DAM for designers

How digital asset management (DAM) frees up time for the creative class

This article was inspired by a colleague who went to HOW Design Live 2015. She was there as a representative of a DAM vendor, and she talked with a lot of designers about what digital asset management (DAM) is and how it can help them. For more information about the How Design conference, see our pre-event coverage at HOW Design Live May 4-8.

HOW Design Live conference digital asset management

Do you ever do the following things at work:

  • Respond to email requests for the most recent version of a logo.
  • Save and send files in different formats.
  • Resize or crop images for people.
  • Search for old illustration or design files (and maybe never find them).

A DAM can free you from those tasks and give you time to focus on creative work. A DAM is a centralized, searchable location for digital assets like images, video, and illustrations. It allows everyone in your organization to access to brand assets in one central space, and the ability to download them in the format and size they need.

No more questions about which is the most recent version of the logo.  No wasted time converting files because a colleague doesn’t have Photoshop.

The time savings don’t stop there. Below are some other ways a DAM is useful to designers, illustrators, and other creatives.

  1. Find assets with a simple search, rather than sorting through files and folders on a shared drive.
  2. Set up a collection of brand assets to share with partners and media, including logos, brand guidelines and other materials.
  3. Manage stock photography usage rights and expiration dates to ensure you’re in legal compliance with your licensing agreements.
  4. Share files and collaborate with other designers without having to email large files.
  5. Access design files anywhere through your browser via cloud storage.
  6. Control revision history using asset versioning.
  7. Use asset embed codes on websites or social media and update the asset instantly across platforms by adding a new version to the asset in your DAM.

Once you’ve determined that DAM could benefit your organization, research systems and engage your internal team. There are lots of options on the market, so it’s important to determine how you plan to use DAM.

Maybe you plan to use a DAM system as an online photo library. Or perhaps you have a complicated creative workflow that includes design files and proofs that a DAM system could help manage.

Knowing how you will use a DAM is key to setting up demos with DAM vendors. See our Request for Demo (RFD) resource for more info about demos.

Planning and effort are required to make this all happen. Your DAM site has to be set up and configured. Assets must be uploaded and tagged with appropriate metadata so they’re searchable.  The investment pays off given the amount of time you can save in the long run when your DAM is up and running.

Need help explaining the value of DAM to others in your organization? Take a look at The Business Case for Digital Asset Management for some talking points.

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