Wednesday, November 01, 2006

File management and source file

When setting up your files always make sure to keep everything in the correct folder. It will help you from losing images and other important information and it will help to make your work-flow more efficient. A good tip to consider is to look at your files and see if you think someone could pick up a project from where you have stopped and continue on. Are all of the images present and the documents that are needed to complete a project? I also suggest that once a project is completed that you package the document with all of the required images and fonts and save that file not only to your computer but also a dvd or an external hd. Sooner or later you will lose a file and so backing up things as you are working, especially large and complex files, will help to save you from doing extra work.

I would recommend that you save all of your files in a folder for each specific class.

Immediately when starting a new project go ahead and create a source folder, a folder for images, and then name your documents clearly so you know what they are. Likewise when naming images try to be very descriptive because you don't necessarily want a printer calling you for a file with a name you didn't expect being echoed over the phone.

In your source file place any native files. Native files refer to those files that you used to create your project, this would include scans, original artwork, or original imagery. Always keep your native files as they are and do not save over them in case you need to go back and edit something. Generally I would place any file that is a psd (photoshop), or ai (illustrator) in these folders. In your image folder place any images that you might link to. This folder should be reserved for images such as jpg (jpeg), gif, tif (tiff), eps, or png. When naming files use the extension that you are given. Most file abbreviations have been shortened to 3 letter words however there are the oddities like indd (indesign) and ai (illustrator).

Here is a sample file that you can download. Feel free to look around and see how the files are packaged, which is how I gathered this project, and look at the indd file and see how it was designed. I will provide a more complex indd file with style sheets shortly, hopefully.

[ sample indd file ]

**** If you have problems downloading the attached file, hold down on control on your keyboard and click to download the file. The file might save with an extension of txt so if it does delete the txt so it ends .sitx ****


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