The folder structure is at the core of the Image Relay organization strategy. The folders represent categories in which you will place all of your organization's assets. Having an effective folder structure in place will help users both place and find the assets they are searching for quickly and easily.

In addition, the folder structure is essential when it comes to rights and permissions, as these settings are based on folders. A good folder structure helps users find the assets that they need, and keeps other assets private. It also means that only usable and approved files are accessible.

We believe the best way to start planning out your folder structure is to begin with the end users. Consider what their thought process will be when they are trying to find something in your library. Where will they start? What organization structures are they already familiar with? It might not be the same way you would think about it. 

The folder structure is also something that you may find needs to change over time. As you add a new product line, or if organizations merge, the original structure may have to change as well. Fortunately, nothing is set in stone and it's easy to move folders around or create new folders. 

Helpful Links:
Creating Folders
Reorganizing the Folder Structure
Edit the Folder Thumbnail Preview

Ways to Structure: 

Draw Inspiration from Your Website

Some people find that the structure of their website is a good structure to begin with; it’s already neatly divided into sections and the users know how to navigate it. The drop-downs in the menu may mimic the sub-folders in your folder structure. 

Product Lines

For organizations that have product lines that change by year or season, the year may be at the top level and then that year’s products listed below. Or perhaps the product is the top-level folder, and the years are listed below. Within those years might be variations on the product. An example could be: 

Brand Identity
     Logos
     Fonts
     Brand Guidelines
Product X
     USA
          2019
          2018
     Europe
          2019
          2018
Product Y
    USA
    Europe
Web Images
Archival Images

Design, Architecture and other Multi-Client Firms

Some people, particularly design firms, organize their folders by the different clients that they work with. When clients login to see their assets, they can only see the folder that is assigned to their permission level. Within each client folder, they can find the various projects that the firm has worked on. 

Brand Identity
Client A
     Client A Branding
     Summer 2019 Project
     Fall 2018 Project
Client B
     Client B Branding
     2019 Summer Magazine
     2019 Launch Event Photos
Client C
     Client C Logo Design
     2017 Fundraising Campaign
     2016 Program Launch
     Client C Board Members

Marketing Departments

Marketing departments are located in many kinds of businesses and are some of our most frequent clients. One folder is almost always dedicated to branding, with logos, fonts and brand guidelines. Depending on what kind of organization it is, there may be folders for departments, b-roll, headshots, the website, product shots, hero shots and much more. 

Academic Marketing Office: 

Brand Identity
    Logos
    Fonts
    Guidelines
Approved Photography
    Alumni
    Athletics
    Campus Beauty
    Faculty (past and present)
    Students
Videos
Documents and Forms

Tourism Board Marketing Office:  

Brand Identity
Winter
    Wildlife
    Racing
    People
Summer
    Kids Camps
Lodging
    Hotel A
    Cabins B
Food and Beverage
Leadership and Staff
    Executive Committee
    Staff portraits
Events
Historical

Next Step: Creating Your Metadata

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