Archiving A Graphic Design Firm’s Past Also Ensures Their Future
- Concept Development
- Design and Layout
- Artwork Development
- File Prep
“Who says holding onto the past is a bad idea,” chuckled Tom Weinkle, Creative Director of Vortex Communications. “When it comes to graphic design and production efficiency, having easy access to our client’s older project files can boost productivity,”
Take the case of Greater Miami Jewish Federation. The community non-profit organization has come to Vortex for over a decade to handle the design and production of the Federation’s Annual Report and Roll of Honor print projects.
Weinkle offers, “Of course the message and design theme changes annually to reflect the goals and accomplishments of Federation. Even so, there are a number of elements that appear every year, so it makes sense to keep those components handy.” He added, “In the case of Federation, we’re often pulling head shots, logos and a digital signature or two from past projects. Our archives allow us to find what we need in minutes instead of hours. The time savings gets passed on to our client in terms of reduced costs.
Weinkle added, “We’ve made a practice of archiving client work for over two decades. We started with floppy disks, moved through syquest cartridges, to ZIP disks and a few versions of DAT tape. These days, we’re using RDX Quickstor along with other media. For projects that are seasonal or annual in nature, being able to quickly source elements from older projects rather than burdening the client with new requests every year is simply, a smart way to work.”
Vortex currently uses two systems. As Apple® users, Time Machine helps the company keep a backup of short to medium-term projects built on workstations and file servers. Once a project is completed, the Miami-based graphic + web design firm also archives a full set of project files using Retrospect® and tracks job numbers and descriptions using Filemaker Pro®. Miki Speijers who is Weinkle’s partner, manages the day-to-day operations, and created a job numbering and file system in the 1980’s that has value today.
Speijers explains, “High-levels of service are important to maintaining the long-term relationships we enjoy with our clients. In addition to the value of our creative services, design clients appreciate the fact that our record-keeping and file system allows them to call us with a request to update a project, and we can react quickly without a lot of back and forth.”
Vortex says some requests are for files that date back 2-3 years and other times only a few months. Whatever the need, the company is ready. Speijers, a seasoned business owner with print production expertise adds, “The biggest benefit of our practice of archiving is that it allows my design team to focus on strategic creative challenges instead of the project logistics. And that’s a competitive advantage I want to preserve.”
Vortex has handled over 13,000 projects with a very high success rate for a variety of applications and business sectors. Their wealth of experience and strong vendor relationships helps the team make design decisions that are both creative and practical while avoiding the pitfalls of rush work. Weinkle added, “Clients come to us because they want it done right the first time.”