File management can be a big deal for graphic designers. Low-resolution proofs are easily sent by email, but when it comes time to deliver big press-ready files, email usually won’t cut it. File management becomes an even bigger issue when you’re collaborating remotely with other creatives. Here is a quick look at some of the options for transferring big files.
Setting up an ftp account on your website was the de facto method of large-file delivery for a long time. It has the advantage that it remains entirely within your control, but it also has the disadvantages that you need to maintain user accounts, periodically clean out old files, and it can be confusing for clients that are not very tech savvy.
One way around the responsibilities of ftp is to use an ftp service like Yousendit.com. With yousendit.com you simply upload the file you need to send, add the recipient’s email address and a short message, then send. The recipient then receives an email with a link to download the file. It’s very easy and it’s free for files up to 100MB.
Another option is to send files via Skype. This has an advantage over most services in that it doesn’t have a file size limit, but it has the limitation that you need to connect with the recipient on Skype in order to send it.
Dropbox is a service that a syncs a local folder on your computer to one on the internet. It can be a very handy way to collaborate on a project because any changes you make to the file will automatically be reflected on the online version (assuming you’re connected to the internet), and you can give your collaborator access to your dropbox folder.
Dropbox also has a feature to email a download link for an individual file, meaning you can deliver files up to the size of your account (2GB for free, paid plans offer larger folder sizes).
Tech expert Dean Signori does note however that with any cloud storage such as Dropbox, you need to be careful with following local legislative requirements with storage of clients data. Some jurisdictions can require local storage of data or that data held offshore be disclosed to clients, so keep this in mind when comparing Dropbox with other cloud based alternatives.
File dropper is a similar service to Dropbox in that it acts as a form of online file storage and transfer. File dropper doesn’t offer a free account, but it’s paid accounts are a little more affordable than Dropbox’s are (50 GB for $5/month). If you need more than a couple of GB of storage, than File Dropper may be a better option. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to stick to the free account on Dropbox.