Vignelli Center at RIT
Digital Asset Management
Digital Asset Manager / Writer
The Vignelli Center for Design Studies, located within the Rochester Institute of Technology campus, houses digital and physical artifacts created by Italian designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Only a small portion of the artifacts were published on the Centers' website to make them digitally accessible. Digitally capturing such a large range of items requires in-depth documentation of multiple workflows to make the process as efficient as possible. It was also important to include certain rules and standards, which, when followed, maintained consistency and organization throughout the process.
Write a standard operating procedure for a large archive containing a variety of both digital and physical artifacts.
Digital Asset Manager
Arguably, the most difficult stage of this project was the first one: deciding on necessary content and where in the procedure it would exist. This required many trips to the archive to ensure every type of artifact would be digitized and organized correctly. It was also important to understand the type of equipment the Vignelli Design Center staff were using to ensure the correct process was detailed as well as proper terminology. From there, the long process of creating rules and guidelines for the digitization staff to follow had begun.
Massimo and Lella Vignelli designed for many different fields including industrial and product design, graphic design, architectural graphics, interior and furniture design, and more. Such a variety of artifacts necessitated multiple digitization workflows to be documented in this SOP.
This section of the procedure needed to be incredibly detailed. It also had to include guidelines for any type of physical artifact needing to be digitized. I was able to narrow this down to three procedures. I also included examples of correct images following the procedures to clarify any additional confusion.
Preliminary procedure - applies to every physical artifact being digitized
Photography procedure - applies to 3D physical artifacts
Scanning procedure - applies to 2D or flat physical artifacts
This procedure applies to every physical artifact being digitized and should be followed before moving on to either the photography or scanning procedures.
This procedure lists out the equipment and materials necessary for photographing 3D artifacts. It then lists out each step to follow, starting with the table setup and ending once the photograph is taken. This procedure was written in accordance with the equipment available to the Vignelli archive digitization staff.
This procedure lists out the equipment and materials necessary for scanning 2D or flat artifacts. It then lists out each step to follow, starting with the software setup and ending once the scanned image is saved. This procedure was written in accordance with the equipment available to the Vignelli archive digitization staff.
This section establishes criteria and guidelines for those tasked with digitally archiving items for the Vignelli Center. It includes a Metadata Field Overview Chart and corresponding descriptions for each field name. It is important to correctly organize content once it is digitized to positively influence searchability and systemization.
This chart includes each field name, and their corresponding assets.
This section provides an in-depth description for each field provided in the overview chart. It also includes examples and appropriate notes to mitigate confusion.
It is important to establish a controlled list of keywords with corresponding definitions and synonyms. Doing so maintains and improves searchability, organization, and consistency throughout the digital archive.
These definitions apply to the Standardization of Image Capture section: any technical terms used in the procedures are defined here.
Every term used to describe or define the artifacts in the Vignelli Center is listed here.
The thesaurus provides definitions and synonyms for all keywords listed in the above section.
Writing this procedure took many long hours and a lot of revisions. Creating a procedure that includes every type of artifact and maintains the most efficient workflows necessitates multiple iterations. The final result is lengthy, but it includes everything necessary to effectively maintain the Vignelli Archive. I learned how essential details are for standard operating procedures; nothing can be assumed or implied. To view a PDF version of this project, click here.