According to the 1999 data of the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 75% of graphic design firms are small, with no more than four employees. Currently, there is a limited amount of literature relating to digital asset management (DAM) in relation to this population. These graphic design firms work on various projects using multiple digital assets for each, such as text, images, and fonts. Some firms choose to use proprietary asset management software to manage, search, and backup their assets, while others set up workflows that utilize existing network systems and graphic software.
This research is a case study which observes the current practices of asset management systems in small graphic design firms. First, asset management problems faced by participants were identified. Some of the basic challenges include naming conventions, folder nesting, and digital asset searchability. Most participants in this study want to make improvements in their file management practices.
Graphic design firms can improve their asset management system by keeping themselves informed of current DAM technologies; by relying less on personal memory and more on systematic organization; and by developing a checklist of important items to consider when managing digital assets, namely: naming convention, folder nesting, archiving, backup, searching, and means of asset transfer. In some cases, the solution is as simple as applying available desktop search engines to the workflow.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Electronic information resources--Management; Image files--Databases; Metadata--Standards; Database management; Graphic arts; Designers
Print Media (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Chandra, Levy, "Digital asset management system for small graphic design operations" (2005). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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