As a “hybrid” I am either a designer, developer, or both on various projects which means I’m either delivering the creative assets or I am the one receiving the creative assets. Years ago I learned just because I am familiar with both sides of the fence, I need to be cognizant of the fact that not everyone I work with is. So to be courteous, in my design process, I began setting up my creative assets as if those receiving them knew nothing about the project and could find what they needed and clearly understand what was delivered. This helped to cut down on stress, rework, searching for that “missing layer” and made for a more efficient process.
Here is a list of things I recommend doing if you’re a designer and work with developers or other designers.
Label each layer appropriately
Labeling each layer will allow the person working with the file to find what they need as a glance as opposed to digging through layers and having to guess what is what.
Place grouped layers in appropriately name folders
Again, this helps to locate layers that are needed and cuts down on the amount of time needed to find the correct layer to work with.
Clean up layers so they are production ready
When the developers or whomever start cutting up the graphics, it’s best they don’t have to make any edits or modifications to the files in order to get a clean asset. When using masks and gradient masks, it’s best to apply them to the layer so that when the layer is cut, it can be simply saved out. Each element on the canvas should be able to exist on a transparent background without any change to its appearance.
Provide “true” copy rendering
Be aware of the app in which the final product will be developed such as Flash. Photoshop gives the designer better control over how fonts are rendered. Flash, while it offers some control, it does not always translate exactly. Using transformations on fonts that are meant to render as HTML text can add to extra time being spent trying to match everything up.
Provide fonts when necessary
That’s pretty self explanatory :)