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article 3 image 1As a graphic designer, whether you are working as a freelance or working in an agency, you are constantly surrounded by customers, and each comes with a file attached to its requirements, so each of us needs organization to makes life easier for both him and his colleagues, if any.

As a graphic designer, whether you are working as a freelance or working in an agency, you are constantly surrounded by customers, and each comes with a file attached to its requirements, so each of us needs organization to makes life easier for both him and his colleagues, if any.

When you work in the agency there is also a Project Manager who helps you with all this, but the idea is not to lose your head among the files, the more so as there is always a deadline for each project and because of that being organizated is essential for you as a graphic designer .

 

There are several organizational methods, and each should do this according to his work style, because in the end there is no correct or nailed recipe, but I can give you some ideas:

  • For each client there is a file with its name. Because when more customers gather, they are easy to find because they sit in alphabetical order. Also, depending on the client and what type of collaboration I have with him, I create two subcategories, print materials and web material, and hence the organization can be tailored to the style of each one, I create sub folders dated each task, so when I search for something, I know that the last papers will always be the lowest, and periodically when I gather a lot, I archive them.
  • To get a little more in-depth when working on a website, landing page, poster, or whatever in Photoshop, it’s good to organize files, including the layers there, even if it takes 2/5 minutes in plus, although it is apparently a waste of time or you think you will not need that PSD, you never know when there are other changes or when you go on vacation and somebody else will have to work for you or that the programmer will have to understand the structure you created and you do not want to be the disorganized designer after which everyone is struggling to work. Besides, you never know when you have to go back to a long-awaited project, and in this way you will not have to think about where you put the resources used, be they pictures or vectors, because they will all be there , beautifully organized.
  • Bigger projects should always have a copy (for example, if you’re working on a video editing or an online shop) because it still happens through me, I know what errors (whether you are deleting something in error or something is crashing ) to stay out of the project and have to get it done, and though it’s easier because you already know what you did there and how you thought things, you still have to sacrifice some of your spare time to fix everything.
  • On the other hand, if you work on a design, save only the final one as editable version and avoid the file name from FINAL 1 / FINAL 2, if you have to come back to it, you will not know which FINAL will be the good one and you will lose more time searching for the right file instead of actually solving the problem.
  • To maintain good collaboration with both customers and colleagues, it’s a good idea to write down the details of the projects or tasks you’ve received, and for that you can use different project management applications, either free, or for a modest amount per month Basecamp, Trello, Remember the milk, Workfront, Jira etc.) and sometimes why not, old school, sheet and pen 🙂
  • By working simultaneously on several larger or smaller projects, there is a risk of forgetting or confusing certain information. It would also be good if you work in a team, ask someone to look at the material to be taught before they reach the client. If you work freelance, let the work breathe for 30 minutes or an hour, and then take a look over it before sending it to the client (if you check it out immediately after you finish it, especially if you have worked longer, you might be “content blind”)

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Using Google Docs for projects you collaborate with other people, it’s easier to make live updates and check the status of each other and save time.

Each of us has a different workflow influenced by different factors, but no matter what the circumstances, there is a small trick that you can use to avoid getting lost in tasks: think about the evening what tasks do you want to do the next day, which is their priority, what can you postpone, briefly set little milestones.

I do not think there is a “recipe” of the organization, I think each of us has workflow and different methods “to stay alive as a designer”, but these are some of the methods I use and it works for me & feel free to try some.

 

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Cristiana Valceanu

I’m basically a one woman shop for art and design. As a child, I learned how to write and design because I figured one day this internet thing would help me share my art with nice people all over the world.I am a creative. I can never seem to stop creating anything. There is always an idea, new picture, or some business idea running through my head. I can’t help but see a picture before I see words on it. I am drawn to color and the beauty around me. I have always been drawn to art and design.