Pixels to Print: Making Design Easier Layer by Layer

October 24, 2019

There are two types of designers – those who name their layers and those that don’t. We’ve all been there, opening an old project file and looking at the layers panel and thinking, “What did I do?!” You scroll through all the layers and groups trying to find this one element you, in the moment, thought was a good idea to lock but now need to locate to unlock. All of this frustration could have been avoided if you named and organized your layers. For those resistant to change, here are two main reasons to adding this to your process:

Number one, you can find elements quicker. The amount of time it takes to name and organize layers is much less than the time wasted looking through your layers for something you can’t find.

Thinking of others:
Number two, be considerate with naming and organizing in case your file is opened up by another designer. Instead of having them hunt through an organized-mess you may understand, create a fool-proof naming and grouping scheme to help explain where to find elements even when you’re not present. 

Now you’re saying, “Yes, I’ve seen the light! How can I change?” Here are some tips to help you get started.

Change the layer name. Whether using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or other design programs with a layers panel, simply double click the layer name to change it!

You can also organize by color. Change the layer color within the layer dialog’s options.

Name your grouped assets. It’s helpful to group an asset’s different lines, shapes, images, or text boxes together to make them easier to move without leaving something behind. You can also name these groups or even their individual elements to help identify important ones.

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