How long to Archive?

Steve_S

Well-known member
What is the industry "standard" (as if there are any...) for filing client art/digital assets before purging? 3 years? 5 years? Trying to streamline our archival area without causing an inconvenience for clients.
 

gordo

Well-known member
What is the industry "standard" (as if there are any...) for filing client art/digital assets before purging? 3 years? 5 years? Trying to streamline our archival area without causing an inconvenience for clients.
Where (commercial sheetfed) I worked it was 3 years. Then the CSRs would contact the customer to give them a month's notice that their files would be purged. Then the week before the customers were given a final week's notice after which the files were purged.

I've seen some shops put the archival terms as a line item in their quotes. The sales rep would bring this to the customer's attention so that arrangements could be made if the customer wanted a different archival schedule.

best, gordo
 
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Sev

Well-known member
What is the industry "standard" (as if there are any...) for filing client art/digital assets before purging? 3 years? 5 years? Trying to streamline our archival area without causing an inconvenience for clients.
We dont purge client's files. We archive our jobs onto DVD, and catalog the DVD's. This way, when a client realizes that they no longer have their original files, then who turns out to be the good guy? We do, since we then save their butts. Who ends up getting the print job? We do, since again we saved their butts.

-Sev
 

Sev

Well-known member
Sev - you permanently archive to DVD? What about "hard copy" from older materials?
Are you referring to "camera ready art" and film, and materials like that? If so, we acually have tossed all old film, etc. If you are referring to materials such as press sheets, items like, we toss that out when we run out of room, which is probably around 3 years or so. No exact numbers on that.

-Sev
 

Steve_S

Well-known member
Thanks - that makes more sense. We currently have 6+ years on DVD for digital files.
 

JLRobertson

Active member
Just like Sev, I have CDs and DVDs (1,560 of them to be precise, all catalogued) of the final files (and some support files) from every job we've printed since I've been here (11 years). Doesn't cost more than pennies per, and the increased business and customer satisfaction which brings more business has made the archiving project very worthwhile.
And since we do not charge for storage or retrieval, if a file is lost due to bad media or operator error, there is absolutely no liability on our part.
 

Sev

Well-known member
Just like Sev, I have CDs and DVDs (1,560 of them to be precise, all catalogued) of the final files (and some support files) from every job we've printed since I've been here (11 years). Doesn't cost more than pennies per, and the increased business and customer satisfaction which brings more business has made the archiving project very worthwhile.
And since we do not charge for storage or retrieval, if a file is lost due to bad media or operator error, there is absolutely no liability on our part.
We actually do a double archive (we make 2 sets of DVD's) in case of media failure. So if one DVD goes bad, we can take the second DVD and re-burn that to a new DVD.

-Sev
 

pcmodem

Registered Users
We are very similar to Sev. We archive all digital files onto DVD and have them going back as far as 1994. There are 2 copies burned in case of media failure and off-site backup. Before DVD's we backed up to CD. Before CD we had Opticals which were burned to CD's long ago. We have over 6,000 CD's/DVD's with just 1 set. All of the disks get cataloged into a FileMaker database just showing the root folders on the disk, not the files and folders within the parent folder.

We don't charge our customers for this either. No liability on our part if we don't have it or can't retrieve it.
 

Whitaker

Well-known member
We archive all our work to DVD as well; 1 on site, 1 off site. I don't think we've ever had to use the 2nd copy, but it's still worth doing. We use DiskCatalogMaker for our database, it comes with Toast, and works well.
 

JoeatData

Well-known member
Length of time only really matters(mattered) when you were storing imposed film. Most of the previous company's I worked for during the film ERA would save them for 3-5 years.

With CD's, DVD's and LTO tapes you really don't have the need to purge anything. With the current company I am with we have boxes of CD's with files that go back 8-12 years.

This is alright if you have pdf's but the real problem with that is when you have a customer asking you for an archived file you find out it's Pagemaker.
 

Greg_Firestone

Well-known member
I back everything up to Iomega Zip Disks because they're extremely reliable. LOL (I couldn't resist)

I suppose backing up is the easy part. The hard part is trying to open the files you created 10 years ago with the software you have today . . .

Greg
 

MGB_LE

Member
How much of this old data is kept in the "live" storage area? For example, we are a digital/offset print company with large archive files. We do a disk to disk to tape backup, with the tapes going offsite. My challenge is our data store is continually growing and we don't know which jobs are safe to archive to CD and remove from the "live jobs" area. We don't want to spend the day swapping out DVDs because of reorders that call for jobs archived to DVD. Except for one large cleint, we don't know which jobs are reordered on a regular basis. What feedback do you have for us?
 

Steve_S

Well-known member
My challenge is our data store is continually growing and we don't know which jobs are safe to archive to CD and remove from the "live jobs" area. We don't want to spend the day swapping out DVDs because of reorders that call for jobs archived to DVD. What feedback do you have for us?
You could determine an average time to archive, post it on your website and/or in your customer area, and then charge a nominal "de-archive" fee for retrieving DVD's that fall out of open status. If you have a large client base, trying to pick and choose who gets archived and who doesn't can almost cost you more time and effort than just pushing off data at a cutoff period.
 

iamgemini

Member
Big fan of a few of the practices listed on this forum. There are ways around purging in order to free up memory such as saving them to a physical medium. Also if you feel the need to purge, a notice to the customer is always a good practice.

Every place that I've worked had a purge frame which was usually around 2-3 years, but It's a much better idea to keep the files not only for customer approval but for samples and quality assurance as well.
 

Shawn

Well-known member
If you're trying to drum up some business a good strategy is to purge some of your older backups. Within a week you'll get a call from your customer asking to reprint those files.
Works every time. :)

Shawn
 

Steve_S

Well-known member
If you're trying to drum up some business a good strategy is to purge some of your older backups. Within a week you'll get a call from your customer asking to reprint those files.
Works every time. :)

Shawn
I like how you think! We'll start deleting immediately ;-)
 

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