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A designer’s guide to folder structure and file versioning

Posted by in Blog, Graphic Design

A tidy folder keeps designers happy!

At times, you will be asked to collaborate with another designer, share your files with a printer or even send your files to some of your clients.
keeping a well organized folder structure is very important, otherwise you risk looking unprofessional or even causing unnecessary delays to the project itself.

Time is precious and if someone on your team have to waste time on finding the latest version of your main working file,
client materials, proofs or editable elements you will be incurring on extra expenses for your company and clients.

Below is the core anatomy of how we structure project folders at Baboon,
it has helped us share projects between designers, programmers, printers and clients during many years.

Baboon Folder Structure

Some tips:

  • Use a proper naming convention your files, don’t name your files “Project-Final”. You might have to re-work on it next year, or you might get an unexpected change from press at the last minute. Use version numbers instead “Project-v6”.
  • Get a backup system in place. We currently use two external hard drives managed by “time machine” that save all our files on an hourly basis. We are looking to improve this even further by getting an online backup service.
  • The “inside” of your files should be properly ordered as well, name your layers in photoshop and illustrator, comment your code, leave instructions and notes on your inDesign files.
  • Every design discipline is different, tweak the names of your folders to best describe their purpose and enclosed files.
  • Save your work regularly