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Accessing Your Assets

(April 2008) posted on Wed Apr 09, 2008

Find the right solution for organizing and archiving digital image assets.

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By Angela Prues

Numerous icons pepper desktops, file folders, and storage drives and eventually overwhelm the mind's ability to remember just where a particular file may reside. Digital asset management (DAM) systems are a one-stop shop for appropriately naming, organizing, storing, and (thankfully) finding those much needed digital files. For large clients who want print providers to keep jobs on-file for on-demand service, or small companies who have just one key high-resolution image used on every graphic, it's the print provider that can ensure an image's safety and quick recovery. That’s a service that will retain large and small clients alike.

It has become increasingly necessary that a shop be able to keep individual photographs and completed graphics on-file and make these files appropriately findable. The following sampling of DAM resources reveals systems that range from those simple enough for a computer novice to more advanced systems incorporating workflow solutions-such as remote proofing for clients. And most systems will seamlessly integrate with the creative design programs already used by both print shops and clients.

Essentially, it’s a digital asset-management system that will organize an array of files and prevent graphics losses and customer catastrophes.


ACD Systems' ACDSee 10 photo-management software allows users to organize photo archives, assign photos to multiple categories without duplication, and search with single or multiple keywords. Pictures are instantly viewable by scrolling over thumbnails and can be compared side-by-side. Files can be unzipped and organized without leaving ACDSee, as well. The Sync tool synchronizes image folders with an external hard drive or networked drive. The company reports that ACDSee 10 can now manage more than 100 file formats, including raw files.


Adobe Bridge CS3-a earlier version of which is found in Adobe CS2 standalone products including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Creative Suite editions-allows for organization, browsing, locating, and previewing photo assets. The CS3 version touts a faster performance, customizable workspaces, nondestructive batch editing of TIFF, JPEG, and raw files, as well as playback of SWF and FLV files. Through Bridge, users have centralized access to project files, applications and settings, plus XMP metadata tagging and searching. Adobe Bridge CS3 also allows direct access to services such as Adobe Stock Photos, Adobe Version Cue CS3 for workgroup file management, Adobe Device Central CS3 for previewing and testing mobile content, and Adobe Acrobat Connect for Web conferencing.