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Data Management for Graphic Designers

Graphic designers and web designers have a unique set of data that they need to protect. Not only do you have to worry about losing your own work, but you also have to worry about client data. In this video article, we dive into the different types of data management techniques and storage options available to you. There are pros and cons to each type of storage. I will provide you with my own insight into what he believes is the ideal way to store your data. I’ve also included some affiliate links to make it easier to purchase the physical drives if those are your preference or you need a physical backup drive.

Why Data Management Matters

I want to talk to you guys about the data that you have on your hard drives, on your solid-state drives, on your iCloud drives, and on all these different places where you’re keeping your information. Your data is worth tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands like it is for me. I know, just from video footage alone, I have over six terabytes worth of footage between all of my drives. That’s a lot of footage, a lot of information, and a lot of time that I’ve spent recording this stuff. That doesn’t include any of my client files. 

Imagine if you were to come into a situation where all of your files were wiped out. You came to your computer, and all your data was gone–every file, every piece of artwork, everything you ever created was just gone. That would be a devastating blow, and having to recreate everything you ever made losing hundreds–if not thousands–of hours that you just can’t get back. So today I want to talk to you guys about the data management practices that you use as a designer.

Data Management Options

Now let’s talk options for a bit. I want to discuss some different kinds of drives and backup platforms that you can use to safeguard and secure your data. Depending on your priorities, any one of these could be the right fit for you. From HDDs to SSDs to cloud storage, there’s a significant difference between each type of backup and data management tool, and a variety of price points within each category that makes the choice a matter of preference.


The first type of drive you can get for your business is a regular HDD hard drive. Pictured in the video is a portable drive. They make ones that go on the desktop, and I can only tell you from experience that I’ve had nothing but bad luck. It’s honestly the reason why I don’t use HDD drives anymore because I had a hard drive that sat on my desk that wasn’t portable and one day it got knocked over and I lost everything. Then, a couple of years later, I got a portable HDD drive just like it and I dropped it and lost all my data again.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can take those things and send them off to forensic companies or data recovery services that will charge you $1500 to $5000 to get the data off of it. But who wants to do that? Why would you need to spend an extra $1500 to $5000 for a drive that was supposed to keep your data safe? Well, that happened to me twice–that’s right, twice–I lost all the data on my HDD drive due to shock damage.

An Expensive Lesson

Thankfully, when I dropped the second one, I had a lot of it–probably about 60 or 70 percent–backed up onto my DropBox account. Of the three types of storage that I want to go over, this is the least effective and the most vulnerable for you losing your data. It’s not a bad thing to have one; it’s good to have a backup. But you need to understand that these things are very sensitive. If you drop it, you can lose everything and it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars to get it back. These drives are inexpensive to purchase, but data loss and recovery is an expensive data management faux pas to make.


Number two is a really good upgrade. This is where we get into the solid-state drives. A lot of computers nowadays come with solid-state drives. This type of hard drive handles quite a bit of data rather seamlessly and is significantly sturdier than traditional HDD drives. Now, this Samsung T7 drive writes extremely fast. I own three or four of these things. They cost about up to $350 depending on the size. The linked model offers two terabytes of storage and these things are amazing!

They’re super quick; they hold everything. If I drop it, I’m not worried about losing all my data. Now, if you were to drench it or submerge it in water or something like that were to happen, I don’t know if it would still work. But dropping it on the floor, dropping it on the ground, falling out of my laptop bag–whatever it is–I’m not worried about losing the storage on it because it’s a lot like the little SD cards that we use on our cameras in that they’re really hard to mess up, especially with simple shock damage.

What Does Solid-State Mean?

So I want to make sure that you understand that they’re solid-state drives and if you’re not using these and you’re using traditional hard drives to secure and backup your data that have discs inside of them, that’s the problem with HDDs. If it drops and the disc gets dislodged or scratched or messed up in some way, it’s going to be impossible to get the data off of it unless you pay thousands. These ones right here have no disc–they’re called solid-state drives for a reason.

And these are super effective for my data storage and data security needs as a creative agency. I’ve actually done videos about these but I am loyal to Samsung specifically for the reason of the quality that they make. I like to find a brand that works well and is reliable. I’ve never had a single problem with any of my Samsung T3, T4, T5, or T7 drives, so this is a good step for you if you want to upgrade. It’s good to have backup storage, and this is a great, sturdy, and digitally spacious option.

Cloud Storage

The last one and this one are both very common: cloud storage. Now there are some different things happening in the cloud storage space that I want to cover with you, so just to give you some context, I started using Dropbox as part of my overall data management strategy in about 2013 right around that time and it has been an amazing tool. I spend probably a hundred bucks a month on all the storage that I have. I have terabytes of storage on Dropbox and it’s a really good way for me to access my stuff from anywhere in the world. I can give other people access to my files by sharing my password and access with them.

It’s an amazing tool, but you want to have backup storage like a traditional drive where your stuff is backed up offline–or even in hard copies, for documents. Don’t just rely on cloud storage because if it goes down, or something happens–like ransomware, a virus, or a server that gets destroyed–you can be locked out of all your files. You want to make sure that you have a backup of everything that you’ve created. Your artwork, designs, and everything you’ve created are worth a lot of money, so I don’t ever want you to have to recreate that.

Crypto Storage

The last thing I’ll say about cloud storage is really important. You have things like Dropbox and iCloud and Google Drive, which are great, but there is a new and emerging technology called blockchain, which I’ve talked a lot about in other videos and articles. I want to talk about it again. There is a platform called Storj, pronounced “storage.” It is a cloud-based, decentralized cloud-based storage and data management platform. My friend of mine, who is a business partner of mine, has actually built a tribe platform where you can start your own community or tribe.

On that platform, all the storage space they use is actually built on blockchain technology–the decentralized cloud storage solution is the future of crypto and blockchain data security. This is really cool technology; I love data decentralization because decentralization increases security and reduces the risk of vulnerabilities to hacking. I’m probably going to be making that switch over from things like iCloud and Google Drive to decentralized storage, if you haven’t become familiar with it yet I would check out their website. 

Final Thoughts on Data Management for Designers

This is a really good opportunity for you to learn about storage, but I want to be talking more about that as I implement it in my business. As I said, I’m going to share a lot of the information and things that I’m learning along the way. And this just happens to be a big one where I’m going to be moving all of my company files–the backups of all my company files–over to storage. If you’re not using cloud-based data storage systems yet, now would be a good time to consider making the switch. Now I would highly recommend it. Don’t leave everything on your computer because your computer can get stolen, it can break down, just things happen. Right, and so you’d want to create a system for yourself and your business very early on. Hopefully, I’m catching you towards the beginning of your career, but I want to make sure you set up systems in place that protect the data that you’ve so worked so hard to design.

So, that’s all the data management tips and data storage options I have for you guys today. I hope this was super helpful. Thank you guys so much for reading. I’ll see you guys in the next article. And make sure if you haven’t already, check out the Instagraphics Pro Network on Facebook. It’s a community of people that are leveling up their life and business. Make sure you fill out all the questions or we can’t let you in. I’d love to see you there. Thank you guys so much. I’m Adrian Boysel, and as always, keep looking up!

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