Data storage poses a lot of problems for graphic designers. If you’re juggling several types of storage methods, from thumb drives to CDs, you’re putting yourself at risk for theft or loss of data. Not to mention, you have to remember what files are on which device and carry them around with you. Cloud storage is a digital solution to back up your files. It allows for access-from-anywhere capabilities, meaning you’re able to show off work to potential clients from your smartphone, wherever you meet them, and always have your data on-hand for whatever project comes up. If you’re considering using cloud storage, investigating potential providers’ security precautions is imperative.
1. Access anywhere
One annoying mistake many graphic designers make is not including all of the files that need to go to the print shop. If you’re using physical media, you have to run all the way back to the office to pick up the font file or PSD you need. However, if you’re using cloud storage, you can access your files anywhere you have Internet access. Some cloud storage providers even have mobile apps to make it a simple process to get at your files.
2. Large file storage
Most files graphic designers work with are not daintily sized. While physical hard drives aren’t expensive, finding places to store all of them and keep them organized is a pain. Cloud storage gives you a scalable location to store all of your files, no matter how large they are. Since your storage needs fluctuate depending on the projects you’re working on, you can scale your service up and down to pay for the storage you need.
3. File commenting
Clients might not tell you much when you go over the design brief, but once they have the design in front of them, they have all manner of suggestions. It’s hard to keep track of their comments and suggestions through lengthy emails, especially if they don’t reference specific files. Instead of trying to decipher an unspecific email, clients can leave their comments directly on the design files.
4. Easy sharing
Designers don’t create in a vacuum, and it’s useful to get feedback from colleagues and co-workers. Sharing a file through cloud storage is as simple as grabbing the public link and sending it through email or instant messenger. You don’t have to send the design file and hope their email inbox accepts large attachments.
If you aren’t running a high-volume Web site on the same server as your graphic design portfolio site, chances are good you don’t use a high-end server. The performance increase for delivering content when you host on a cloud, compared to your own basic server, is quite significant. Cloud servers are also reliable options for keeping your files safe and secure. Anyone can get at a physical hard drive without much problem. It’s harder for a would-be thief to access confidential files when they’re being stored thousands of miles away.
Do you use cloud storage for your graphic design business? Share your experiences in the comments.
Melissa is a web designer from Madison, Wis.,