Introducing Digital Asset Management

Introducing Digital Asset ManagementWhat It Is and Why It’s Important for Your Print Communications

We live in a fast-paced world where every aspect of your print communications is digitized and stored on computer systems, removable hard drives, or in the Cloud. Your digital life can be made easier by developing and managing new systems to store and manage your graphic files effectively and efficiently. That’s where a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system becomes a valuable tool. Before we delve into the “how-to’s” of the tools, it is important to define and clarify our terminology.

What Is a Digital Asset?

A “Digital Asset” has become a common term that covers a lot of ground. In today’s instant delivery environment, every file we receive from you comes in electronic form, ready to be processed and delivered to our production cycle. (Does anyone remember the old art mechanicals with their acetate overlays, Zip and Syquest drives?) These files are delivered via email, ftp, Dropbox, DVD disc, memory stick, or deposited in the Cloud for easy retrieval.

Your files can contain a variety of visual and audio media content: logos, art and graphic images, photos, animations, music, audio recordings, video tape, video/audio clips, presentations, Word documents, spreadsheets, and other digital file formats.

Technically, a digital file becomes a digital asset when additional information – known as metadata – is embedded to enable it to be identifiable and accessible. Metadata is that valuable component of your digital asset that enables it to be catalogued, searched and retrieved. In other words, the file/metadata combination becomes the key to your Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

DAM is an electronic management process that makes your print/online communications flow seamlessly. It is a combination of software, hardware and professional services that offer a centralized and secure environment to store, manage and access all of your digital assets safely, economically and effectively.

A good DAM system not only stores your digital assets, but provides the tools to organize and simplify their management and usage. It is a process that enables you to identify, organize, catalog, tag, search, retrieve, share, and archive your digital files. Through an up-to-date DAM process, you can create and manage your own centralized digital library. You provide password-controlled access to your key stakeholders – internal staff, clients, contractors, and other designated sources. You and your designated print or graphic partner can design an organized, cataloged system to easily upload and retrieve files – tracking and monitoring usage in real time.

You invest time, money and resources into creating digital media files for your print communications. A solid DAM system will maximize the return on your investments through improved accessibility, utilization and repurposing of existing content.

Recognizing how valuable a DAM system can be for your organization, EarthColor has developed a powerful, user-friendly solution that we call Asset Image Management (AIM). To learn more about how we can help you design and manage your digital assets, contact your EarthColor representative or visit earthcolor.com/active-image-management/.

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