Artwork filing/foldering practice

mulo_g

Well-known member
Is there any standard practice for file naming / filing in folder and folder naming for the artworks?
What I can imagine is I make folders (in my PC) in the name of customers. e.g. cus 1, cus 2 etc. Next in tree would be folders named after jobs job 1, job 2 etc. In these job folders would be files. Should there be folders in between of dates? And how are files named when edited once, twice, thrice, so on, and when finalized?
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
This leads to confusion, more duplicates, and possibly difficult retrieval.
We file by "JobNumber_Customer". (Job number IS A NUMBER - customer could be several spellings, etc.)
In my many-shop many-decade experience this is best.
Only exception are "many-product-oft-reprinted" customers.
They receive master folders organized by folder of many-product ID.

HTH
YMMV
 

tngcas

Well-known member
Our shop does this:
  • Parent Folder - Last Name, First Name [ex: Smith, John]
  • Order Folder - (saved inside Parent Folder) - Order Number, Date [ex: 12342-2022-1129]
  • Inside Order Folder - Order Number, Job Number, Last Name, File Name [ex: 12342-01-SMITH-Apollo.pdf, 12342-02-SMITH-Venus.pdf]
Our website automatically creates a unique order number per order which can have multiple jobs inside the order which is why we have our system. The job number system used by Chriscozi might make more sense if you don't have order numbers AND job numbers.

- We've found that most of the time we need to be able to lookup a customer's previous orders by their last name because customers don't always remember their order number.
- Then inside their folder we have the order number and date because customers usually remember "about when they placed an order" or their order number so we get a visual of both options. Since our orders are serialized the list of folders always sorts correctly.
- We save the actual file names by order and job number (on the order) and then last name because it's faster to lookup in our fiery if we need to reprint something (like if the cutting machine eats a sheet or something). Also some employees are more name focused and some are more number focused so either way they can search for a print job using whatever method works for their brain.

That's our system anyways.
 

mulo_g

Well-known member
In our case, many a times I need to reprint, say after 2 years. And, I may have edited a file several times before Finally printing. I usually keep those edited (intermediate) files. Sometimes I find it difficult to find which file was finally printed. How should one name those edited files? And, customer and for that matter I wouldn't remember or trace the order number.
 

keith1

Well-known member
I may have edited a file several times before Finally printing. I usually keep those edited (intermediate) files. Sometimes I find it difficult to find which file was finally printed.
I always sent a pdf proof to the customer to make certain it was the correct file version, even when I was sure it was. That in itself often prompted the customer to make a minor change/correction that they hadn't thought of. It also places the onus on the customer.
 

mulo_g

Well-known member
Yes. We are primitive. Therefore, we don't have an order numbering system. We get the files from customers. Most of the times we have to edit them. Sometimes, we send them back to customers ( who mostly want us to edit again). Then we send these files to printers for offset printing. When the order repeats after long time we do have problem searching for the right file. We are looking for solutions or suggestions so that we modify and improve our system
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
Yes. We are primitive. Therefore, we don't have an order numbering system. We get the files from customers. Most of the times we have to edit them. Sometimes, we send them back to customers ( who mostly want us to edit again). Then we send these files to printers for offset printing. When the order repeats after long time we do have problem searching for the right file. We are looking for solutions or suggestions so that we modify and improve our system
So an order number system would work for you then.
I have a hard time imagining you don't Invoice your customer.
So you SHOULD have an invoice, quote/estimate, or instead a Vendor Tracking/PO Number ??
ANY of those would be a good place to start to determine your business logic for numbering the items described.
Yes you need to determine if any of those existing structures would work for you without 'duplicate' entries.
(standard database modeling for key fields)
This will give you a 'key' number you can assign to individual customer files.
You could also use the same key field to update previous work and if it works for that you can use it going forward.
YMMV.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
In our case, many a times I need to reprint, say after 2 years. And, I may have edited a file several times before Finally printing. I usually keep those edited (intermediate) files. Sometimes I find it difficult to find which file was finally printed. How should one name those edited files? And, customer and for that matter I wouldn't remember or trace the order number.
To avoid this issue we create a folder inside the job folder called 'archive' because we never throw anything away. The only job in the parent job folder is the one we actually used to print. The rest (intermediate files) go into the archive folder so we don't accidentally pull the wrong file in the future.
 
In our case, many a times I need to reprint, say after 2 years. And, I may have edited a file several times before Finally printing. I usually keep those edited (intermediate) files. Sometimes I find it difficult to find which file was finally printed. How should one name those edited files? And, customer and for that matter I wouldn't remember or trace the order number.
We give each artwork an item code linked to it's physical description and then follow the item code with an artwork version number e.g. 1234 version 1, 1234 version 2 etc. which is then captured in our B.O.S ERP software by sales team for traceability. Customers also occasionally use previous versions of artwork so tracking the item by artwork version works for our organization.
 

petermif

Member
We create a parent folder with the client name. In this folder we create 3 or more subfolders (see attached pic). We store any supplied artwork, images etc in the Materials Supplied. folder, in house AI generated artworks without job number in the Artworks folder, print files are stored with job number in the Print Files folder and if the job has die cutting outlines we store cutter outlines and photos etc in the Cutter Outline folder. We find that this system allows us to manage well. In our accounting package we link job number to invoice number thus creating a linked list. Once a job is ready and delivered and paid for we scan and file electronically each job sheet so that we can refer back to any specific job for any detail or production note (notes, difficulties, variations, specific machine settings etc) we may have added during production. This way we can easily find any job deatil on the job sheet. Im sure there are many systems but we find this works for us. Hope this helps.
 

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aqazi81

Well-known member
We as a flexo plate bureau house, store customer-supplied files in the raw jobs folder with subfolders for each customer and in each customer's folder we save the supplied files in date-wise folders.
Then we forward these files to the prepress team, they assign a job number to the files, and that job number is used to send the artwork for approval, plate making and then billing.
For every revision, we add a revision number to trace the exact file approved by the customer.
 

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