Design version control: don't overthink it. (2023)

034452 — client — gala — FINALB — final — final2 — sent — october kp — has always been bad. But that was also the reason.

Design version control: don't overthink it. (1)

Last week I discovered a Netflix series called (and then I got drunk).smiling- a lovely LGBTQ+ romantic comedy. (Watch out!) In episode 1 there is a joke between two architects:

Architect A, holding a pendrive:Here. I could only find version 4, final 4, final version 4 approved and final 4 final approved.

Architect B: And the final version 4 approved def-def?

It's funny because I'm a designer and these things are real. What was surprising, however, was that the writers were confident enough people would get the joke.

Ever since I've been thinking about this scene and the […]-final-final-final.psd I received from a retailer last month, I wanted to share my own thoughts on the subject and offer a long overdue wake-up call.

Here is my version control recommendation:

Design version control: don't overthink it. (2)

In the image above:

  • floating points (label 1) represents all of your agency/studio/company identifiers.
  • The card counter (label 2) means a variation of an idea.
  • The identifier (tag 3) serves as a number to indicate the iteration (round). It only goes in one direction: up.

That is all. Their file names begin with the required customer and project identifiers. You can optionally addvariant identifier, followed by anumber the indexto show the iteration.

In my process, I define "variant" in the design workflow to refer to any design iteration where the artistic direction takes a significant turn. (For developers: I'd say branching takes care of thatresolverMy system approaches a problem in two different waysStarta solution in two different ways without waiting to look back).

For example, you are designing signage for a local hotel. One version is supported by smoky gray tones to match the romantic lighting throughout the building. The other version is salmon pink to match the overall youthful vibe of the company. These two areas of work have significant differences in the proposed artistic direction and will generate different feedback from those involved. Also in the case of Print/Environment: Managing patterns affects saved styles and workspaces. If you stick with one version or another, you can safely leave the other unused resources and related styles behind and not have to load and hide them on the artboard every turn.

Lest you think this is a repeat of what others have done, let me clarify the strict rules that can set you apart:

  • we donotAdd something to the iteration number. There is no 1b, 2c or 3g. It's just 1, 2, 3 and so on.
  • we donotYou need a full word among accountants, period.

As for the last bullet, how do I know what the final version is, one might ask.The latest version is the one with the highest number.Any filenames that contradict this philosophy should be buried deep enough in an "archive" folder that an army of greyhounds can't find them.

they will never ask you[…]-Round-11p-Directors-Notes-Kopie.

I've been a designer for over a decade. Most of the time was spent internally, where institutional memory is a little more powerful than it is in the corporate world. That said, I can assure you that no one asked for the comma we removed in round 9 again.thinkthat they will (or maybe you fear they will and adjust accordingly). But they never will.

Plus: Google, Outlook, Slack, Teams, Trello, Hive, Basecamp, Airtable and the work jackets he's still wearing etc etc etc... they already leave a trail of how things went wrong (or right) or not they worked. Why do a second trail?

Interestingly, from my personal experience, when clients and colleagues request an old project, they often add a disclaimer to the request:If you still have it, can you share it?So I suggest there is evidence that your partners don't know you are storing files in the first place!

With that in mind, I hope that other designers and others in the workplace who edit and proofread frequently will gain the confidence to clean up their computers.After all, our society is in an attention crisis.. Call it cheesy, but a clean file manager gives you a little more space and I think you'll work better for that.

If you agree with the above, you may still be concerned that 340-nike-brand-refresh-85.pdf will have a chilling effect on your peers. Or more specifically: that the 84 PDFs that precede it are going to be eye-popping in a bad way. We can solve this using a folder system:

Design version control: don't overthink it. (3)

In the image above, the folders are named with dates. While it is necessary to start with the year to keep the filter in good sense, you can sort by month and date.according to local custom. You can even replace the month numbers with letters if you prefer.

True, even this can create a lot of confusion. But, as I wrote above, creating rational organizational systems, even if they are unwieldy, clears the mind a bit. More importantly, it improves communication between you and a partner:

Is the file on January 10th or January 12th?

It's January 12th!

While all modern operating systems add data to files about their creation dates, in my experience I've found that a number of things can obfuscate or destroy this data. A recent move to a new computer caused all myFiles in Dropboxfor example, marked as manufactured in November 2022. While there may be workarounds or information in various information windows that can demystify this, a folder system is less vulnerable than data controlled by the operating system.

Figma's workflow is a huge paradigm shift from Adobe-like clipboards. If you like working with frameworks, you can apply the same philosophy to these frameworks. Keep in mind that when it comes time to create well-organized component libraries, you may need to remove these in-service tags from the finished project.

But if you don't want to be the resident frame renamer, you can also use figma pages consistent with the above. The designs on a page titled "Round 1" are the messiest and most daring. When it receives feedback or ideas, it creates pages with the same content and revises them accordingly.

But Figma gives him space. So my trick was not only to mark but also to select allfrom yesterdayStuff, duplicate it and move it to the left, add a big Magenta Helvetica tag on top withthat's ittoday's date and start refining for tomorrow's work. Given Figma's workspace, it's easier to see the grand total of all work and not get lost in file management systems.

Years or eons ago, in terms of Covid, I tried using a labeling system that I thought made a lot of sense. I still think so, but at the time I didn't have the discipline to do it in a way that my (talented, brilliant, amazing) crazy project manager.

I share the thought in hopes that you are looking for a way to sketch it smartlystages, you can do it like this:

  • Use a “C” binder for group work in the concept phase. C files are handled exclusively by you and/or your teamEra. Your work is not yet under review.
  • Use an "R" binder to work as a group on the round stages. This is work that will be refined with feedback from your supervisors and the client.
  • Use an X-Folder to collate completed work for the next step in the job, whether with developers, manufacturers, printers, etc. (Nota bene: Although I likexbecause it suggested some kind of workaround, I understandxmay suggest"prohibited“. soC, “Welt' can also be a good alternative.)

While I strongly believe in all of the above and share it in hopes of inspiring and helping others, I also understand that organizing can be very personal. There are also use cases I'm not familiar with (eg translation work).

I remember my first co-designer on my first design job. He had a folder on his desk. The folder was labeled "stuff". He liked.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 01/20/2023

Views: 5501

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.