my departments are setting up some new file naming conventions. We use a CMD system to autogenerate a number of folders from a dynamically created Job Number. Currently, we have the following structure


DOCUMNETS for InDesign and PDF outputs
SCANS_LOGOS for Indesing links / photoshop / ai files a
CLIENT_ORIGINAL for Word docs supplied by clients and used for text in inDesing

In my mind, this is an antiquated/inadequate filing system as Adobe is pushing towards alternative workflows. Below are a few modern workflow scenarios: -An InDesign document might have links saved from a CC Library (should we save a link to the library in the job? -Photohsop user might be using artboards and exporting images from photoshop using prefixes Illustrator exports assets as well as artboards.

Does anyone have a good workflow for print /they could suggest

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of Pros and Cons with the "new" workflows, but the main thing to take away is that clients, printers don't always have the most current software. So you must always be planning for the lowest common denominator to ensure that they have everything they need to work.

InDesign's packaging feature handles this really nicely, however there are some caveats to this.

CC Libraries


  • View assets easily

  • Drag and drop adding


  • Versioning

  • Broken links

  • Requires CC

Even with CC libraries I end up receiving source files that are missing links, fonts and the like because as noted in Adobe help forums.

...if you have Illustrator or Photoshop files placed into InDesign and you drag the InDesign file to become a CC library asset, you would need to embed the files in InDesign before you add InDesign assets with non-library-linked graphics.

I work for a very large printing company and we don't use CC Libraries and we are able to be very agile. Everything is done with packages and a well maintained folder hierarchy.

In my experience I would stick with this system but update it a little bit and be VERY stringent about maintaining it. Nothing beats a well maintained file structure.

What I would use would be something like this but again, it depends on the type of work you have and the clients because some will have varying requirements. Some will have thousands of images for you to manage, some will have recurring images that might need some updating and some will have one off jobs.

A safe middle would be to use a stringent file database structure with excellent versioning and rely on that to create excellent packages; here's here's a general outline.

Base Folder

  1. Job Number
  2. Client Name
  3. Brief Job Info
  4. Date or other Info (Month or MMDDYY or DDMMYY)

Inner Folders

  1. Original
  2. Print
  3. Proof
  4. Working
  5. VPS or Other Composition ----OPTIONAL

Inside Working Folder

  1. Fonts
  2. Art/Images/Links
  3. Versioning

I've used this almost exactly with a few variations from wide format to variable printing at many different companies.

A few things to keep in mind is centralizing and versioning. If you can, as much as possible, keep all art in one place (logos, letter heads etc.) so you can easily reference, make changes and keep updated versioning and not have to hunt for that last Job Number to find it.

For my work I get a lot of new art all the time for each new job so many clients I can't do this for but then I have a lot that I do monthly/weekly jobs that use the same base art and I just have different data sets for.

Here's a sample set of folders that I'd use.

Good luck!

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