graphic design files

When you’re doing a job that has several stages sometimes keeping files organised can be difficult. I initially start with main folder, with a job number and description for easy backing up and retrieval. My main Quark files are saved straight within the main design folder and then I have a set of folders to house my illustrator files, high resolution images, supplied files etc. What I find useful is whenever major changes are made to a Quark file I save them as version 1 (name v1.qxd), version 2 (name v2.qxd) etc and then file them in an old folder (which I keep).

This is useful for several reasons:

  • As well as the auto quark back ups you have an additional quark file to fall back on should a file become corrupt.
  • You will occasionally (I know I have) be asked to amend part of a document back to that of a previous version.
  • You make a mistake on the latest file, you can go back and cut and paste bits from the previous one.

Another thing I always do is to save all my original design concepts. I have on occasion been asked to revisit a previous concept (one not previously chosen) several years after a job has been done. Keeping your old concepts is also useful for your own reference for style and of course when you want to show your design concept skills within your portfolio. I know I sometimes prefer the concept work to the final design.

On illustrator files which include text I will try to remember to keep a version where the text is not split into paths which is always useful if a document is updated and text needs changing in the future (and you can’t remember the font etc).

I am sure there are lots of different ways of organising your graphic design files, do you have any tips? How do you organise your computer files?