Designers, take a bow. You bring the abstract ideas of marketers to life. You’re full of creative ideas and you don’t complain when you’re asked for an updated version of the brand logo (again). 😇
But hold up. Being bothered by your marketing team to send over the latest graphics is definitely not a good use of your time. What if there was a better way?
What if your colleagues could go to an image library and search for those designs themselves? What if you no longer had to rely on Google Drive or Dropbox to share your work?
Luckily, that’s what digital asset management is for. ✨
What’s design asset management?
Design asset management is a way of managing all of your creative files in a digital asset management (DAM) tool. It's also the single source of truth for all of your design assets: think marketing graphics, product images and creative assets for your website. It makes searching, sharing and deploying your content easy. You can use tags to categorise your design files, share them with your marketing teams and integrate with your design tools.
We see designers from lots of different brands using our digital asset management software, Dash. It’s saved them loads of time because their colleagues no longer need to hassle them for the latest files. It's also a tool that their entire company can benefit from.
Why do designers need digital asset management?
When you’re stuck in your creative flow, the last thing you want is your Marketing Manager hassling you for a graphic you definitely sent them a few months ago. You’ll need a DAM to help you field off all those requests so you can get back to your work.
But it doesn’t end there. Here are 8 ways designers need a digital asset management system.
Search and organise your digital assets
As a designer, no doubt you work with loads of creative files. Perhaps you finish up an Adobe CC project by downloading it and saving it on your network drive or Dropbox. But what happens when you have multiple iterations of the same logo? Things get muddy and sifting through them takes far too much time.
DAM software (like Dash) will give you a home for all those files. You can search by keyword or use features such as tags and custom fields to get to a digital file quickly.
For example, search ‘logo’ in Dash and then sort by file format to get that SVG version of your brand’s logo.
Once you’ve found it, you can use custom crop sizes to get the right size for web banners, blog posts or anything in your content management system. You can then save those sizes for anyone else to use in the future.
And that’s not all. You can also select from a series of predefined custom crops for social media. Perfect whenever your marketing teams need to update brand profile pics.
Use a tool that does your visual designs justice
As a designer, aesthetics are a key component of what you do, especially if you work for a growing DTC brand. Your work has to look good - and so should your digital asset management system. Imagine creating a beautiful new graphic, only for it to languish in a clunky and drab-looking shared drive - like Dropbox or Google Drive. These tools are fine for general file management, but when your team goes to search for the finished versions of your new marketing graphics, they end up swamped in a long list of tiny thumbnails. You want your team to feel inspired by your new designs, not bored by your content management system. 😴
If you pick a design-led DAM, like Dash, you’ll be doing your visuals justice. Take one of our customers, COAT, as an example. They sell luxurious - but affordable and eco-friendly - interior paint. Their brand is driven by aesthetics and that’s one of the reasons their Senior Marketing Manager, Nichola, chose Dash:
“Dash (is) user-friendly and affordable. It also (feels) like a design-led tool which is perfect for us as we are a visual-led brand.“
Just take a look at COAT’s homepage in Dash. It’s like stepping into a perfectly-curated Pinterest grid. 😍
What’s more, Dash is really simple to use. In fact, we were voted the easiest-to-use DAM on G2. There are 250+ digital asset management systems on the market, so that’s not an easy win! 😇 Dash will make browsing your design files a joy (which isn’t something you hear every day!). And, hopefully, your team will feel inspired to create new campaigns with your designs. ✨
Integrate with your design tools
Most DAMs offer integrations with popular tools. Dash is no exception. With all the following integrations, you’ll be able to drag and drop images from Dash into your projects with a few clicks of a button. Check out Dash’s integrations for designers:
- Adobe Creative Suite - You connect Dash up with Adobe tools including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. What’s more, if you update an image in Photoshop that’s already in Dash, you can choose to make those changes visible in Dash.
- Canva - Canva - Okay, okay. We know Canva isn’t necessarily going to be in your toolbox. But it’s a great platform for marketing folk who need to quickly create graphics for social media without hassling you. With our Canva integration, your marketing team can drag and drop your design elements from Dash into their Canva projects.
Get feedback on your designs
It can be tricky collaborating on design projects, especially if you’re working with people remotely. Say you’ve edited a new product photo for your marketing team but it’s not quite hitting the mark. It might just need a few tweaks, but going back-and-forth over email or Slack is time-consuming. And what if you’ve got several different versions that you need feedback on?
In Dash, you can simplify your creative workflows by uploading your first drafts for approval. In this case, your Marketing Manager might decide they’d like something cut out of the background. Instead of calling you or leaving you a message elsewhere, they can leave a comment on the asset in Dash.
Once you’ve taken out the background, you can upload a new version ready for approval again. Our asset commenting feature also lets you delete and edit comments, too. So don’t worry if you make a typo. 😉
This is also super-useful if you work for an agency or you’re a freelance designer. It gives you the ability to easily share work with your clients and get clear feedback on individual designs.
Give users the latest versions of your designs
Leading on from my last point, not only will your teams have access to the files they need, but they’ll only see the most up-to-date versions.
Say you’re updating a website graphic.
If you were to update the images in this design and then uploaded it into Dash, everyone who has downloaded the previous version will get an email notification. This makes sure that no out-of-date graphics go out into the wild. This protects your brand and will get everyone on the same page.
Share large files, quickly
Design teams work with large files on the regular. But getting that pesky Gmail notification ‘You can’t send files larger than 25MB?’ is super frustrating. Not to mention the number of WeTransfers you have to send because your colleague hasn’t downloaded it in time. 🤦♀️
A DAM tool will allow you to share large files with ease. You can send files via email, generate a URL and share it in a message or create a ‘collection’ of assets that you can invite your team members to view and download. Here’s a collection of assets I’ve shared with our Marketing Lead, Barney.
Barney can also add additional assets here and download anything he wants to use in Dash’s campaigns.
Brands and agencies can easily work together
If you work with freelancers or agencies you can share files with them using some of the ways we mentioned above. But if they don’t need access to your entire Dash, you can create public portals (with or without a passcode) that allow people to access the content of your choosing.
This is the home page for our own company Dash portal, which Barney sends to our paid ad agency.
The team at the agency gets a little welcome message and they can search the portal like they would in a regular Dash account. They can also download assets in different sizes which is ideal if they’re putting together a Google ad campaign for us. They won’t be able to edit the portal or share it with anybody else - that’s something only you’ll be in control of.
If you’re a design agency, you could set up multiple portals for all your different clients. 💡
Your team can make the most of your designs
Your time is precious. And the work you do for your brand or clients costs them money. That’s why your design assets are so valuable. ✨
If your team can’t find your latest designs, they’ll likely give up and make do with something else. Or, they’ll ask you to resend it which just takes up more of your time.
Having everything in one, searchable location means your team can access the graphics they need, quickly. The faster they can find them, the quicker they can get their marketing campaigns launched. 🚀
Here’s what David, the Graphic Designer at Forthglade has to say about Dash:
“We get fewer requests now for branded graphics and logos because they’re all on Dash. People in other teams can do basic editing in Dash, like resizing graphics, so they don’t have to come through us. I’ve also noticed the briefs we get through are more specific, as everyone can see what assets we’ve already got available.”
This is one of the reasons Dash was voted to the DAM with a great return on investment. Our super-competitive pricing, combined with Dash’s simple usability, makes it easy to see how you’ll make the most of your investment.
If you’re not convinced, take a look at our post that’ll help you calculate the ROI of Dash.
Which digital asset management tool is best for design teams?
There are loads of DAM vendors out there, so you’ll want to pick the right one for your teams.
Download our free DAM comparison worksheet to help you with your research. 🤓
Considering us? We know loads of designers who are using Dash right now. Take a look at some of their reviews on G2:
Theo — Graphic Designer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"Useful app for sharing work assets, great customer service team too"
Greta M - Graphic Designer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Managing company-wide assets becomes easy with Dash; a simple set-up without a massive learning curve.”
David - Graphic Designer from Forthglade ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“It's ease of use is one of the things I like most about Dash. Both the front and back end are intuitive and easy to navigate which makes sharing and managing assets with others inside and outside of the business a doddle.”
David talks more about why he moved from SharePoint to Dash in his customer story. ✨
Fancy trying Dash for yourself? It’s an easy-to-use platform that’s super quick to get started with. Pricing starts at just £79 / $109 a month, so it won’t break the bank!
Sign up for a 14-day free trial below. ✨👇