A File Naming Convention

Written on 25 March 2015, 04:27pm under Resources

Tagged with:

A well-structured naming convention is part of a good work hygiene. It simplifies your thought process on many small operations (saving, searching, sending, etc.) and removes risks of accidentally deleting or overwriting files. I won’t have the pretension to call this the file naming convention you should follow, but rather just propose it as a personally tested convention I find efficient and easy to follow.

File names

  • No Spaces or Special Characters. 

    Spaces and special characters in file names can cause glitches in some instances since users with different OS languages will see experience results.

  • Dash - for word break.
  • Use an underscore _ for new section.
  • Increment Everything.

    Don’t you dare write final in that file name. Just increment it. A four digits increment will leave place for plenty of reviews and you will never again look like a fool with a final_v2.

  • Keep It Lowercase.
    This could be easily argued as there isn’t really a good reason to choose that over title case. Both would do. But I’d personnaly go with a signe type of casing as I feel it requires a bit less brain power to process. The important thing to keep in mind is consistency, go with title case if you feel like it, but stick with it all along.


  • Folders Over File Naming Convention.

    File naming conventions are important but a good folder structure is way more flexible and can scale better as the projet grows.

  • Single Responsibility Folder.

    Only have one type of file and one thing per folder. That will leave place for incrementing.

A Personnal Boilerplate

Having an empty folder structure can be handy when you want to kickstart a project quickly without having to go throught the hassle of recreating your usual structure.

I have been using the same boilerplate structure for quite a while now. Of course, it has been created to suit my personal needs and workflow, but I suppose this could be a good starting point.

Here a screenshot of what it looks like.

Folder Structure Screenshot

Nothing too fancy, but still helps me get going and know where to put my files as I go on. I usually put all the information provided by my client in documents (script, contracts, schedule, etc.) and start working on a design and storyboard in work/illustrator or work/photoshop. The assets created in this step, once they’re done, will be put in assets/images where they will be used for animation. The same goes for work/ableton which will then end up in assets/audio.

Again, this is my structure and would not necessarily advocate you to use this as a bulletproof solution for your process. But if this interests you, go ahead and download it.

I have not been able to find many examples of folder structures. I would be interested if you would like to share a screenshot of yours.

Other popular articles