms for

Twelve field

3.

Linkage

4.

Summary

pilot research

(see Appendix B).

research participants.

of collected

data to preliminary

and conclusion

based

on

the

research questions.

research

finding.

Data Analysis

Case study is

a

type

of research with

lower

constraints.

Therefore,

thoughts"

research

depends

analysis

stage, the

on

the "researcher's clarity

researcher must attend

to

of

all

40

the

the validity of the

(Graziano, 2004). During

evidence without

the

biases, determine

the most significant

knowledge

The

models of

across

of the

aspects of what was

topic

analysis of

logic in the

the interviews is all

the firms interviewed

interpretations."

show[ing]

data helped to

The

to the

results of this

relationships,

and present

and research subject wish

researcher studies

the

looking

of

They

analyze

is

evidence

adequate concern

asset management strategies.

research questions

about

(Yin, 2003). The

firms'

the

rely

on

his

or

her

prior

for patterns, explanations,

presented

for exploring

the interviews

were studied

will

for

the study. The

"separate from any

alternative

specifically be

similarities and

matrix mapped

observed on

differences. A

directions from

set of conclusions.

study

were analyzed

digital lists

according to company background,

asset management systems.

were also

be

analyzed.

Moreover,

By proceeding

to be

used

by the

41

participants.

client

current problems

this way, the

cause of each problem and offer possible solutions

asset management strategies

and

to the questions posed, and then synthesizing the results

(Yin, 2003) The result

matrix of relevant

and

(Yin, 2003).

answers

interpretations, [while]

presented,

based

on

better

Chapter 5

Data Analysis

In

order

to determine whether the

improvement,

operation needed

practice of

digital

interviewed an attempt

systems.

the researcher had to first study the firm's

asset management.

during the

field

research.

to ascertain the state of the

The

analysis

Only two

those firms

represents

firms that

ten interview

Twelve

small graphic

Results

were categorized

with a

use

operations were

into

by the

several segments

in

participants.

included in this

are

chapter.

utilization of asset management

less constraining

summaries are

current

current use of asset management

interviews

high

design

design

participants'

then highlights problems faced

out of twelve

represents

other

asset management system of a small graphic

The former

(Subject V). The latter

asset management systems

(Subject VIII). The

included in Appendix C.

1.

Interview

1.1.

Subject V: Three-person business

summaries

Anonymous (personal

communication,

two designers

and a project manager

January 20, 2005)

Company profile This design company has been in the

firm currently has

two

designers

graphic

design

and one project

42

industry for the past four years.

manager,

each of whom

has

access

The to

the digital asset system. The company hires freelancers as needed. The

freelancers do

have direct

digital

to the firm's digital asset system, but

access

instead

receive

assets

not

by

CD.

Asset In

management system

order

to manage their digital assets, the designers

proprietary software, Extensis

Portfolio,

comes with an

to track the

and a

not

easy

only because it is

works

regularly

photographs are received, the

date

to sorting through a

appear at

location

The

update option.

that suits their

affordable

the

top level

of the photograph

with

(about

other software

amount of time spent on a project and

The firm

similar

convention

naming

use a combination of

They

use

$300) but also because

is Studio Zzar,

to create naming

which

of

it

the firm uses

systems.

three freelance photographers. When their

designers

organize

them using Extensis Portfolio. This is

collection of photographs.

of the

workflow.

two types

The

photographer's name and

folder's hierarchy. Information

about

the

subject or

follows.

System improvement The lead designer

himself, he

uses

photography.

the

advantage of using metadata.

technical metadata

in the form

of Exif

This helps him determine the best

including ISO, when

understands

exposure, speed,

etc.

Descriptive

conditions

a photographer

obtained

from digital

for capturing

metadata are also

Portfolio. organizing digital images in Extensis

43

data

As

images,

occasionally input

the

Ideally, the designer wishes library,

and software

include

color composition.

that

can search

for

search

Digital

and

previous

of

projects, he

images. This

Each

client gets a

in the

To

and archived

for

source

files

the

on

the

directory

Image

Getty

which

by going through

designers to

software allows

system.

each

Each job

designer is

search

job

for

image. To

structure of the

given

also

his D

For example,

while another starts

a six-digit

has

from 5000,

or

her

printer

(M)

Versioning is

one

number.

and which

files

also considered

especially

by

client, followed

scheme which starts with a client's

with new clients assigned

when clients

designated

and

M

starts

This

on

the same

set of numbers when

part of a

naming

(mechanical) followed by the designer's from 1000

when

system allows users

naming the

files,

to determine who has

which

file

working files (D).

in the naming

of a

to the next

This designation informs the designer

are

by

three-digit number.

designer

and so on.

keeping all of the different versions files,

both listed

naming

own

(design)

worked on a particular part of a project.

to the

a

are

designers from working simultaneously

are named with

assigned number.

files

three-digit number,

prevent multiple

files. The files

recreate

library, like

relies on the client's prefix and

descriptions. The firm has

number

went

image

asset workflow

project

project,

searches

by using keywords based

For naming conventions, live

prefix.

an actual

for images according to image contents,

Currently he

Extensis Portfolio's database

images visually

to have

file in

convention.

progress

may

decide that they like

44

The firm believes that

save

them from

having to

an earlier version of

the draft.

Files

are saved

(Anonymous, x

x

in

a

"non-destructive

and

evolutionary

[location]

for that

reason"

2005).

x

'.

xxx

-

job

client prefix

FIT e

s

D1000

number

D1001 Figure 2. Design firm V's file naming

Once

a

job is

DVDs. A

ones.

To

finished, it is DVD may

single

store

convention

considered an archived

consist of one

digital assets, the firm

automatically backed up to

large

are

transferred to

project or a compilation of many smaller

uses server space.

drive in the

another

job. These jobs

These

network on a

then

assets are

daily basis.

Challenges One

of the

biggest

challenges with

the firm's

files. Because

of

exponentially.

The firm currently has

doubles its

obstacle

manage

project manager.

assets.

this

of

every

cost of

assets.

the

one

it

adds

At the time

[by]

spend

of the

grow

in the network,

and

time managing

another

(Anonymous, 2005) There is

45

and software

to

the firm had just hired

interview,

increase [ing] the

project."

a particular

volume of

year.

troublesome, "It is

to the time

is its

has had to

thera-byte of storage space

project manager's responsibilities

process was not viewed as

and

network

involving human resources

In the past, both designers had to

schedule,

do

is the

digital

One

in the

size of storage media

amount of storage space

Another

specifically

this, the

asset management system

is to

help

digital

thing

to

manage

assets.

digital

Although

manage and put

into

number of man-hours required

no specific

a

billing item

to cover

a

to

asset management costs, since

head designer

of the

are

included in the

firm hopes to have the

duty would be to

specific

they

control

digital

price of the

resources to

assets and enter

hire

design. Eventually, the

an asset manager whose

descriptive

during

metadata

image input. There have been

longer

retrievable

occasions when a portion of a project's

because

of

data

media, but occasionally the media fail

storage

happens,

the firm

however,

the

printers

has to

designer

suffer

a

to contact his

design

involves

a

contingency for completion, the firm does services.

Some

projects

that

could charge

bookseller interface, creating

designing an

image

library

The firm has

keep them because

an

for

cost

for

buy

heavy

recreate

during

of

its

When this

the file. In the past,

to retrieve digital assets. Most

of

the

submission.

amount of asset management as a

feel that it

not

for DAM

library

purging

should charge clients

services might

be

for DAM

building an

for digital printing companies,

some of

storage media

issue. Furthermore, the designer feels

he'll just

files

process.

quality

Internet

or

an auto manufacturer.

considered

the

image

having to

printer

with require native

project

of

assets were no

maintain the

during the backup

the financial loss

was able

that the firm works

Unless

an

The firm tries to

corruption.

digital

its digital

assets.

has fallen to the

a greater need

some more storage cabinets.

46

to

However, it decided

point where

keep

physical

it is

files

no

on

to

longer

hand,

so

Backups

and

archiving

The firm keeps

sufficient copies of backups and

has

a versatile workflow.

the firm has maintained regularly scheduled check-ups quarter.

Regarding

software provider

the

time-tracking

monitors

constantly

The designer feels that there

for

management

graphic

must realize

its technical

are

designers. He

unimportant part of the curriculum.

designers

software, the firm

by

Additionally,

outside technical support

serves as a

beta testing site,

every so

the

aspects.

too few educational resources in asset

mentioned that this area

In reality,

however,

that asset management is

an

is

often

the opposite

integral

thought

of as an

is true. Graphic

part of

their profession.

1996, but

the designer has

1.2. Subject VIII: One-woman design firm

Anonymous (personal communication,

January 21, 2005)

Company profile This

one-

worked

woman

design firm has been in

professionally

since

1989. She constantly

photographers and two writers.

During

operation since

She

works with

also uses some stock

the design process, the designer

often

freelance designers. These freelance designers then

only the

charges

client

for her

services as an art

director. She does

does. This designer does, however, hire

aspects of her

design

process.

47

photography for her

has to

work

three freelance

projects.

connect clients with other

directly with

not

the client,

directly hire

programmers

to

help

the

with

and she

freelancers; the technical

Asset At

management system

first, due

consider

to the small number of files that she had to manage, the designer did an asset management system.

using

backing up

and

one client asked

to

was able

assets are an

searching her for

a

brochure

find the files, but

have taken her less time to static

electricity

caused

integral

project

part of a graphic

that she had

that had

realized

search

She later learned from

she

for them. One

by her plastic

had

Now

mouse.

experience that

design

designed five

hard drives

she makes sure

earlier,

system, it

she

she

would

fried due to

was once

that

When

operation.

years

a more efficient

of her

not

has

a

backup

of everything.

For

include

web

design projects, in

royalty-free sounds and

images,

to

addition

with a

lot

of

the

may

require

month, mostly

as

to consider

"almost

(Anonymous,

a word change

only

assets

updating"

need

annual campaign materials which she

average of seven projects a

digital

texts. This designer considers text

important than images, because images usually used on subsequent projects

other

small

here

and

there,

handles. The designer

projects,

and about

even more

2005). Text

as

is the

case

works on an

three to four large

projects a year.

This designer does

drive

stations

each other.

not

for her design

As

storage

currently have

operation.

media,

she uses

of assets

in jump drives. She has

archives.

When

a project

is

more

They CDs

a

server, but

are

and

Mac

years

48

has three different hard

systems and are all connected

hard drives. She

a certain spot on

than ten

she

her hard drive

old, it is

erased

to

also stores extra copies

where she

keeps

all

from the hard drive

her

and

is

available

only

in

are stored

on

discs. CDs

are

labeled clearly

with a

list

of the

images they include

and

an archive center.

System improvement

Currently,

this designer is in the process

company

she expects

using her

own

her, but

also

access at

them

by

brand

by

of naming.

other

designers. She

client name and

the designer

software.

them.

However,

the money to make

system will

help

sure

her be

management system

The designer

because somebody

wants

after

restructuring her

was reluctant

folders, it

to purchase

she

would

"wants to

is reasonable, that

take

to

access

film is

be

can

In her

next

system and not

understood not

just

only

by

for designers to

assets she will

be

able

to search

asset management software

she

until

need

making

additional

it. This designer feels

a considerable amount of

the right way

and make

She knows that

After

she wants

feels

care of all

not

they really

take her

start

consider

time to

the time

and spend

properly."

more efficient.

must

naming

set a central server space

readily

a good asset management

discovering that the price to integrate

one

into her

of an asset

workflow.

a versatile asset management system

the digital assets

that the George Eastman House in Rochester is

equipment

that

company.

of project.

it is done

adds

design

a consistent

a system

to

They usually wait

that since she has so many

reorganize

by having

another

Small design firms have to carefully

of the cost.

investments in

date

starting

She desires

any time. She hopes that

Initially, because

to start correctly

of

losing

available.

49

being created.

60%

of

its films

is necessary

She has heard

a year

because the

Recent improvements in technology

make

it easy to

create

digital assets, but designers

access those assets stored

conveying the digital

asset

needs

to

so

to make sure that

example, has done

they

a good

that it provides services for smaller businesses. In the

can still

job

of

realm of

be done.

same should

workflow

This designer

CDs,

IBM, for

older media.

management, the

Digital asset

on

message

in

need

images from her freelance

requests that

that both the photographer and the designer have

keep track of everything

together

since she works

be transferred to her

photographers

a

copy

of

the

asset.

freelancers

with

She

many jobs

on

at once.

In her workflow,

formats for images,

she gives printers native

original and outlined

that

she provides

thinks that it is

much easier

make sure

recreate

native

them later on. She

design files

images that they with

her

all

the

printers with

to create

purchased

or another

to

at a

needs

list in InDesign. This

expect other people

is

on

CDs, including

in her

TIFF

PDF formats. The designer

everything they

these necessary files

contract

that

Clients

particular project.

could

at

the

possibly

They

can

EPS

wants

need.

to

She

beginning than to

she will give

also retain

and

her

clients all

ownership

then

choose

of all

to

the

the

work

later time. to

search

for

system works

right where

work with

and

completed.

for their

designer

time, [and] know[s]

all

mentions

when a project

When the designer

master

the

text,

files

her

[the

a particular

file,

for her because

file]

system.

As

50

is."

she

However,

she scrolls

"work[s]

through her

with all

this

stuff

she admits she would not

a single operator of

the design

firm,

she

feels

she

is too

busy

asset management system as soon as she

Backups

and

all

constantly backs up files

her

on

projects

CDs

bad

had

given

save

not.

She then had to

the length

herself time, Lists

of all

of time she

and

her

client

her files

are

InDesign. This document lists

each

she

plans to adjust

her

current

time.

recreate

works adequately.

It

allows

needs.

When working

digital

assets.

with

the

on a master

the

folders,

to do that

freelancers,

16 years,

"cleaning

printer

has lost her

she

house."

She

had kept her files,

not

designer, but feels have to

the files in

now

which

she

as a

document that

metadata

her to know

past

and also

and

the files. The designer thinks that this is

money, if she does

all

not see an urgent need

while she was

has been working

kept

least every two months,

In the

check whether

image. She thought that assigning

does

at

while working.

immediately went to the printer to printer

some extra

manually

by accidentally trashing them

twice

has

She

archiving

The designer backs up

files

files."

to "just sit and manage

now

to these

because discs

keeps

51

a

each

folder,

store

feels her

the

on a

not

too

that she may

files in the future.

was created

and

assets would

she

copy

recreate

the

be

in Adobe

descriptions

of

fantastic, but

labeling

system

specific assets

that

disc

them

and gives

she

all

the

2.

Tables

The latter

and comparisons

part of

this

chapter will summarize

the relationships between

the form of tables. This method allows the researcher to make

key

points

2.1.

firms in

a closer observation of

the

firms'

between these

asset management systems.

Demographics

Table 4

single

on

the

next page shows

freelancers,

Ninety-two

graphic

percent of the

relationship between the

that the small graphic design firm

design firms, firms

percent of

work on per month varies

designer. There is Most

of

them

no

by

both

two

people or

design firm

the

and

of

and/or

projects per

the

organizations.

of time

help

no

that it has

of outside

number of projects

designer to 25

that small graphic

web and print projects.

52

larger

the length

designers. The

of projects

research subjects are

less. There is

research subjects use

between three

trend in the type

work with

in-house divisions

are operated

photographers, writers, programmers,

firms

or

size of a graphic

been in business. Ninety-two

on.

subject

that the

projects per

design firms

work

CO *w

CD CU '5

2

i-

'C 'C ' c c c

o.

CD

a ;?.

E. 2

CO

3

-3

a

-a

3

3

s

3

CO

CO

CO

to

CO

CD

42

40 CD

43 CD

-H-

o

2 40 CD

CD

D.

CO

40

CO

o

CD

o

5

H

o

m

O

-CO

-CO

2

CN

en

40

3 CU

00

in CN

o

o

in

2j

2 2

'C

'C

c

a

'C

3

a

-a

a

a

3

s

s

CO

CO

CO

40

40

CD

CD

40 CD

'C

a

c

>> CO

O

o

in 00

o

o

o

o

o

in

CN

en

en

CN

/

43

CO

CU

CD

>

4?

Q

CO

CD

>-

CO

CD CO

co

CD

CD

>

CD

m

i

in

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CN

4=

^T

-

CN

CO

CO

O

4=

CD

Si

z

w

CO

CO

CO

CD

CD

CD

r-

en

Q

w

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CD

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oo

OS CN

en

en

CN

-

cn

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CN

in

CN

^D

CO CO

CD

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u.

CD

CD

3

CD c

CO

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a

3

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o

cu

a.

CD

CD

CO CO

3

CD

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CO

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CD

3

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a.

M O CD

3 3 CD

o 3 *

C/j

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a

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o

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o

3

l

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6

3

3 CD u.

3 CO

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CD

3

T

3

CO CO

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CO

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bO

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co co

CD

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CD

CD T3

CD

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c

o5

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o, "

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3

to

ep

CD

'cO

3 CD 60 -a

s E

CO

T3

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40

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c

2

CD CO

3 o

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3

3

o

s o

C o

CO Uh

3

CD

3

?

2

o

> < o

1-

CD

-a

60

co

CO

CD

"""

CD

to

CO

Is 2

c

3

O <

43

43

CD

>

CD

cu

Q

co

CD

OD

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4=

e a o

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00

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i-

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o 43

11

-

CO

co

3

CO

f-

n 60

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a.

43

CD

Q

CD

CD

6

CD

DO O

3 60

'cO to 1

CD

Uh

3

CD

3

CO

CD

CO

CO

H J H

KS

'>

CD

CD

S

i

a,

o

4=

43

CO

"o

c o CN C

OD

'cO

3

E

CD

46

CD .3

CD

><

3

E

3

-a

.5

C

CO 4'

u

C

co

O

CD

lis

3 46 60

ciS

o a

CO

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CD

3

CD

3 .SP

CD

.HP

CD CD

43

CD

=

> -

X X l-H > > > > N*

CL

X

i= Cu

^

^

2.2.

Project naming

Table 5

of

shows

that

and

backup

Most

a master

list

as a guide.

project's names.

others use

it to

Some firms

Some

The types

Project Large

I

by

mostly

use

each graphic

systems are

backup

media

design

which could

is usually based

convention

individual file. Eighty-three

backup

of

convention

the naming

on smaller projects.

automated,

only to

the

name

the

the subjects

vary between CDs,

external

hard

and

backup

have

a

drives,

tape

systems

size

Medium

Small

Naming

Backup

convention

system

Backup

Yes

CDs

25%

0%

75%

Yes (V,

0%

10%

90%

Yes

G)

(V)

(weekly)

media

drive, CDs

Yes

Ext. hard

Automatic

20%

67%

Yes

IV

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes (V, G)

Yes

(Auto)

Central

server

V

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes

Yes (Auto)

Central

server

Yes

Local hard drive

(V)

0%

40%

60%

VII

50%

0%

50%

No (No

VIII

12%

0%

88%

n/a

5%

20%

75%

Yes

Yes

No

IX X XI XII

G)

Yes (Not

Sch.)

Ext. hard drive, CDs

CDs, jump drives

Yes

Tape drive

(Auto)

0%

25%

75%

Yes

No

0%

0%

100%

No

Yes (Auto)

Central

Folder only

Yes

Tape (2 days only)

20%

50%

30%

Ext.: External

Sch: Scheduled

Auto: Automatic

G: Guidelines for

*:

while

while others are maintained

Yes

V:

folders,

13%

VI

and

client's and

No*

HI

size

research subject.

include versioning

on

percent of

The

and central servers.

Table 5. Project naming

II

The naming

name each

system.

manually.

drives,

determined

work

them use some form of naming convention,

of

backup

design firms

small graphic

the projects was subjectively

systems

Versioning Backup is only done

on

finished projects,

and

ongoing

54

server

other users are used

projects are

only

stored

locally.

2.3.

Archival

Unlike

backup

storage.

their

systems and

that serves for

Most archiving

backups,

proprietary

immediate data retrieval,

processes are

while others use an

the subjects use CDs as

mixture of hard

drives,

software

part of

manually.

Some

to longer data

firms'

archives are

separate archival system.

entirely

Forty-two

their archival system, and 25% use DVDs. The

tape drives

percent of the participants use

done

an archive relates

and central servers

proprietary

for archiving

software as part of

their

media.

built from

percent of

rest use a

Forty-two

asset management

system.

Table 6. Archival

systems and

Archival

system

proprietary

software

Archive Media

Proprietary

I

Yes

CDs, hard drive (zipped)

No

II

Yes

External hard drive

No

HI

Yes

Central

IV

Yes

DVDs

and

Snap

server

Portfolio, Studio Zzar

V

Yes

DVDs

Yes

ZIP

VII

Yes

CDs

VIII

Yes

Designated hard drive

(bimonthly)

No

discs, CDs and external

hard drive spot

No (tried

Retrospect

Tape drives

X XI

Yes

CDs

No

XII

Yes

DVD

No

Hard drive

or

Cumulus)

No

Yes (not reg.) Yes (infrequent)

IX

w/ server.

Retrospect

VI

(infrequent)

CDs

software

CDs

No

Reg: regularly

2.4. Table 7

Folder nesting shows

how

participants organize

their files in their

the chart,

55

asset management systems.

In

'>'

','

';'

The

root

lower

indicates

lower-level folder in the

that a

indicates folders indicates that

a

on

the same

participants

may

are

on

client,

hierarchy

project

usually divided into paperwork,

choose to

comes

next,

and

higher-level folder in the

level is usually divided based

level, folders

hierarchy,

hierarchy

divide the layout folder into

comes next.

name,

or job number.

layouts, images rough

draft

and

At the

fonts. Some

and presentable

layout. Table 7. Folder nesting

Folder nesting Client>

project>

contract, working

I

correspondence, approvals,

II

Client>project>project

III

Regular clients; Miscellaneous

IV

Client>project>development files,

V

N/A

VI

Client>

VIII

name>

production

files;

N/A

X

N/A

XI

Client>project; Client's

2.5.

support,

images, layout,

e-mail

contract

section>version clients action script

files,

payment

correspondent, planning, budgeting, Production file> layout, text, image

print

quotes, and

N/A

IX

XII

files,

project

Project's VII

billing,

Miscellaneous>projects

name and

project>

print, estimate, schedule, miscellaneous ;

Print>layouts, images, fonts

Archival

storage systems

Table 1 0

shows

archives.

Some firms simply

Other firms

the variety

of storage systems

organize

make multiple copies of

their

that firms use to physically

archives on

these physical

56

store

their

shelves, in envelopes or on CDs.

items to

store

in

separate

locations.

Table 8. Archival

storage systems

Archival

storage systems

I

Shelf and

storage

II

External hard drive

HI

Envelopes

IV

CD sleeves, 2 copies, in different locations

V

CDs

VI

N/A

1

and central server

are stored

VII

Envelopes

VIII

CDs

with

in

cabinets

backup CDs

X

in cabinets, labeled with stickers One copy of CD is stored locally, one in a remote N/A

XI

Shelf of CDs

XII

CDs

IX

location

(only for original image

are stored

following two

archive) in three locations: locally, a safe,

tables in this sections

managing their digital Table 9

location

and a remote

shows

number.

Only

that the number of reprint and

percent of

management.

The IT

maintenance or

as their main

receive a

low

only

by participants

in

this function

the

or

update requests

think that

subjects use outside

IT

in its

there

distribution media,

consultants

is something wrong

they

projects varies

asset management system.

metadata will not

consultants are either called on a

when

for

number of requests while others receive a

one participant uses metadata

are either not aware of

Forty-two

issues faced

summarize other

assets.

from firm to firm. Some firms high

storage

Other issues:

2.6.

The

are stored

57

help

with

the

their systems.

them

timely basis for

tend to use the same

system.

to

help

system.

with asset

scheduled

When firm

CD in their

Others

backup

uses

CD

or archival

Table 9.

Reprints,

metadata, IT consultants,

Reprint/

and asset

Metadata

distribution

media

IT Consultant

Asset distribution

I

Average

No

No

FTP, CDs FTP, Instant Messenger

update

II

Low

No

No

III

High

No

No

IV

N/a

No

No

V

N/a

Yes

VI

Low

No

Yes

Internet, CDs

VII

Low

No

No

CDs

VIII

(web)

(T)

CDs, FTP CDs, FTP

Yes,

scheduled

(3rd

party)

CDs

N/a

No

No

IX

High

No

Yes,

X

Low

No

No

FTP

XI

High

No

Yes

XII

N/a

No

Yes

Email, CDs FTP, CDs

scheduled

media

Jump drives, CDs, FTP

CDs

T: Technical Note: The

rate of reprints requested given

participant's personal

Table 10

old

interpretation

shows

that all

projects, usually using the

system.

Only Five

These

here has been

of what

participants

search

high,

rely

function

ownership

twelve

policy.

maintain

Four

of

ownership

them use a

their

provided

one out of twelve participants uses a master

out of

average,

on

systems are most often searchable

calculated

by

or

low

by their computer's

client, project,

list,

58

date,

which was created

repository

system

has to

each

would mean.

self-created systems

of their projects and one

central

according to

or

search

for

operating

job

number.

in InDesign.

a more

store

to

lenient

digital

assets.

Table 10. Search

parameters or

processes,

asset

Search I

Client,

project, date

II

Name

III

Client, job

IV

Client/project

V

Client's

of project number

prefix and

job

number

ownership, and central asset repository

Ownership

Central

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

n/a

No

n/a

Yes

VI

Mac OS

Yes

No

VII

Mac OS

Yes

No

VIII

Master list (in

InDesign)

IX

Job number, client,

X XI

Client, Client,

XII

Job number,

project

project project

client

(master

list)

No

n/a

n/a

No

No

No

n/a

Yes

n/a

Yes

59

asset

repository

2.7.

Asset

Table 1 1 this

management problems

outlines the asset management problems

The

research.

projects

variations

they designed,

the length

their previous knowledge

Table 1 1 Asset .

lists the

Uncertainty Backups

Ill

No

differences in the

they've learned from

past mistakes.

location

of storage.

the design

by

was chosen

the

client.

backup labeled

for ongoing projects. inconsistent script library. with

the files inside.

is designated to tag files.

too

much

CPU

cycle.

new assets.

volume of

storage space

is

increasing

exponentially.

clearly labeled. incompatibility. Software

Discs

VIII

by

by participants

management software requires

Required

VI

and what

faced

exact

labeling,

are not

employee

Large

VII

DAM,

caused

that the design firms have been in operation,

about which version of

automatic

DVDs

No

of time

may be

in

over redundancy.

Inconsistent Asset

problems

by the participants

management problems

system

II

IV

of

management problems

Asset No

in these

currently faced

are not

File naming conventions are not universalInefficient asset management system. Too

much

time

is

required

to manually

archive assets and

delete unnecessary

files. X

Files may be stored in the wrong alphabetical order. Not following through with improving the asset management

XI

Time

IX

constraints cause

Designers

XII

designers to

procrastinate when

system.

rush.

creating

retrieve.

60

archives and

backup

files

are

difficult to

2.8.

Exemplary

Table 12

asset management solutions

shows some solutions which participants chose

Some

asset management systems.

to India and

leasing

Table 12. Asset

management solutions

indicate

site will

Multiple archives,

whether a

stored

N/A

III

Lease

computer equipment

Asset

management software

IV

Researching

V

Extensis Portfolio to

Clients have Use

VII

online

Image

VIII

available

a

file is currently

every three

low

res.

images,

checked out.

is

counterproductive.

proprietary

store all

years.

software solutions.

images.

3-digit designation, jobs have

third-party

with

in two locations.

II

VI

include outsourcing programming

computer equipment.

Outsource programming requirements to India. Files are separated into working files for rough drafts and layout files for presentable layouts. FTP

vendor

buy

to

3-digit designation.

another

images.

replacement.

Master list is kept in InDesign. Give every File

possible

maker assigns

file format

job

IX

system.

X

Back up

XI XII

system

to the printer,

is done for

software and

all

designers

Internal IT division is in

charge of

One designer

to

Future

plans

including

EPS

and

TIFF.

number.

Prefers to invest in upgrading

2.9.

solutions

as part of their

management solutions

Asset I

interesting

incorporate

to

multitasks

help

the

with

to improve asset

hardware

and archive

rather

than

is done

by

in

an asset management

individual designers.

asset management system.

the

firm's

asset management system.

management systems

future

improve their

subjects'

Table 13

on

the

next page shows

management systems.

the

Each firm is

at a

different

61

plans

stage

to

in its

help

asset management

asset

implementation. Some simply want

wish

that their asset management took less time,

to purchase automated archiving systems.

Table 13. Future

plans

Future

plans

I

External hard

II

Second

III

IV

Back up current Flash action

drive, DAM

external

software "l

hard drive projects

scripts'

catalog

and ways

V

Actual image

library

VI

Software

hardware compatibility

VII

Centralized

VIII

Naming

and

and

the ability to

to determine search

X

Contact

XII

Automated archiving

sheet on each

research covers graphic

tables

involving

show

that

CD

for images

of relevance

by image

content

design firms from

each participant

developed than

archive

system

participants

involves backup, archiving more

file's level

conventions

XI

research

a

server

Wishes that archiving would take less time Automatic backup system

IX

The

and others

and

has

which are

other areas

some

searching

kind

may

62

give

upstate

different

New York. Similar

results.

All thirteen

of asset management system which

systems.

others.

located in

Some firms have

solutions

that

are

Chapter 6

Summary

Most

research participants

including backup

archiving

system.

of

searchability

The

and

in this study

are committed

creating backups

more apparent

Conclusion

and

of

to managing their digital assets,

their files. Some

issue, however, is

these assets. Designers tend to

keep

even use an automatic

the naming convention and

everything in their

archives

"just in

case,"

so

the amount

of required storage media

available, but many times designers

acknowledged

corrupted or

Digital

that when

they

need

cannot

to

assets were

those that are

their

archived

search process

research

files,

may be

directly

related

to

creative

and

fonts,

products,

are

usually

participants

the files are rarely

quite

laborious.

serve more of an office managerial

focuses

on

the former type

of

digital

63

such as

images,

sounds,

and

role,

correspondence.

This

Files

divided into two types:

photography, scripts, layouts

those that

escalates.

readily find them. Most

access

inaccessible. However, the

easily

asset.

such as

billings,

time

sheets and

1.

How

A digital

designers

small graphic

asset management

need

to

Design firms that

beginning,

and

increases

work on a

those that

There is usually any

client.

on a same project at

as

same

an

that works

integral

part of

for them. The

number of projects

than

fewer

addition

system

is

the design

need

for

being worked implement

operation and

a good asset

on

increases.

a system

from the

projects can use a simpler approach.

one person

following, in

the

is

assets

number of projects must

work with

A DAM

their

manage

system

the

large

more

or all of the

printers, and the

(DAM)

maintain a system

management system

require

design firms

involved in

a

design project,

it may

since

to the designer: photographers, writers,

more critical when several people are

time. There are two

immediate

predicaments

that

working a

designer

must consider with a multiple-person workflow:

Everyone

who

is involved

must understand

the asset

management system's

conventions, mainly naming and nesting.

The

Different

people

working

on.

system must

may be working

be designed in

such a

on a part of the project

way

as

to

prevent

that

others are also

these two issues

from causing

inefficiency. Some

graphic

specifying in their

contracts

period of time, and

option

may

not

design firms

giving

that

choose

they

to

will not

all elements of the

be the right

choice

minimize

for

keep

any

finished

small graphic

64

the

need

to

go

projects older

project

to the

design firms.

back to

than a

client.

old

files

by

certain

However,

this

A high their

number of research subjects expressed

day-to-day

operations.

Some feel that their

they have

2.

The interviews

must wear

addition

a

lack

the

asset management system

of them see

of

in managing their digital research participants are

At the basic level,

asset management systems.

strategy

doing

participants

that many of the

they have

creative work.

information in

standardization

tendency

of

by budget, time,

are caused

many hats

to

low

by

showed

in their

management

asset management

issues in

is sufficient,

it

as a chore

to do.

Problem faced

problems

they face

had done it for them. Most

and others wish that someone else

that

that

in

to

manage

Additional

software

digital

keep

assets and

problems come

pricing

asset management

designers to

and personnel

and

assets

experiencing problems

in

similar

asset

limitations. Designers

the office

environment

in

from:

capability,

software,

everything, creating far too many

unorganized

archives,

too

much reliance on

metadata attached

memory instead

to the assets

of a master

which are

only

list

useful

of

assets, and

if designers

can remember

the

keywords.

Unless

a

DAM

to implement

be

system

new system can

unsure whether

investment

has been in be

place

from the beginning, the

viewed as counterproductive.

the benefits of implementing a

of time and money.

Files kept in

amount of

time required

In this case, designers

new system will outweigh

the initial

one central server are more manageable.

65

will

However, it is

more

financially

feasible to

save

files

on

CDs

or

DVDs than

on

hard

drives.

3.

Things to

Designers may

consider when

creating

an asset management

choose to take advantage of proprietary

systems,

or use a combination of both methods.

purchase

proprietary

software systems as a

requires a considerable

as

long

investment in time

Small

last resort,

DAM software, build their

graphic

since

and money.

strategy own

design firms tend to

the

purchase of new software

They usually try

instead to

operate

as possible without such systems.

On the

designers financial

other

hand,

with a system

commitment.

a self-built

digital

asset management

that fits their workflow, and

Figure 1 lists

some

key

will not

points

to

help

strategy

typically

Naming

D

Folder nesting

D

Archiving

D

Backup

D

Searching

D

Means

convention

of asset transfer

Figure 1. Checklist of things to

consider

in

asset management system creation

66

require much

designers in creating

asset management strategy.

D

will provide

an

3.1. The

Naming most

convention

important

Many designers If the

have to

make sure

3.2.

management,

create a stable system

project.

designers to

aspect of asset

project will

be

and

the easiest to control, is file

by assigning job using both PC

worked on

for

numbers

and

each client and

Mac platforms, designers

will

that the naming is compatible with both systems. It is critical for

maintain

consistency in their naming

structures.

Folder nesting

Before starting project

a

inside the

organized

into

project, it is recommended that designers

project

about

Table 14. Typical digital

Layout

five

folder

within

categories

assets

in

a project

the assets required for

folder,

project

folder are shown

to the client (page also

or web

include PDF files both for

print or preview.

assets

Include

all

project.

This folder may be broken down further into

the photographs

resolution and

Font/script

and

illustrations

needed

for the low-

high-resolution images.

Include any typefaces

or scripts used

in the

project.

assets

Working

files

Include

rough

drafts,

which would

be

cleaned

up before

archiving.

Includes billing/time

Correspondence

sheets and e-mail correspondence with

the client, photographer,

Other files

and other

as needed .

assets are

(see Table 14).

Include any files that

assets

put all

the client's folder. In the

design layout). This folder may

Image

naming.

i

67

freelancers.

a

3.3.

Archiving

Designers

must maintain

to organize their archive

compatible with

3.4.

and

by year or by

the software

to

important to

store

Searching

Users

a

archiving their

client.

hardware

to

The

old projects.

media used

required to open

to

They

can choose

store each asset must

be

it in the future.

Designers

same

purpose.

that their

of the media

a

DAM

system

is

is

use

an

a short-term purpose

the best

media

that

they

issue. However, it is considering the

not a stand-alone system.

archives are searchable.

the archive, the less time it

will

more

take them to

or

printers, photographers,

discs. The

influence the DAM

backups

will

The

time

search

they invest for their

at

the

assets.

transfer:

designers using FTP, email,

whether a project

backups serving

Designers usually

Longevity

communicate assets with

serve as

with

-

of asset

limitations that

thing,

asset management system as a whole when

media, because

create

Means

be the

long-term

the

must make sure

beginning

may

or

their backups.

consider

choice of storage

3.5.

can

archiving

archiving serving

can afford

3.6.

when

Backup

Backup and

consistency

of

the image

is currently

various media come with

strategy.

assets.

programmers and other

A

being worked

For example, CDs from

remote

on, in

68

features

FTP

photographers

site allows a user

which case

the

and

to find

user can choose

out

to

wait

before making further option

than recreating lost

An

usually

a matter of trial and

is

assets

Improving

overcome problems

not

goes

evolutionary gets

along the

it is

as

it

process.

right

way.

It is

frequently

must realize

that

For

a

better

designers, it is

the first time. Systems

possible

to

adjusted

to design

for

backup

are

a

specific needs and

storage media suitable

also acceptable

new asset management

management systems

by doing

some simple

multiple versions of

Indicating

long

necessarily

may be

for

or archival purposes.

current asset management strategies

Without purchasing

Keeping

an

error, because nobody

Additionally, Designers

transferring

a printer maintain some assets

files.

strategy is

that designers can follow as

workflow.

4.

or corrupted

asset management

improved gradually to system

Having

adjustments.

which version

files

software, designers

things,

depending

improve their

can

asset

such as:

on space

is the final version, in

order

allowance,

to know

which one

actually

to production,

Keeping Staying Setting

files in the

consistent with

automatic

Working

off

the

Keeping files would

central server

be

that

easier

the archiving

backups

central

to improve searchability

or

and

manageability,

naming conventions,

committing to

server,

and

a manual

backup

schedule,

and

are not presentable

to

clients

in

for the designer to delete this type

project.)

69

a separate

of

folder. (In the

end

it

folder before archiving the

5.

Software

Some designers

solutions

choose to use

software solutions geared

ExtensisPortfolio. At and

storing

for

smaller scale usage

the server

the

with

File naming

level,

some

and

creating

Setting levels

of priority

is

Retrospect. In

an

management

has to be done.

improving

In

is

efficiency.

on

based

system,

the user's level of comfort in

on

the relevance

integral

part of the graphic

of each

design

often seen as a

Most

involvement,

asset, and

process.

and most people

a good system will

help

to

spring from

increasing the bottom line

an

do

The

more

designer

not

enjoy

users

have later

doing it,

through increased efficiency,

a competitive

on.

but it

by of

DAM

available solutions.

a good

benefit. Different design

websites require good asset management strategies as a

70

will

the importance

increase in digital technology. Projects like

vendors'

time

increase the bottom line

of the research subjects understand

asset management system can give a

projects

chore,

willing to invest time researching

addition

to

of a weak asset management system

Maintaining

strategies and are

addition

an asset management software solution should

invest in organizing their files from the beginning, the less trouble they Asset

and

office managerial assets.

Implications

system

use

a semantic asset management

based

system

Dealing with

include CantoCumulus

designers

A few

help manage their assets.

following tasks:

Adjusting the

A DAM

software to

previewing their digital assets,

help designers

6.

proprietary

designing Internet

contingency for

them

working

on

designer

must

at all.

have

To be

able to complete a project of

this kind successfully, a

a well-maintained asset management system.

71

Chapter 7

Suggestion for further study

This

research

interviews

has

and

opened the

forming

investigation. Future

firms to have

operation,

a

case

be

studies, it became

research on

better DAM

etc...

problems can

the

door for further study in the field. After conducting the

The types

the supporting factors that

system

of

help

than others.

issues that

solved could also

software solutions

be

Namely file

occur with

studied.

designers'

solve

apparent

DAM

72

font

Lastly,

that

some areas require more

cause some graphic

size, length

of company's

management and

one could

problems.

design

how

associated

study how proprietary

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and

Method (third edition) Sage

on

Appendix A. Questionnaire

DEMOGRAPHIC 1 How

long

.

has

your

company been working in the

2. How many designers Do

for

work

you ever use

graphic

design field?

your company?

freelance help?

If so, how many freelancers have Do interns have the

same

level

to digital assets?

access

of access

to digital assets as regular

employees?

3. Who is

for managing

responsible

your

digital

assets?

ASSET MANAGEMENT 4. What do

5. What

you

know

about asset management system/software?

Do

you

know

about or use metadata?

Do

you

know

about

firm

would your

6. How do

you

backup

What kind

consider

of storage system

you

have

an automatic

Do

you

have

one

for

for

you search

8. How do

you organize your

you use

assets?

does

your

company

system

for

use?

current projects?

archived projects?

in

your archive?

files?

you use

tech

proprietary

of media

designers follow

do

a

support? software?

you use

list

file naming

What is

your

How do

you nest your

10. How do

do

files?

backup

old projects

about outside

What kind your

digital

content and

you use outside vendors?

How

Do

image

and/or archive your

7. How do

9. Do

to be

Do

Do

by

querying

you communicate

for

of steps

to

backup

or archiving?

save or name a

file?

convention?

folders?

digital

assets

between designers? with clients? with printers?

1 1 Do .

you ever encounter problems with your .

What kind

.

What

file

archival system?

of problems?

causes

the

problems?

What

78

are the

issues?

this?

PROJECTS 12. On average, how many What

projects/jobs

do

you

on monthly?

working

percentage are:

large? small?

medium-sized?

13. Do

you often get reprint requests?

Do 14. Do

you often get new projects

multiple

designers

If so, how do

work

together

you ever

lost

a

file that

16. Have

you ever

lost

a

file?

Who

on

the same

project?

you prevent overwriting?

15. Have

How did

that require access to previous projects?

you rebuild

was responsible

needed

to be reprinted? What did

you

do?

it? for the fee

cause

loss?

by the

WISH LIST 17. What 18. Are

would you

you

like to

willing to invest time to

including both the 19. Are

change about your current

you aware

software and

that a good

observe

existing

technology

file archiving

that

file

management system?

asset management

they

system can

systems,

use?

improve

your

bottom line

by improving your efficiency? INTERACTIONS WITH PRINT VENDORS 20. What type

of

What 21. Does the

file do

media

you give

do

to the printer?

you use?

printer maintain your assets? 'burnt'

Have

you ever asked a print vendor

to retrieve a

file?

THE CLIENT RELATIONSHIP 22. What is the format What Do

23. How

media

you give

much access

of

do

the files that

to your

clients?

you use?

just do

you give

printables or workable

your clients

have to

79

files?

their

digital

assets

in

your

firm?

Appendix B

Preliminary

interviews

two small graphic

with

design firms

Graphic Design Firm One Anonymous (personal communication, August 15, 2004) This

design firm is five

graphic

computer engineering.

working for the One

file

At the time

company.

recognition.

With the

Three

Clients

fonts

interview,

the

have

most of

demand

are always requests

clients return

to

use.

every two

for

years or

format firm

client awareness of

with a

often

preliminary

has to

The

place.

the

so,

There is

a plan

he to

The

rechecks

that

file

are not

interns

system.

familiar

with

the

to be

acknowledged

on certain

existing fonts.

needs

based

hard to know the this firm

of projects

rate of

is

name of

produces

returning

clients varies. Higher-

and medium-sized clients return

as once a week.

Files

the naming

to a client,

manager gives verbal guidance

so

background in

and other collateral graphic work.

organization.

system

central

sometimes

The types

a

were two undergrad

to the

problem

frequently

explanation of

re-explain

files, but every week or is in

file

from

the hired designers

reprints.

while smaller-sized clients can return as

the need for

access

fonts available, it is

a customer wants

comes

there

often request a reproduction

include packaging, brochures, invitations, There

The founder

Another immediate

massive number of

specialized

of

people

is that

of the problems

organization system.

font

years old.

to the

his file

system of

which

takes

organization

to

directive

to

clients

the file.

extra

employees on

put together a written

80

are given

The firm

recognizes

a

digital

However,

the

time.

how to

manage

make sure

on

in

monthly,

their

that everything

the file organization

system so that there will

There is

be

a special

no regular schedule

for

step-by-step

doing backup,

but files

three months. The manager sees the necessity for management to ensure

Active files

files using the LAN hard drive is

also

kept in the

are

on

CDs. The

the CD. The firm makes one copy

quality CDs. search

Backup CDs

is done

Retrievable File

on

when

in Excel,

is done using

The

on

the "file

To

not aware of

with columns

Initially, files

based

is

are

zipped, but this

manager of this

firm

info"

option

for

a

in

If any file is lost though it can

kept in CD format. The

offset

this

on

name,

image

rather

content

A

on

and two

from the

the quality

of

for lower

two

CD is located

these

steps.

on

First

a

the shelf.

the company exists.

record of

project

file searching is done

name,

to

method

be

every design file is

date,

and name of

saved

file.

found to be too time-consuming.

DAM

of the

software

to be

file itself. The

extensive,

and

is, he feels,

rebuilding, the firm

to the client, the firm does

81

backup

requires

spreadsheet and

software.

description is

physical

as

for file

can access

CD depends

Excel. The firm finds this

would want

and needs

cost

long

Excel

within

client

Photoshop

file based

as

least every

at

stage.

Finding backup files

process was

short

later

using higher quality CDs

an

any DAM

describing

subject, meaning a

search

are

forever,

through the search-inquiry function

sufficient and

at a

the Excel spread sheet. Then the

management

be backed up

investing a period of time

number of assets on a

are numbered.

assets are maintained

must

the files.

organize

hardware. All the designers

central

Finished files

system.

done

files

access to the

easy

how to

guide on

he does

able

to look up

manager

not see

a

file

thinks that

the

need

for it.

too hardware-intensive.

will

take full

not often

responsibility.

do that. An

Even

outside

IT

is

vendor

called

in for hardware

company, because the

manager

Given its limited system.

Digital

manager

is

himself has

software

are no specialized

background

a

technology,

assets are managed

consistent

There

problems.

IT

personnel

in computer engineering.

this firm has an efficient file organization

non-specialized software such as

using

in the

in managing the digital assets,

and each

Excel. The

designer has

access

to the

central computer.

Graphic Design Firm Two

Anonymous (personal communication, August 16, 2004) This company operation

works

for 3.5

in both the

years.

The

graphic arts

owner acts as

marketing director. As the primary

files. There

are

There is

two

But

by

this

There

are not

numbers and

keep

concept

in file

in interior design. It has been in originator,

the only one

archiving.

the time the firm was

art

who

director, has full

and

access

In the early months, files

six months

archiving them began to crop

and problems with

facing

and

to the

designers working in the firm.

was no awareness of the need

slowly

the

designer, he is

an obvious problem

organized properly.

increased,

other

field

to be

vigilant about

old, the

up.

were

number of

At the

files had

beginning

there

file organization; now, the firm is

problem.

an

many

repeat orders.

inventory to

occurs when clients ask

for

a

The majority

maintain a

design

similar

of clients order print

low printing

to

82

a previous

cost.

job.

Old file

jobs in high

retrieval

only

For security reasons,

files. Because are

of previous

other

designers have very limited

incidents,

limits

the owner

access

access

"source

samples

source

to

writing

system

art

an

director's

Files

and proofs are

projects.

kept

for the

sufficiently

This

on

client,

The

designer

backup

work

easy

by showing

the client's own

each

CD, but

filing

system

was

other

told to

is based

convention

on

approached

gives

access

samples

sets of

there is therefore

is handwritten

start

on

a

files.

organizing files

the client's

name.

art

heavy files

and

to

from

the memory of the primary designer. The

is inside

to

is

This

of project.

approached with

on

are

the CDs

The naming

designers.

CDs. Active files

system.

The firm feels that it is

are also

kept

on

files,

copy

of all

the

The quality

of the

CDs is

one

still possible

is done using

to

clip-art.

keep

More

CD,

hard

and printouts

and

there is

no

viewed as

copies of all

its

specialized artwork

is done

illustrations.

plan

considering using system

kind

hardcopy. There is only

need of a

stable.

The future

also

as

manually

Certain illustration

with special

one

communicated

are saved

is

memory.

Recently,

on

new client

heavily

index. The naming

is verbally

realization

client

remember what

searched manually.

and

existing

organization relies

the

A

on client requests.

and an

claims

reliance on

based

are organized

files,

director

on subject and

projects"

based

File

workable

to the files to himself. There

two file archiving systems. Active projects are organized based

and

to the

is

is to divide the files into an outside

viewed as safer

employees will not

have direct

database

because it

access

passive and active categories.

consultant

will

be

manage

more secure and

to the files.

83

to host

The firm is

the digital

confidential,

assets.

and

There is need

for it

yet.

The

person.

matters.

an awareness of metadata

The company is currently

next

step is to

by the printer,

This interview

knowledge

about

design than

Neither Designers

DAM

relies on

more salient

A

valuable

and

discipline

tends to come

later,

doesn't feel the

not a specific

still

busy with

IT

other

the printing plates for that job to be

was more

lesson

was

used.

structure.

There

was

less

interested in marketing

learned

about

the

need

to focus

data.

these preliminary firms sees the

have training

designer,

Graphic Design Firm Two had less

asset management.

of

a new

manager

the films that the printer had

are viewed as capable of

practices

for

the

drives but the company is

the firm

or perhaps

with

looking

DAM. The individual interviewed

the survey study to get

should

to tape

Currently, if a file is lost,

provided

and

move

technology, but

need

handling basic file upfront

when

for

organization.

because the

IT

and

personnel.

However, they

realization of

there is problem,

84

special

the

need

for

then it is too late.

good

Appendix C Interview summary

often research participants

Subject I: Graduate student/freelance designer Subject II: Instructor/freelance designer Subject III: Two-person design business Subject IV: Lead designer

with

Subject VI: Veteran designer

many freelancers

who

currently teaches

Subject VII: An in-house design department Subject IX:

Two-person, 29-year-old firm

Subject X: One-man

operation

Subject XI: An in-house design division in Subject XII: Somewhat larger firm

Subject I: Graduate

student/freelance

Anonymous (personal communication,

This designer currently has two student at

She only

the

or

own,

and

the

full-time designers

with six

designer

February

professions: she

three

or

four

medium projects and

other

hospital

11

is

,

a

2005) freelance designer

time. The designer has to divide her time between

works with

two

ones,

same

a

30%

are

in

projects a month

two

small ones.

one

big project

She does 70%

collaboration with other people.

one photographer and two programmers.

One

85

of

the

and a graduate

school and work.

and

three

small

of her projects on

She typically

programmers

is

her

works with

a student and

the

is

other one

the

an

U.S., but

IT

She

vendor.

from her previous

proprietary digital studies.

own

digital

experience

asset management system

understands the

benefits

realizes

because

she

does

to learn that Adobe

that

works on a project.

specification.

charge of asset

Files from

Digital

consists of the

kept in

The designer keeps

years

billing

all

a support

folder. Designed layouts,

transfer files

and

through her

tries to implement

a

financial investment in DAM

it

with

her

may take

She

current workload.

use of metadata.

some

was

The designer

time, but there

management,

even

though

will

the

by project

files,

in

each client's

support, images

and contracts are stored

be

rough

drafts

and

which are presented

all versions of

her designs

to the clients,

so

ago, the designer invested in

a

folder. The

that

are stored

in

in

a

she can always come

third-party FTP

project

folder.

contract

are organized

needed. with programmers and photographers as

86

according to her

low-resolution images. Files

folder. High-resolution images

one person

layout. E-mail

and

in the

than

more

photographers or programmers are named

contract, working

file folders hold

Two

technology

itself supports the

assets are organized

correspondence, approvals,

clients are

Photoshop

use of metadata

about

long run.

The designer is in

Working

think that she needs

inputting metadata at the beginning

benefits in the

folder

not

the

of this

them in her workflow, but she is reluctant to make

surprised

in

through knowledge

firms. She has learned

at other

working

asset management software and

The designer

software

vendor through a consultant

the job is done in India.

The designer built her gained

IT

communicates with the

site.

She

She

sent

an

by

image

layout folder. back to them.

uses

the site to

allowed one of her

clients to

was

download files from

too large to be transferred

inconvenient

at

realizes another

remotely.

that time.

benefit

However,

is

When the designer the photographer

She informs the two weeks

in

advance.

checked out

uses

the

printer

native

files

choose

designer

on

same

of

time,

with

CD

on a

was

to the FTP site. The designer

files there

while

The

working

that

the programmer,

that

the layout

work off

them. The

she will contact

dummy images

make sure

programmer

the

for her project,

she will use

informing

manages

options

files from

her FTP

on

she receives

she

has to

person about

her design.

the images

wait until she

the programming

then works on the programming

and content of the

the FTP

server.

The

design.

server

other person can wait until

programmer

is

site.

photographers on

always

During

this

indicates if a the file is

working

with

the

most

printer's

printer on

the

and prints

specifications,

chooses

other

CDs

and she receives

files

For previewing images to the client, the designer

from Photoshop

only PDFs. She

their own

access

she can store

deadline to

it; therefore,

receives

according to the

or

files

client

file.

programmer on

file browser

project.

by either one

The designer

from the

At the

simultaneously

current version of the

have

done because the file

was

currently using this function.

When working

before working

not

requires a special photograph

for the

parties

do

server

for her layout before

components while the

updated

not

by e-mail.

components needed

file is

FTP

giving the

and

e-mail,

photographer of the

receives approval

process, both

by

Usually clients

of her

she

this FTP site only once. This

the

them

client.

such as whether

print vendor on

10%. She does

87

for the

not

90%

know

the

of her

She

gives

printer needs

project,

whether

files to

the

and clients

printer

keeps

her

her files

assets once

own reprints

maintains

her

they

of her

be done

Naming

Clients

receive

design her

with

convention

by

on

client_project_l, client_project_2,

numbers.

Images from the

how

of each project

for

asset

asset.

a

different

Even though

Backup is

backup

will

fries'

creates

reference.

she sees

at

the

least

folder

the

client

need

She

does

for

realized

Some

the

can

do their

The designer

a project

need

to

list

assets,

takes one

such as

in the working file

maintain old

the

files

beginning

she uses a

she

does

month

digital

not

have it.

to complete,

is completed, the designer

items

They

the previous draft using that

of her

project

job

convention.

photographer at

For

number.

are no assigned

Occasionally

not approve

If a

then version

follow her naming

named.

a master

once a week.

content

There

She informs the

by deleting unnecessary

archive.

they

contract that all modification to

project and

and so on.

like the images

be done four times. When

'working then

and so on.

if the

project

done

client,

photographer must also

she would

that

permission.

is done based

objectl, object_2,

so

of the projects.

her

on

specifying

example:

are named

PDF formats

files

never receive original/native

ownership

work must

are printed.

cleans

the

low-resolution images,

will

be kept for her

after clients

own

and

future

began requesting that

she reprint previous projects.

Twenty She tries to

to

keep

thirty

as

percent of the content of

many files the files

them. She then

zips

hard drive,

depending

and

as she

can, because

and archives a

on

her files

copy

she never

onto a

how important the file

88

are purged

is,

knows

before

archiving.

when she will need

CD. A copy is kept in her local she

may

make two copies of

the

CD to with

store

in different locations. If the CD

about

a problem with

she worked

afford

her

the

client's

asset, it is labeled

archives.

help reduce

issues

She has

with storage

never

that

contract

had any

client

issues, but

has

says she

never

files. One company

corrupted

they keep

asset management

media, but

files for only two

as a

freelancer,

years.

she cannot

to do that to her clients.

To

for

search

clients

revisions,

old

files,

typically

the designer uses the client

provide

her

with

and project name.

infrequent have

ones.

The

a system

the designer is

In this

instance,

version

being

sent, then

designer is working

concludes

on a

by referring to keep

search

PC

Infopath. The designer

her

not sure which

familiarity exactly

file

MAC

spot color swatches

billing

and

she was able

system.

during

and client

certain

She

her

to

client

She does

previously

client questions

be the right

purchase a

compensates

one.

higher capacity

for the lack

she uses

to

the

The

work.

information,

for her

keeps the files.

the

uses an automated e-mail vendor system

89

to find

she wants

if the

other version must

because

is sufficient,

with each client.

she

version

them one version,

that the

system

her

on

project

assets of her regular clients than

remember where

price of a

track of all

for the

is based

she will send

for less than the

To

to

ease of search

picked.

quality

easier

that helps her to

Sometimes,

computer

search system

like to improve it. Sometimes it takes longer than

files. The designer finds it

For

during which the project

the range of time

done. This helps her to find the files. She thinks that her

yet she would

not

longevity

for did specify in their

She thinks this may

was

long-term

the client's name and the duration of the project.

She knows

had

stores a

Microsoft

manage

her

of color

correspondence. She wants to invest in

She has

management system.

the number

her

of

files

hard drive

an external

also considered

purchasing

as part of her asset

an asset management solution

if

increases. In the future, the designer hopes to build

she works with

design firm.

own

Subject II: Instructor/freelance designer Anonymous (personal communication, This designer

both

works as

a

freelancer

His freelance design firm has been in

another

designer

with

him, but

skills

that he does

not

now

freelancers

collaborates with other

,

2005)

for the

works alone.

when

works on

31

and a graphic media

operation

he

have. He does

On average, the designer

January

not

he

past

instructor

five

needs assistance with

currently

two to three

work with a

There

years.

Occasionally the

used

to be

designer

programming

large

projects a month.

at a university.

and other

number of projects.

Ninety

-percent

of his

projects are small scale.

The designer

experience.

entertains

the

created

He feels that his

his

own asset management system

system

all

sufficient

the idea of purchasing proprietary

number of assets with which

keeps

is

the different

he

works would not

name, followed

by the

client's

numbers.

Once

a project

designation helps if he

is finalized, he

needs

to

return

workload.

asset management

versions of a project as

arranged

for his

he

personal

Sometimes, he

name and

workflow, he

The folders

are

section, then

version number

to his files in the future. It is

90

his

software, but thinks that

makes revisions.

the

on

justify it. During his

by the project's changes

based

to

"final."

version

This

not sufficient

to just

go

by

the highest number, because the latest revision is

To

picked.

communicate with other

not always

the

that the

one

freelancers/ programmers, the designer

uses

client

FTP

and

IM (Instant Messenger).

In his

daily

operation, the designer

transfer files between one

the necessary files

gathers all

project's

images, folder

under a

Projects do

etc.

photographs,

of available source assets.

folder,

projects.

any assets,

As

where

long

he

the designer

years ago

his

all

drive is

more versatile

because

have to

only

needs

drive,

flip

to do a

external

CDs in

case

and a

through

search

"stuff,"

share

one exception

hard drive

purchased a

previous

all

of

and uses an

located inside the designated such as

assets, and there is

is his

Ipod to

every project, he

for the project,

personal

that he has

his

on a

on

archived

logos,

no master

photography

taken,

which

he may

never

use

thrown

archive

is

files in his CD

files

the

a project

The CDs

external

archive since

hard drive for his

external

are now stored

needs

daily basis. However, he

created.

external

for

out

to

in

one

access previous

location. He projects; he

still makes additional

is finished, it is

serve as

hard drive

"backup

could

projects

back

ups on

from the local

backup"

fail. He has

purchasing the hard drive.

91

erased

of the

backup

drive. The hard

the hard drive. The designer backs up his

the hard drive fails. When

CD

180GB

files from CDs to the

different CDs if he

function

(Anonymous, 2005) because access

usually

laptop

the firm has been operating, the designer has

as

He transferred

not

not

his

beginning

assets needed

stores all photographs

system.

to the

folder labeled

on

and all assets are arranged chronologically.

Two

does

The

mainly

At the

and another.

folder. This folder includes any

collection

his

location

works

never

had to

The designer has cleaned

When

up

45GB,

filled up his

almost

a substantial amount of

backing up files,

he

copies

space,

the entire

have

some of

more

than the necessary number

Clients would

based

have to

sometimes ask the

access old

the name

on

of

everything from the

printers with whom

deal

and

hand,

any

assets

gives

he

both

trickier for

that he

native and

given

to them

only

access

the

able

to

instance, he

do this

by

a search

design because he has

(Files for the

web are

case of a mistake.

printers.

He has

a couple of

finds himself asking

print

since most of his projects are a one-shot

reprint request would always require at

clients can

In this

work.

to it in

never

be

not

project, the designer copies

PDF files to the

The designer

and

would much rather

would

website

for them to

can refer

back

go

in the right folder.

The designer

order

often more

in his hard drive than

a major revision on a web

always works.

that he has

However, he

revise an old project.

are

in

result, there is

the designer has to

are not saved

archive.

same name

current website so

The designer

files

the project. Updates

name-specific.) Before starting

for

Eventually,

designer to

files from the

to save files using exactly the

providers

and as a

of copies saved

also occur when

hard drive. In fact, he just

unnecessary files from the hard drive.

this redundancy to safe storage space.

files. Problems

retrieve

of

folder,

than just one folder for any specific project.

delete

current external

least

some revision.

printed version of a project or

any files

On the

other

uploaded

to the

The designer has

never

web.

This firm's

had any

problems

understand

his

asset management system

communicating

file-naming

with

convention.

is pretty

printers,

He

programmers and other

realizes

92

universal.

that

his

system

freelancers; they

is only

as good as

the

user,

and

therefore he feels the

The designer is

system.

that this is

filtering

not

out

committed

the version that

[he]

may

to purchase

type

monitor

within

his

asset management

"keep

[because]

price of an external

new

there

the

asset

itself,

system will

not

to be

gets

hard drive

he finds

and

files."

a

ton of

is

as storage media

hard drive for archiving his backups.

use of metadata

operating

and

going through

for

is probably

assets

firm than for his. He is anticipating the coming

of

Macintosh because this

located

never need

a second

The designer thinks that the

words

continuously

to putting in the time to manage his files

He thinks that the

and plans

a publications

to

difficult. To improve his system, he has to

(Anonymous, 2005) reasonable,

need

of

have the capacity to

more useful

OS

"Tiger"

search

for

from

for any

just the tags.

Subject III: Two-person design business Anonymous (personal communication,

This firm has been in the the designers

graphic

were not even

using

desktop

freelancers

the

stations.

In any

medium

ones,

In this

they

are

both

given

and

work at

office.

big

20

years.

However,

works on

10-15

There

their projects.

work on

the firm

At the beginning,

no

seasons,

are

they hired

longer has freelancer

small

projects, 2-3

ones.

small graphic

formally

to

past

Previously, during busier

month, the firm usually

1-2

2005)

computers

the firm.

at

to

26

design business for the

two designers currently working

as needed

January

design firm, both designers

trained as

designers, they

93

split

must wear a

the jobs in

lot

of hats.

such a manner

Although that

one

of the

designers

management,

and art

When

list

spends most of her time

of current projects.

organized

it

work on

the other

focuses

more on

track

designer takes the job down

job,

one

will

then

start a project sheet and attach

how

much

time has been

have their

assigned

a miscellaneous client

other one executes

the

In this

folder. One

instance,

of

project.

Sometimes

designer because the first designer is

not able

same

envelope,

project sheet

At the designer's

continue

responsible

project, but

serves as

a project must

to

an

kept. The

the designers is

designer

one

it to

it to the

and new and sporadic clients are

Multiple designers may be involved in the

simultaneously.

and adds

used on each project.

folder

project

designing projects.

a

regular clients

inside

each project.

She

while

proof and other related correspondences are

every

helps the designers local station,

for

a client calls

where copies of

the

directing,

daily correspondence,

managing the

the

they

never

director,

art

be transferred to the

working

on

the

for

project

while

other

due to

other commitments.

As

mentioned

miscellaneous.

business

with

The

the

miscellaneous

company.

description

of the project

numbering

systems

numbers end with

the way

they

jobs that

clients are

previously,

Each

client and project

example

The list

transferred to an InDesign

the

100M, 20 IM

server.

was

two categories: regular and

new clients or clients who

has

a

designated

number.

regular and miscellaneous

are arranged on

are running.

folder holds

then follows the designated

between

M, for

divided into

originally

file. Currently, this

94

master

list is

are

much

A truncated

generally listed

a master

handwritten, but

do

miscellaneous client

Files

The designer keeps

number.

not

To differentiate the

clients,

and so on.

do

list

of all current

six months ago

stored

locally

by

it

was

on one

machine.

When

one

designer

needs

this

list, he

or she must either ask

for it

the other

or

access that computer.

xxxxxxxxxx

client's

number, project's number, truncated description

Figure 3. Design firm III 's file-naming

There

Both

from the local

space

to the

however,

are

folders

and

local

project

time he

works on a

not

One early

project, he

have

handwriting but is only

different

project

involved

timeframes.

beginning,

and

the

four

years

no need

most of

to

as storage space only.

accessed at each

keep

files

a technical

Their

with

that

current system.

serves

equipment

of

the

station.

time,

versions of a project.

revisions.

them

rules

for

has

Their

well as

during

on

In

evolved

system

long

be

system

able

various

from

is

not

fail-poof,

as rules are set

file saving

that

to

order

track all the

a three-year period.

have been relying ago, the designers 95

catalog.

could

asset management

to their

the

designer's

Most

different

literature

create a system

input. It

its

functions

billed, it is

completed and

from its inception, but it has learned from

both designers follow these

The firm leases

server

user's

be

is

server space when needed.

a perfect system

projects on calendars

as good as

can

asset management system.

a project

server

rewrites old

to do this project, the designers had to

updates with

The

folders

designer feels that there is

one

mistakes.

server.

files from the

retrieve older

The firm did

the

locations in the firm's

in the local drive. After

Designers

its

separate storage

saved

server

Every

two

only

Current jobs

moved

are

convention

from

and renaming.

Since purchasing

for their

a

automatic

backup. They

were

previously saving files

consists of five separate

redundancy; any

is

when

project goes

the printer sends CDs

for

backup

is working

present

are not stored

if it is deemed

on

is

filled up the

necessary.

to have an

in the server; they

server yet.

their clients, the designers

When he

based

with a

in the

behaving strangely

previous projects

file

local hard drives. The

project

at once

backup

files

are saved

server

in triple

for the designer to lose

other

than

is in the

what

modifications, before

after minor

server

needs

to

never

search

or when

the

client and

abbreviation of

the

project

job

(the

most projects

to manually copy

he

wants

copy just in

extra

feel the

never

know for

because

The designer does this

Since they

on

assets

have to be broken

time, the designers have

current project and needs

not

and

a

to print.

Current files long. At the

would

there. The only time the firm has any

asset stored

server

zip discs

hard drives totaling 300GB. Old

five hard drives

all

on

maintain a

when

old

they

to

he

to

The designers

purge

be

truncated

required

to

to searching because it is difficult for him

keep

access

on

because that information is

description

remember

of the

the

to

a

all

their

files because they have

projects, the designer relies

numbers

server

that the file he

sees

long-standing relationship will

last very

files to the

current

when

not

make a major change

case.

need

do

with most of

these files.

identifying his

always

project) is less

intact. His

reliable

exact abbreviation

that

for

was

created.

He has been

understands

to

use

this

exposed

how this

can

to the basics

help

technology for his

of metadata and

some people.

image content,

Nevertheless, he does

present workflow.

96

He

also

not

thinks that

and

deem it necessary

although available

asset management software

for

counter-productive

Files

is

option

in the

past

Most

post on

their

Clients

will also get

When

back any

instance,

the firm

original asset

would

with

software

does

that

absorb

for

not always

whatever

wishes

more reliable workflow

of

of

on which

obtain a

copy

its designs

recreate

gives

within reason.

such as photographs.

it from

scratch.

However, In

major problem.

any

such as when

to

of

the design in PDF to

provided,

Sometimes

switched

business. Problems

files

a project

is

are not saved

created with one

some new software.

The

new

correctly.

But generally, the designer thinks that his

firm. The only way he

copy

the cost as a part of doing

reason, is

file

FTP, depending

never caused

followed correctly,

translate the

or

file. The firm very rarely

they have

or are not renamed correctly.

type of software, and

a

ownership

this firm and has

have to

almost

files. This has benefited the firm

clients will request a

tries to maintain

also occur when procedures are not

in the right location

losing

is corrupted, the designer has to

this has happened very rarely

this

using CDs

the designer was able to

printer after somehow

The firm

a project

and printers

Usually

price, it is

manage asset management software.

were occasions when

clients.

websites.

at an affordable

printers prefer to receive native

from the

files back to its

features

designer to learn to

a

because there asset

some nice

transferred to clients

required.

his digital native

are

has

to improve his

system

has been working

asset management system

to constantly back up

97

current projects.

is

well

by

for the

creating

a

Subject IV: Lead designer

with

many freelancers

Anonymous (personal communication, This firm has been operating for the

three

past

the lead designer and manages the operation

collaborates with

15 freelancers to

provide

both PC

and

uses

local

uses a combination of

server can store

smaller

local

the remote file

100GB, but it

remote server can

However,

downloading

and

up to

The

redundant copies.

site.

There is

one

designer

they

who acts as

firm. As the lead designer, he

are

web

mostly

of

design

design. The firm

uses

systems.

Retrospect software,

the FTP

years.

the design services. The types

that the company produces vary, but

This firm

2005)

,

of the

projects

Mac

1

February

and remote

server

also

be

by the

used

files. When the

size of

servers.

provided

has 400GB

it is only 500MB, it is

since

is

file

of

by

a

backup

The local file third

party.

space

used

assets

mainly for uploading

the file is too

The

keep

to

designers to transfer

server

using

and

the file is transferred

large,

using CDs. The local

server

through Thursday.

following week. local

server.

with

When

The local

a

size

on a

daily

stored after

is

at

cleared

the

a.m.

moved

quarterly,

are archived

name of

2

in

that is backed up

is finished, it is

local drive

the designated

the file

to back up

a project

server

While working

unless

set

Anything

Sometimes files from

labeled

is

and

is too large. When they

by the

from the

the files

the

date

are encouraged

work

98

four-day

in their

own

during the

remote server

are archived

of

to

Monday

cycle

system

directly. When this

computer and

project, designers

a

to DVDs.

happens,

the

to the

the disc is

archive.

work off

the server,

local drives, they have to

transfer the file to the local

server at

designer provides

to the

guidance

the end of the

day

so

it

be backed

can

freelancers regarding file naming

The lead

up.

conventions and

folder hierarchy. The naming

same part of a project.

initials uses

to

of the specific

nesting,

help

folders is the separate

This

The file

when

same on

folders for

structure

up to

they

every

client

developed

name of

eight

file

files and

generated.

assets.

copies

for

CDs

and

Archived CDs

each archive.

DVDs

are

The folders

number,

The

labeled

or

by

files. The

action script

minor version

which

at

hierarchy

of

the

files,

payment,

etc.

client name >

number, designer's initial

are

same

of

multiple

time and simply copying

for managing

physically kept in CD

system could use some

the list

the

the

consolidate

is labor-intensive.

one responsible

DVDs

with

structure

start with client name > project name >

opening both files

layouts,

or

logical

a

convention

The lead designer is the only

digital

levels deep. The nesting is done in

overlaps, the lead designer has to

pasting images from both

the files the designer

in

major version

He does this

the

on

name.

vmi

work on a project

store

the years. An example of this nesting is

Figure 4. Design firm IV'sfile naming

When the

diagram 2. To

looking for specific projects

project.

over

designers from working

major and minor version numbers and the

folders, development files,

mj

file,

include

as shown on

are

project > section of project >

xxxxxxx

names

designer

which goes

designers

help prevent multiple

conventions

archiving the

wallets.

There

improvement because

files inside

99

and

and others are not.

are

two

some of the

Files

are

archived

inconsistently by projects,

lead designer's

CDs

DVDs

or

mood at

and

files.

Microsoft Word, but allows

indexing

function. He

for

Occasionally,

other

DVDs,

for files

the local server,

unsure of

designer

their

their

exact

has its flaws, but

The firm

works

labels, they

he

says

are

reused.

To

project, he

kept

and right

on

the

backup

will

a

copy the

larger

CDs

read each

distracting to

him

a great

disc in

the

goes

DVDs

.

loss. He

his

It tries to

creative

he has

written on

easier

to

no more space

files, but is

He

left. often

that the

admits

says

search

that the

that, based

on

his

clients.

get

its

clients

to do their

website, the designer has to go

website and other

first to the

are archived.

order

100

there is

of some of

redo of a

files

his

brains.

the necessary

and

archived

software's

system sometimes requires

skeleton of

wallets where older

have to

all

the

list using

this

relies on what

server until

that he has

never cost

For

of

both his left

the designer

the

their different colors. Since it is

certain

the

all of

on

server uses software which

not

for projects, the lead designer

works, then to the CD

folder, depending

will make a partial

on web works projects.

scripting.

a previous project and

one

and on

it has

back to

search

files,

wrote on

mostly

using XML

root

archiving is

is actually better than that

system

the

The local file

location. Unfortunately, the

remember what

experience, his

of using

archived

searching process, he is

own update

not.

maintains that the act of manual

the CDs or

During the

as

the designer is skeptical

However,

archiving.

on

date

designer

the

times he does

When searching for

on

or

the time. There is no master list containing

because he likes the balance

process

system

clients,

server

If there

to determine

files to be

for

more recent

are multiple

which one

is the

discs most

on

recent.

discs

Since the searching

on

naming

the

CDs

required

to

tag files

could

As

spends

searching

these

or

scripts.

He is

e-mail

Previously, he found that the

cataloging.

His

The

keep

obstacles

have

keeping his

month.

Furthermore,

system

digital

He

gradually

asset.

a

that

tag

next.

is that he does

action scripts.

not

have

The time that

be better

a complete

by building

a

helper

The designer feels that he

tries to solve this

time experimenting

he tried

was

using too

adjust

the

own system until

not

by replicating the

spent

database

of

folder.

code

spends

too

structure of his

with asset management software

much

software

he finds

CPU

cycle

eyes open

He is

for

confident

them.

101

during indexing

to handle this

capability

extra

properly.

task,

that the

but he

or

and

he did

Therefore, he

a suitable software solution.

discouraged him from researching

management software solutions.

he is

the

computer was not powerful enough

using his

initial

during the

The time

folders.

have the necessary time to to

operation, it is difficult for him to devote

Macromedia Flash's

problem

e-mails.

spent

software

chose

and

when multiple

from the inconsistent file

come

previously-written action scripts could

e-mail as a

time managing his

file folders in his

often uses

improving his

Another issue is

much

a one-man

accumulate

rewriting ones.

existing

difficulties

not make sense

may

designer, he

a web

improving his

not

memory, it is difficult

of available asset management software.

easily

day

would make sense one

main

DVDs. As

and

time to adapting to the structure

all

on

are needed.

The designer feels that his

he

heavily

process relies

These

other available asset

proper solutions will come

up,

During his in

search, this designer noticed that Dublincore

This development

web software.

included in Macromedia Flash includes is

a

tagging,

simple

hot topic

hardware,

which allows

author,

one of

indexing

level

able

to

of control

software and

so powerful

adapt

to different

it

that

can

feature

without

would

a

He

could also allow

future, he

for

to

his firm to

Although the firm's

by himself,

emphasizes that

users are more patient

CPU

what

it

is

would

not

to

than

work

digital

asset

searchable

by

A

help

to

file

the

user

content.

narrow

naming

down the

management can

billable

service

The

for. A

Another

indexing and

and

archiving

search.

increase

efficiency.

periodically.

be difficult to implement immediate

102

software

looking

for managing

perfect, it is improved

The

of relevance of each

that allows local

standardized

is

well, it

others.

organization also varies.

software

cycle.

that good

specialized

halfway. It is impossible to have

images to be

for

management

(Anonymous, 2005)

provide additional

system

"asset

asset management software

meet

would also

convinced

it has been

speed."

Some

users.

wishes

too much

and

caught on

syndication) format. This data

be the ability to determine the level

database

This designer is

working mostly

simple

etc.

immediately determine

taking

format included in

assets.

lightning

component need

In the immediate

archiving

date,

order

more versatile system should allow

asset.

(really

that users would like to have in their

human

advantageous

for very detailed tagging

the major players in this field. It sells

at

The designer thinks that in

has to be

RSS

as an

such as

Google is

and

allows

to have

seems

It

clients'

Since he is

changes.

Subject VI: Veteran designer

Anonymous (personal This designer has

teaching,

she

as a

working

has

design

can

be

put

done

much

instructor,

design

and

work.

and a writer.

past

Currently,

20% working

freelancers, including

at

a

designer. Whoever

individuals

receives

years.

Ever

she spends

since she started

80%

studio.

photographer,

These individuals

individuals. The lead

17

her design

of her

of

a web

team that

the design team may vary, it the

person on

project

is

not always

the order from the client will eventually hire the

as subcontractors.

Clients may

also choose

time

To do her projects,

are members of a virtual

together as needed. Although the members

consists of the same

usually

February 7, 2005)

in the design field for the

she collaborates with other

designer/developer,

currently teaches

communication,

worked

not

who

to hire the team

as a

the

other

group

or

individually. On average, the designer small

to

medium scale.

A

However, project

still

once

project

that the designer

require a

and a website

finds it challenging to

the

five to

medium-sized project

envelope, a business card,

projects, she

works on

is

spread

the file is too large for Internet

the studio

out, it becomes

none of

the group, the designer primarily

may include

design. Although

work at

often works on

larger file source, but

eight projects

uses

a

she

in

a month

logo, is

not

a

mostly

letterhead,

involved

more manageable.

projects

do. To

the Internet. She only

submission.

103

with

many

after a period of teaching.

Another type

is catalog design. In general, catalog

her catalog

an

uses

transfer

CDs

projects

files

when

of

within

the size

of

The designer has kept a

designer. Some

access to an

her digital

clean

she

asset,

is

able

she

At

first,

her archiving

she

labeled

process at

There is

finds the

purging any

the index

present

time,

backed up

are

timely

no

extra

the

with

with

her

labeling

of

so

than five

each

reader.

The majority

media of

When

onto

choice,

is

she

disc

more recent

time. The need to work on other

CDs. thinks

she

doing her

with an alphabetical

discs

location in the

for archiving to CDs.

of

years.

files inside. However, that is

the

as

working

when she needs

is trying to transfer them

issue

onto another

schedule

has kept the

assets older

of

she started

Yet

older media.

she

she

day

concerned about this.

the designer had the habit

are

in

longevity

for her to be overly

detail. Projects

minutes.

assets since the

because

Zip discs, but

aware of the

consider

may

list. Some discs

much

to find it

assets are stored on

not practical

up,

digital

of these assets are still stored

Although the designer is that it is

all of her

not a part of

labeled

are not

computer

with as

every 20 to 30

Archiving is done

projects sometimes

file

when

only

interferes

with

her

asset management process.

Even though the designer

projects

that

designer to

require constant updating.

work on a

Occasionally of project updates.

narrow

with

find

her

variety

she

content.

what she needs.

Often

of regular

she never works on

clients,

She feels that it is her

access

her

old

she needs access

down to

list

privilege as a

freelance

of projects.

has to

When

archives

the file

maintains a

several

older

discs because

she must read

Although this

to

files,

the

process

not

for

104

but for

files, her

system

not all of

them

content of

takes

reprints

more

the disc

essential parts

only helps her to

are

with

specifically labeled the

computer

time, the designer does

not

to

feel the

need to purchase

management.

knows

what

because

here

into different is

projects.

She does

involved in the

searches

She

are also

remained

files because

the

by PCs.

Discs to

to

the

date

use a

naming

This especially becomes MAC

platform.

file

are

further

that the

ways

client and

The designer keeps

over

such as

issue because

no main

the final one.

dots

by PC and

slashes,

not everyone

folder

when she needs a specific

party image vendor,

where she

image,

she either

or uses a collection of stock

purchased.

She feels that her

asset

an

There is

a third

proprietary

layout

by MACs,

from

online

has

user

the client, and

convention recognizable

symbols recognizable

project works on a

on

to the

and version number.

However,

she

the

kept in these folders.

her files in

prefer a previous

may

are separated

based

named with some reference

with

clients

package

assets.

images that

as

archives, files

external

are organized

her digital image for it

long

asset

with minor

constant,

particular project are

makes an effort

labeled

some of

to any

archives.

not make an effort

because

her digital

cannot open a specific

top hierarchy. Client folders

the

related

in her disc

project.

are not recognizable

stores all

has generally

understand, so the files are

all versions of the

platforms

name as

All files

mimicked

type. Files

with

capabilities, as

there. Both in her computer and in her

and

then the individual

project

search

help

incompatibility.

the client's

organized with

printer can

to

to look for. Problems occur when the designer

asset management system

adjustments

order

asset management software

She feels that the Mac OS has decent

of software

Her

This

proprietary

projects

do

not

management software.

have

enough

When

105

complexity to

she saw an ad

for

require

a software

the

use of

solution, she

thought that the

viewing her

product was

as part of

their workflow.

studio work since she

familiar

directed toward larger design

Moreover,

has to devote

the job

most of her

those that

bring in enough

not

use online

income

with

time to teaching. The designer is only

the Internet search engine program. She feels that

with metadata as a part of

dealing with metadata is

does

she

studios or

of a programmer and she

is

not

interested in

becoming

one.

A growing

instead The

the designer

any

do

have any

not

first

will

of her work

ask

copies of

the

printer

never gives

ownership

had the financial

of her

the

to fix the

digital

and

resources

to install

process.

She

to

labeled,

If money

make all

of

need

file. However,

submissions

the design to them.

for

a reprint

printers

occurs,

rarely

have

it is

her hardware

because

it

kept her

was

issue,

much

that she

so

keep

wishes

install the

she would

are

too many

software

like

a

make sure

that she

between

used an outside

variables

than calling one

in

later

third party to manage

her

that archives are saved

likes to do. This designer

106

a client.

far. She only

has

That

It is important

and software compatible

feels there

time to

own copy.

done for

ten years, she

she

a technician

were not an

not a process

still

though

past

with one exception.

clients

is working fine

For the

She feels that it takes too

and

even

system

software updates

would rather

problem.

assets.

particular

the designer

design,

school and studio workstations.

consultant

mockup

file. When the

digital files to her

The designer feels that her

her

native

for the

particular project was a small one and

retain

the

will send a

PDF

in their databases.

The designer

to her to

works with require

files. In addition, the designer

of native

printers

that she

number of printers

assumes

that

most

graphic

designers

are more skillful at

ideas to

generate and move

money

a

final

"using

brain in

their creative side of the

order

to

product."

(Anonymous, 2005)

File

organization and

matters are not their particular areas of expertise.

Subject VII: An in-house design department Anonymous (personal communication, This design

operation serves as

educational

institute. The

occasionally hire interns state.

January 26, 2005)

the in-house creative service division to

publisher

has been in

or collaborate with

For photographs, the head designer

institute. Since this

are not

focused

on

publisher

making

is

works with other

part of an educational

a profit.

The

publisher

with other

sending it to

press.

the designers

over

is the only

other

and

within

out-of-

the

the in-house designers

institution,

client

departments

freelance designers, they

the head designer later finalizes the design

have to

by

departments

designers

two

they have, within

except on

the

institute.

When working

will

2001. The

freelance designers, both local

rare occasions when their services are needed

educational

operation since

a publisher at an

the Internet,

re-

Photographers deliver digital

physical

scan

and

images,

such as slides.

the designers rely

photographers, freelance

designers,

on

happens,

files involved

CDs to transfer digital

107

original

CDs, but

photographs on

When this

and printers.

the

ideas

and

links the high-resolution images before

those images herself. Most of the

so

create

the

are

can also send

assistant

designer

too large to be

assets

between

sent

Not

all of the

freelance designers they

In these cases, the designers only

images

are

done to

help

files. The

then

replaced with

to struggle to

control of

of

work more

for the

some

books,

such as

project name

planning,

contains

layout,

text

use

capability

particular

project

project,

a

title, author,

project

is

having to

since

images,

printed.

deal

those

and

This is

large

with

the head designer has

she wants

hierarchy is

image files.

drive,

then

to

maintain

CDs

at one

point, but

projects

large

projects

assets are organized

by

divided into correspondent,

file folders. The

Backup

are

production

are organized

inside

physical sources and other correspondence.

she was not satisfied with

the

file folder

an

The designer

software

using it.

conventions

that these designers

use

a potential problem as more people

and more projects need

final title, the naming or editor.

20 to 25 different

About half of these

On their hard

and production

quotes,

Canto Cumulus

so she stopped

has

projects

print

source and

discrepancy presents

given month.

folder. The folder

the necessary

The naming

reproduction of some

rest are small ones.

root

budgeting,

envelope with all

tried to

the

in the

without

works on an average of

publications, in any

and

efficiently

images,

access.

these high-resolution assets.

The in-house design team

including

freelancers low-resolution

for using low-resolution images is that

get permission

the use

these

have high-speed Internet

high-resolution images before the

freelance designers

other reason

give

work with

Additional

to be

become involved

worked on simultaneously.

system could

be based

problems persist

from freelancers, the designer keeps the

108

have been inconsistent. This

Before

on either a project's

because,

name

with a

after

that the

a

subject,

receiving design

freelancer

gave

it,

unless

she

does

a major revision on

between the designer

convention

of all

they

these different

can

the design. This is

rely

file-naming

and

issue because there is

an

freelancer. Furthermore, there is

aliases.

However,

on each other when one of

them does

since

no

both designers

not understand

no

naming

existing

work side

record

by

side

the naming

convention.

To

was used

have to

search

for

for existing assets, the head designer the project was created. If

and when

flip through a collection of the physical

must

know

she cannot

assets of

any

the

which project

remember, then

given year

asset

she will

to find

a

particular project.

Most

of

that the designers

of the projects

the problems that plagues

older

files

were created

InDesign. In the

convention

made

to

QuarkXPress,

strictly

is

while

and

InDesign, both because

QuarkXPress

working

and

because

on are

later

projects were

reconcile all

InDesign.

the

publications.

Many

mostly

the font

Eventually,

the department has

most of

book

software compatibility.

the head designer had to

issues between QuarkXPress

use

version of

publication projects

using

beginning,

are

printers she works with

do

in

naming

the decision

not upgraded

of the

created

and

One

was

to the new

not support

QuarkXPress files.

Frequently,

multiple

often collaborate with

quality

previews of

Then the designer

designers

freelancers. In this

the images

will

work on

and send

have the

chosen

the

instance,

same project

the

because the designers

head designer

will

them to the freelance designer to

images photographically

109

take low-

pick

reproduced.

from.

The

workflow goes one

files back from the designer. The designer

never gets

submitting the the

designer

freelancers also

way, from the freelancers to the designer. The freelancer

keeps

project

gives

to

them,

will never

all

file

for print. The freelancers

makes

can either make changes on proofs

or revise parts of the project

have

a

copy

versions sent

of

the final adjustments before

for

that

Thus,

resubmission.

the print-ready files. In her workflow, the designer

by the freelancer and dates

them to indicate the

most

current one.

The

publisher

has

high

never received a

number of reprint requests.

four years, the designers have only had to handle five didn't been

request

given.

that the

Instead,

There is

once

every

printer print

the head designer

no scheduled

quarter.

external

files to

hard drive

desktop to

then access the

four different

external

other

copies of

hard drive,

any

and one on

the hard drive because it has

of the

publishing

In

In every

resubmitted

a

full

the 180GB

external

hard drive

asset: one

copy in

each

the CD. The designers

not yet reached capacity.

operation.

110

CDs.

the

and

the CD

desktop can

keep

Their

CDs.

copy

backup

archive.

up their

Currently

computer,

a

least

designer's

one of the

backup

at

both designers copy

Previously they backed

something happened to computer or

on

is done

backup

a sufficient amount of work,

designer's

instance, they

the files in PDF format

in this operation, but

case

past

from the digital files that they had originally

was purchased six months ago.

each other's computers.

she could

are

backup

Whenever there is

their files from their local

The

directly

reprints.

For the

of

goes

one

files,

there

in the

every file

on

back to the

start

The head designer

better

system

division with

and

in the

they

realizes

that their system

beginning because

are not

working

on

is too informal. She did

there are only two

very many

projects.

designers working in She

started

to

total projects, the

all

year, but this

more

year

designers to

designers had to

they have 14. This work on an

problem could

cannot

file naming

find it. On

had been

created

department

started.

that

was no

She

system.

The

educational

publisher

longer

important

use

better naming

wishes

project

which are quite

designer

would

even

file exists, but

re-compile

for

not

all, assets

images. However,

she still

she

had to

had

she

that

a project

related

the digital assets from

Fortunately,

due to

aspect of her

before the publishing

is

to that

an older storage

access

to the

re-shoot some of the

not

a more organized system

in the upcoming

in the in-house division's immediate plan, she

with

finding

digital

assets.

asset management software

111

use

Mac OS

Nevertheless,

that

year.

she can

thinks that she should

in her files. The designers currently

helpful

like to have

to have

for the future. At the very least,

conventions

features,

a

of certain assets

the layout file.

asset reorganization

as an

publications a

the operation hires

received a reprint request

part of their system.

The head designer

it

loses track

knows that

inherited some, but

The designer had to

photographs and recreate

see

sometimes

institute

media and could retrieve most of the

Although

sometimes

occasion, the designer

by the

particular project.

media

one

escalate as

the

Formerly,

only two to three

easily

a

increasing number of projects.

In her workflow, the head designer the inconsistent

work with

up

see a problem

their asset management system as their project workload increased.

among

not set

allows

her to

search

the head

search

for

both

assets

by

file

storage system

not

have

because they

a good

updates, along

Subject IX:

names and groups of

will

first impression

of

on

medium, of

two

CantoCumulus,

worked

20

and

are named

system.

Freelancers

given

she

did

its

consider

month.

These

years.

There

are

testing

uses

on

staff,

be divided into 5% large, 20%

the MAC

when

purposes,

designers

The company is currently

and photography.

projects can

two

files

system

are

projects with

the

for design work,

help PC

and

transferred to other PC users.

computers'

IT

consultant

to

maintain

technical aspects and

the

asset management system.

the job

number.

their naming

to the

willing to

still

The two designers lead the firm's design

and

an outside

assigns

inside

this

small.

for accounting

Jobs

out

freelancers for design

freelance designers. The firm

to build their

stored

Although

February 2, 2005)

in the design field for 29

projects

75%

The firm hires

ensure

is

she

a centralized

with other available asset management software.

also uses

other

systems

the need for

Two-person, 29-year-old firm

This firm has

working

also sees

run out of storage space.

eventually

Anonymous (personal communication,

but the firm

file types. She

a

based

Any

job number, client,

new project will

are given a

naming

guide

be

and

given

Files

by the preflight

sent

within

to the

the

in the form

project

printer are

then

the

conventions are synchronized with

working folder

printer.

on

folder,

labeled

software.

112

project name.

FilemakerPro

next number available on

of a

Quark file in

order

to

the design firm's. All files

except

"final"

or

for final

files,

identified

by

the

are

which go

a cursive

"f

'

One designer primarily

manages

this task in addition to her design

Retrospect

software.

Retrospect

system.

However,

further back to before the company

when

it

she

is

difficulty during the

importance

ascribing

During everything is work

the

to

metadata

archived.

work

When

prevent

the company switched to

from that

the

to her

and so she

process.

redundancy

archive goes

not work at

doesn't know

The designer does

the

whether

not see

the

asset management system.

designers

during

away from the office, they

work on

the design

must

bring

keep,

since not

the same project, freelancers

process.

a

files to

the

she must pick and choose

multiple

in the

point on exist

Retrospect-based

installed. This designer did

switching

the archiving process,

in-house to

choose

not sure whether

Retrospect system,

there was any

of

years ago

realizes that all assets

system was

changed to the

About five

work.

The designer

the firm's digital assets. She is responsible for

copy

When the freelancers

of their

finished

sections

to

main office.

Files

server.

are

Backup

Retrospect

available,

available on each

only

is done

software.

one on

by

the

When

system

a.project

the tape drive

and

completed, it is deleted from the

copy is

stored

organized

project

in

locally

which

and

the

the

designer's local drive. There is

automatically every

is in progress, there

the

other on

the

local

computer and archived

other

project was

is kept in

storage.

night on

are

never

had to

113

tape drives

copies of

computer.

to two

use

project

is

in tape drives. One

archives are

an additional

these

by

the file

Once the

copies

The tape drive

done. Although there is

in the storage, the designer has

two

no centralized

copy

extra copies.

of each

There is

has

no

archiving

extra time or when the

archived, the

firm's

Freelancers

Once

systems.

firm

on a

have

never

CD. As

of

this

failed the

are responsible

date,

the asset

was used.

the

picture

designer does

CDs. On the

for

freelancer

by

simple

itself. The designer

For example, if she

not see

the importance

directly

to

receive

files in

busy

they usually do clients so

time, however, the firm is client will receive

needs

under

of

the finished

because Retrospect file based

that

native

to

are

their own

within

project

to the

media;

can

responsible

the final format

to find

an

they

The

system

the

image,

assets

to

only

by

print

are given

get a

projects

design.

114

for

which

Currently,

to the firm

using CDs

or an

PDF file if they will

additional service.

the

not allow a

the

description.

be

Some files

printer.

on

FTP

request

revised

themselves. Most

for turning in the file to the

of the

does

she must remember which

any final changes, files

for this

Once the job

specific project

clients and printers

They

has cataloging

number.

that corresponding job folder.

form.

then

software

job

on

freelance designers

make

not charge

they

asset.

searching for

are transferred

it. When the design firm is too the printers, and

backups

a reliable storage

must remember

photographers and

side, files

Printers usually

own

will give

have been

a particular

belongs to, then look

output

Before files

out of space.

for making their

the tape drives

will search

Assets from both

given

a

for files is relatively

searchable

projects when she

that each folder is numbered according to the

is specified, it is relatively easy to locate the

file to be

site.

is running

finished

company's asset management system.

features. The designer

client

computer

is completed,

a project

Searching

number

local

software will make sure

system.

the designer archives

schedule

by

are

of

the

In this case, the

Ever major

any

since

issues

the firm implemented Retrospect

with

its digital

rare

In this case, the designer

occasions,

order.

Once the designer figures The designer

wishes

feels that the less time automates

designer

the

backup

must go

particular

for

out

its system, it has

never

was created

in

the file using the

a project

folder

a system

system and not

that

will

help

each project

folder

an older software

current software.

the

keep

and which

her

spend

process.

and clean out

archived

management

relies on

its

to delete. The designer

files from the local

less time

archiving.

current system

During

system; he

outside

IT

Subject X: One-man

or she

does

consultant

not

to give

unnecessary files. She feels

This firm in the design field has been working in the company, to do his

projects.

projects, of which

must also make sure

with

the archiving

advice on

only

that she

necessary

process

which

deletes

all

asset

itself. The firm

software purchases.

operation

Anonymous (personal communication,

system

help

She

archiving, the

The IT technician only builds the

computer.

On

it.

that this process cannot be automated because someone has to manually decide

files to

had

loses files. Sometimes

correct

the process, the better. The

the archiving

never

was stored out of alphabetical

the mistake, she can easily

she spends on

through

file

must recreate

because

problems occur

The firm

asset management.

the need to recreate files occurs if a

version.

as part of

75%

and

he

In any

February 18, 2005) for three

open

never uses

given

are small and

years.

any freelance help. The designer

month, the firm

25%

The designer is the only

works on

are medium-sized.

115

uses a

one

MAC

between three to five

The designer keeps his design jobs in his local hard drive. Most not require

the use

of

experience, he does

quality

large

not

and

only recently became

in the hard drive

hard drive

or on

CDs,

assets will always

He

be

assigns a

projects are

acronym,

from the

which

so

metadata to

He

never uses

folder for

space.

each client at

then organized

is followed

its three

Digital

by

will

a

be

years of

drives fill up, the designer

happens, he

three digit job

referred

based

utilizes

on relevant

to

job

The designer keeps

on

his

the

only

all of his

filled, he

stored

in

transfers

either

the

the assumption that his digital

to as

will go

the

search

numbers

number.

client

need

system

assets.

sufficient

folders

and so on.

extra

to its

hard

Once the local hard transfer some of them to

basis.

projects.

However,

through the OS. He

does

when

not use

The designer feels that searching for files

in his

116

project

by adding an

assets and

each

assigned a two-letter

made minor changes

to access old

available

is

For example,

simultaneously.

his digital

function

his digital

is

his

process on a regular

the

his hard drive. Within

DC001, DC002,

upgraded

through

encounters

search

Each

of

operation, the firm has only

do the archiving

specialized software

assets would enhance

assets are

the root level

by job numbers.

The designer

The designer rarely this

Based

small.

the metadata input option from

works under

drive. Now he is working from two hard drives

not

his

relatively

does

retrievable.

asset management system.

CDs. He does

are

there is space. Once the hard drive is

as

both. The designer

not

his files

aware of this option.

CDs to free up

Disney Channel

During

long

as

some of the assets onto

folder,

feel that attaching

of his asset management system.

Photoshop, assets

Photoshop files,

of his work

workflow.

This is the

case

because he

does few

not

have many

projects.

find the

With his existing system,

and

maintains a regular

printer or gives

Once

relationship

concerned with

his

PDF formats

printer

and

only

can

easily

is, he

with one particular printer.

any

contract.

reprints

The designer is

a

He

sends

use

from his

printer.

printer

directly

to the

PDF format. Two-thirds

files. The designer is

keeps his

not aware of

not

not put

assets on

the printing

the duration because he has

The designer has

reliability issues

noticed

not

that

have to

them for his

he does

recreate

FTP site,

an

with storage

not

any

of

have thess

own portfolio and not

improving his

asset management system

in

trouble because of corrupt

of an

prefers a

rest prefer native

He knows that his

aware of the

files. Nevertheless, he did

trouble

himself, improving

issue, he

considers possible

experienced

usually

the file

and

he

uses

it

clients or printers.

to longevity. He has

only trying to

either sends

capability to modify the design because he does

for transferring files to his

themselves

the

database. However, the designer is

never requested

hears

the client

who

with

clients'

ownership rights in his company's

is finished, he

a project

the file to the client. His

of his clients also prefer

was

he knows

clients, each

two-color projects to this printer, and only shops around for other, more

demanding print jobs.

relation

once

of

particular asset.

The designer

one-

Instead, he has lots

projects per client.

because many

access

of his older

particular assets

for

a client.

since

asset management

is

solutions, but he has

117

to a few

because he

He has

of his colleagues

files. However,

them.

media, especially in

considered

have found

the designer has

not a priority.

never

never

Whenever he

followed through

on

This designer system,

not

because

admits

of

time constraints, but

financial limitations: he design not see

software than

he keeps postponing

that

because

it

on a

the urgency to improve his

better

of

asset management

his laziness. There

asset management system.

asset management system

in his

designer working In

spite of all

workflow.

his digital files

this, the designer is

system will

help

The designer

He

nightly.

wishes

asset management

system,

design division

yet

designers working there,

they

and

to

obtain

a

occasionally

images.

not

to

better

back up

asset management

not

do

enough

in trouble for

recommends

do it for his

that

own

business.

not

having

other

a

firms

firm.

hospital

February 12, 2005)

operated

are overloaded with work.

photographers

he does

operates as a part of the

The in-house design division has

when

a

never gotten

He finds it ironic that he

Anonymous (personal communication,

graphic

than

asset

an automatic system

feel that

not

himself lucky because he has

Subject XI: An in-house design division in

This

were more

considering putting money into

that he could invest in

Nevertheless, he does

proper asset management system.

improve their

still

increase the firm's bottom line because he does

counts

He feels

the firm.

at

management software.

computer or

The designer does

that a better asset management system would be more important if there

one

are also

his money upgrading his

would much rather spend

investing

improving his

for the

they

past

one of

118

three

years.

collaborate with

Additionally,

Currently

marketing department in There

a

hospital.

are two

local freelance designers

the department hires two freelance

the designers is working on

a web

design project,

division's

and

for this

main projects

is collaborating

work she

involve

The

with an outside web vendor.

promotional materials

for physicians

or groups

in the

hospital. Both designers

work on

PC

systems.

They upload

and

download files from the

central server

designated solely for the design division. Files in the

automatically

by

the system created

in local drives. When

recently to this

server.

to

upgraded

a

Between the two

designers usually day. The

need

usually

Adobe Illustrator. However, spend a

lot

of

time

on

any

small-

since

she often

retrieve old

project.

files

has to

refer

and update

Once they

all

the files

files,

work on

project requests

to

are so

not

keep files

other can

server.

access

projects per month.

one-page

They

been transferred the older

Both

to divide between them in any

medium-scale

there

files have

the designers have to

up to 50

not

kept in the

are

backed up

EPS files

many projects, the designers

given

in

created

can never

one project.

The lead designer feels the

because

older

they

up to five

because

and some of the older

these

of them,

receive

projects are

own computer

larger server,

If they

new server.

IT department. The designers do

by the

the designers cannot show up for work, the

one of

to work from her

continue

server are

need

back to

them.

are set on a

to

keep

older

files. For

that

keep

will revise over

the project, the designers

version.

119

folder nesting

and

ads

The designers rarely

design, they

people request an older version of

naming

run

monthly,

different

the

easily

she

has to

versions of

current

can

consistent

file. Then

recreate

the

when

the

older

The

root

folders

hospital. Each folder is divided into etc.

Files

are separated

folder keeps

the designers

Additionally, for

include

keep

Generally, because the

system

extra copies on

archive of

the

is

Zip discs because

CDs from the

image

projects which

chosen

Not

server

for the

all of the

because

copied

to the

system

not

have to do

by project

types.

which are used

assets,

An

organize

were

additional work

to

IT department. On occasion,

to

work

backups

she will

keep

They

are

an

from the marketing

this archive. The CDs

taken for.

create

from home. The department keeps

additional person

are categorized

labeled

with

the

into

particular

limitation;

To look for

system

photographers'

CDs

other

has

are

only the images actually

images,

worked

a contact sheet on each

used

so

for the

show

projects are

read each

far because they

the lead designer

CD to

120

transferred to the central

the designer has to

adequately

by particular project. However,

by including

separate

the designers carelessly download digital

by the

photographer.

images. on the

Adobe Photoshop. The

down the CDs

store

to

project.

of space

server.

projects

TIFF files from this folder. A

image folder to

she needs

the photos

flyer, billboard,

ad,

which are organized

in the

of rushing.

maintained

department helps the designers to

different

projects,

lead designer does

fully

or physicians

image folders. When sending

original

a separate

images into the wrong folder because

by divisions

of projects: newspaper

and

arise when

but

clients

variety

all sporadic

Problems

multiple projects.

a

further into layout

the printer, the designers always

miscellaneous

by

are separated not

wishes

disc using

can narrow

to improve the

its images. Currently, the

designer does

not see

simply browse

the

to

use

through her folder

The department

both black-and-white

with

need

uses

and

For less

because the hospital has

them for

because

designer

other

prints

physicians

never requests

because there

are

a

can

the designer

uses

for

the

workflow with

The hospital

owns

short runs or projects

outside print vendors.

EPS files. Files

are transferred

good

Internet

system.

Larger files

in their

original

formats

as

well, in

are

case

for

promotional

usually

a

few

print

minor

directly

than

she orders more copies

request additional copies

that printers

usually

material,

later. For reprints, the

from the files that they already

but important

changes

to the file

such as

have,

date

and

information.

efficient

There

files. She

older version of the project.

sends native

very

are also sent

Although both designers have to

is

old

production.

When ordering needed

PDF

vendors, the designer

transferred using CDs. Images

printers need

uses a

locate

to

and outside print vendors.

and color printers which

updated print

through email

locate the

both in-house

time constraints. She usually

software

proprietary

because they only have to focus

are other people

designer feels her

changes

work with a

involved in the design

system

in it. The only

on

is

sufficient

area she

now

high

designing

projects

she

does

feels the department

consistency.

121

to

number of projects,

and not on

help

not

managing

system

projects.

the designers. The lead

foresee the

could

the

need

for drastic

improve is its folder nesting

Subject XII: Somewhat larger firm

Anonymous (personal

with six

February 2, 2005)

communication,

This design firm has been operating for 25

designers,

different

projects.

medium,

and

30%

photographers,

close

In any

On average, 20% small.

All design

with an outside

To

system.

Therefore,

network.

one

designer

The firm

The firm CDs

are used

amount of

files than

of

uses email

only

when

the

files to the

tech support to

usually

projects are printed

A third-party FTP

maintains a

fix

in

files

are

automatically

an active-file partition

designer's

or upgrade

to

drop

its

to the

and

be transferred

for

between

box through the

computer system.

printer

in

native

email.

FTP

site

There is

a

high

larger

works more on

format. However, 15%

for these projects, files

are sent

in

high-

to transfer finished projects.

to transfer assets, but

122

by

because the firm

used a client's

provider was also used

active

several

with printers or clients as much as possible.

big

sent

Each designer has

projects are switched

other

operation

digitally,

PDF. In the past, the firm

must work

When

up.

to transfer assets

are

large, 50%

technical aspects, the firm

with

designers

CD trafficking in the firm's

the firm's

help

the file size is too

Files

six

the firm will hire freelance programmers,

Partitions designated for

transfer

uses outside

small ones.

resolution

can

30

tech consultant.

the projects to be automatically backed

designers,

full-time

works on an average of

stations are connected through a network.

night.

six

currently

the projects would be classified as

of

Occasionally,

in the operating

backed up every

are

month, each designer is responsible for up to

or writers as needed.

relationship

partitions

given

There

years.

director. The firm

one writer and one account

projects per month.

full-time designers

now

freelancers

can

directly

upload projects to the

an outside programmer.

layout,

and

then sends

Naming

his

or

her

named

by

a

kept only

designers

The

keep different

different purposes, The

backup

print

acts

both

responsible

as a

archiving

for archiving

When

an active

Although

all

file

and as

all

each

partition

system was

the

is to

go

their archiving

through their

because

the projects.

developed

clients

duties, because

individual

this

his

explains

to create archives.

123

may

schedule

request them

designer has

support.

for

was

or

her

that

thing they

or

her

archives

job:

was

own archives.

the projects.

the archiving time frame

own archive

most

a unique

too much time from

taking

location,

between the

In the past, he

for creating his

central

the last

according

fonts folders. The

as a collaboration

particular

However,

creates

the

to save money.

responsible

designer

and not on

and

begins to fill up, the designer then

each

system

or

hire

the client's name, and the project

firm's internal tech

designer is

hierarchy

layouts, images

designers. This

time available. The tech /designer further

fulfilling

the

these archives are stored in one

lacks consistency because

folder

folder is divided into print, estimate,

stores

will

the project to the programmer.

the same, each designer names files

to maintain the look

designer

his design duties. Now

the

versions of the projects

either

and

on

stays

main

folder

outside tech support and one of the

he

design projects, the firm

works as much as possible on

five-digit job number,

Each

own preference.

and miscellaneous.

web

a prototype or shallow version of

Although the nesting generally

name.

For

website.

In this case, the designer

conventions are

files. The folder is

to

firm's

designers

want to

do

only

when

there is

procrastinate

during down

time

Files

One disc is switched

are archived

stored

one

is in

from using CDs to DVDs

Some designers labeled

locally,

into three different discs,

by

the

listed

automatic

rewritten with

backup

backup

goes

is

partitions.

The firm designers

receives a

frequently

maintained

by

are not

need

backed

high

to

since

the tech/designer. The

designers do

designers have

had to completely

firm may

resort

are

because lot

when a

of

time

the

designer

doing

so.

backup

system.

to

retrieve

needs

Additionally, files the active-file

up.

files

list is

will show

of on

redo a project.

an

Discs

not.

document.

sometimes must work outside

existing

by browsing

searchable

basis,

by job

old projects

If

a problem

all attempts

similar

file

124

to

list,

which

is

number or client name.

project.

may be

the central archive system.

had

Therefore,

through the master

the disc that stores the

that they've never

to revising

do

increasing.

archived, the disc's label

projects are

writer also oversees

must spend a

not archive on a regular

reported

while others

number of reprint and revision requests.

designer's local hard drive instead

never

The firm's

access old

Once the file is located, the list

master

project sizes are

back two days. After two days the tape is

backed up because designers

Those files

because

to archiving,

not versatile

files from the tape, the tech/designer are often not

media

list. Once

Quark

cycle.

system

prior

master

only

up

backup

as

on a searchable

the next back

At this time, the

the

different locations.

safe, and the director keeps the last copy. The firm

a

folders

to clean

next number on

and content are

The

choose

which are stored at

Unfortunately,

stored on one

However,

finding files,

and

the

thus

retrieve an old project

or request a

copy

of

the

have

fail,

the

files from the

printer.

Some

printers provide

design firm's relationship

with

this

service

the

printer.

for free,

The tech/designer thinks that the firm's

the archiving process

of

hours

system.

order

a

day. She

The firm's

for the

instructions for the

be

reluctant

wishes

to

too cumbersome.

to

that the archive system

work

properly,

each

user.

invest in

If the

could

is only

designer

files from tapes takes too

system needs

a new system unless

much

to

depending

be

is

be

as automatic as

as good as

must

the

the

a couple

backup

its least diligent

follow

on

a result of

takes the designer up to

user.

In

procedures perfectly.

time because there are no detailed

upgraded

the designers

125

charge,

asset management problem

Archiving

asset management system

system

Retrieving backup

being

while others

in the

manage

future, to

the director

justify the need.

will

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