1. Files and Folders

Here you will find how I structure my files and folders. You might think this is overdoing it, but a tidy NAS or Dropbox is a pleasure to work with. Chaos is unacceptable here.‌

1.1 Main Folder

So, the basic structure for the main “Projects” folder is organised by year:

⮑ 📁 2018
⮑ 📁 2019
⮑ 📁 2020

1.2 Projects

If you go one level deeper, you will find all projects related to that year sorted by brand/name. I name them using [id] and projectName.‌

[id]: Refers to the number of the project, in a sequence (e.g. 00)

projectName: Must match the name of the parent folder (e.g. Garmin)

⮑ 📁 2018
⮑ 📁 2019
      ⮑ 📁 00_Garmin
      ⮑ 📁 01_Canyon
      ⮑ 📁 02_Rapha

1.3 Specific Project

Inside a project, there are also some folders that need to be consistent (I allow myself some kind of flexibility here). They might change a little bit if the project requires so, but this is the most basic structure I’ve worked with:

⮑ 📁 2018
⮑ 📁 2019
      ⮑ 📁 00_Garmin
      ⮑ 📁 01_Canyon
      ⮑ 📁 02_Rapha
            ⮑ 📁 00_Assets
                  ⮑ 📁 _Archive
                  ⮑ 📁 Brand_Assets
                  ⮑ 📁 Images
                  ⮑ 📁 Typography
            ⮑ 📁 01_Documents
                  ⮑ 📁 _Archive
                  ⮑ 📁 Brief
                  ⮑ 📁 Research
            ⮑ 📁 02_Production
                  ⮑ 📁 _Archive
                  ⮑ 📁 Master
                  ⮑ 📁 Design_Sys
            ⮑ 📁 03_Deliverables
                  ⮑ 📁 Presentation
                  ⮑ 📁 Output

As you can see, there’s an _ARCHIVE folder in every single parent folder. This is for keeping the dirty files or dismissed stuff out of the workflow. All folders contain one _ARCHIVE except 03_DELIVERABLES. Those are the final files and I don’t want to keep trash there if I’m not 100% comfortable with it.

2. The Design Process

What I do is probably what you are doing or very similar to what 99.9% of the professional design community is doing right now. But I don’t mind, I’m gonna tell you anyway because I think I’m special.‌

You might call it design thinking, or not, but what we do is probably following a process that looks extremely similar to Bruno Munari’s Recipe. If you don’t know who Bruno Munari is, click here.

Il signore Munari defined the process of design in the subsequent steps:

      ⮑ Problem Definition
      ⮑ Problem Components

      ⮑ Data Collection
      ⮑ Rationalisation
      ⮑ Data Analysis

      ⮑ Materials and Technology
      ⮑ Experimentation

      ⮑ Samples

      ⮑ Validation

Technical Drawings
      ⮑ Translate Design into Specifications

      ⮑ Final solution is presented

And to me, with small updates here and there, this looks like a pretty valid design process to use nowadays. Right? ‌

I don’t want to make this a pain to read, so my point here is: I don’t mind how we call it and how much we diverge from the dogma. The important thing is, at least, to have a process that works for us and for the goal that we want to achieve. ‌

Sit down with the people you work with and discuss your own process helped by the knowledge of Bruno Munari’s Recipe.