Can’t find that image?

Designers have a great resource for finding images on the web today with the likes of istock and shutterstock to name a couple. However, when you’re designing something for a the client you don’t want to download the expensive hires file just yet right? So you go for the lores comp version just as an image placeholder for your design and usually the image has a numeric reference that makes no sense to anyone, say an image of a ‘couple in a kitchen making bread’ for instance would have a file name 00992929989.jpg useless file name but, itĀ corresponds as a reference to the hires download so, you don’t want to change the name just in case the client loves it and you need to go get the hires.

The problem for me here is (and I’m sure I speak for a lot of designers out there) when it comes to recycling that image you downloaded some 18 months ago and which would now be ideal for a new project – you can’t find it as all you have to go on is a reference number right?

Well here’s a tip for you, nest the image in a folder named with a string of keywords like so:

… this way you can build a catalogue of keywords attached to folders and all you have to do now is search your computer for the keyword to find all images relating to that keyword. You might be looking for a kitchen image, so you search ‘kitchen’ and bingo there’s a bunch of folders with images inside them to choose from. You could go one step further and use a key. For instance -vt for vector files, -ic for icons, -hires for hires images you’ve already paid for – it’s a time and money saver! Yes you could use software for this but, sometimes you just don’t have time to run with all the cataloguingĀ disciplinesĀ of categorising and adding tags to images especially if they are only lores downloads for comps or visual.

What do you reckon? Do you have a better method? Let me know I would love to know what other designers are doing.