This blog post is about organising your designs and your desktop. You can see from the image of my messy desktop that this is my learning curve, too.
Can’t organise your designs? Try these!
Categories of Design.
I tried this when I started designing. It was a struggle to find different ways to describe mandalas by the time I had done number 9. I had:
- Mandala with heart
- Mandala with braid
- Mandala with squares
- Mandala with braid around heart
- Mandala with braid inside heart
- and so on….
I didn’t want to limit the number of mandalas I designed so had to think of something else.
Have you seen the reference numbers on some business letters? You’ll have something like “SAW/SAM/JPW/JM/2005-16/5” – what the heck does all that mean? It’s generally “Head of Department/Senior Manager/Secretary/Person who actually did all the work/letter number/number sent today”.
Some designers have reference numbers LONGER than that. Wow!
I decided to put my designs in batches and that each batch would start with two initials then have the main design number then the number of the variation. The first batch had the initials of my first customer, SF. The first design in that batch was SF01. Variations on that design were SF01-01, SF01-02, SF01-03, etc. Variations on those variations were SF01-01-01, SF01-01-02, and so on.
Because I use mainly free and low-cost software and websites to design, there are thousands of designs from other users – I know, I’ve seen them in colouring books – I prefer to distance my designs from those of other users. I do this by having “grandparent” designs (SF01, SF02, etc) then “parent” designs (SF01-01, SF01-02, etc), then “child” designs (SF01-01-01, SF01-01-02, etc) which are the designs I sell in books and packs.
A design trainer told me that reference numbers were a waste of time and I should simply put my designs in a folder for each project.
“Give her the benefit of the doubt,” I thought. “She’s been doing this a few years and knows what she’s talking about.”
I tried it but couldn’t make it work because I couldn’t match designs up with their family, like I could with the reference numbers. I found I left some “grandparents” with no “children”. If anyone had asked which designs came from where, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them.
Rescued the mandalas (always my “grandparent” designs) and put the others elsewhere for later use, then deleted the folders. Phew!
Using App Initials.
Some designers reference their designs by which app / websites they’ve made variations with. E.g. KK (Kaleidoscope Kreator), SP (SumoPaint), CM (ColorMandala), PS (Photoshop), etc, then adding a number.
What’s the number made up of? Date, month, year, which number of design it’s come from, any number they want to use. I’m sure the designer knows what their reference numbers mean!
My concern is to have an audit trail so I can tell someone where a particular design came from. E.g. the number is, say, AJ07-09-05. I know that grandparent was AJ07 and parent was 09. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll receive a design with MM17 as the grandparent. How many designs has MM17 spawned? There’s 80+ in the directory (enough to keep us going!)
What Works For You?
Do you have a system or do you simply pile them all in together? How do you find particular designs?
Let us know in the Comments!
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‘Til next time,