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Team Think Labs | What does your .psd say about you?
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What does your .psd say about you?

It might not be today, tomorrow, or even next week; but eventually, someone will inherit your .psd file.

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It only takes a few seconds to make a first impression. What does your .psd file say about you? Are you a hoarder, a bad roommate, or a hot mess?

“The Hoarder”

“The Hoarder” suffers from a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard unused layers that hide within various layer groups and smart objects.


The Hoarder tends to hold on to a large number of layers that most designers would not consider useful or valuable. For example:

  •  Blank Layers
  •  Unused Adjustment Layers
  •  Images of Reginald VelJohnson
  •  Unused Smart Objects

If you don’t need it, delete it.


 “The Bad Roommate”
Chances are you or someone you know has had a bad roommate. Maybe they never paid rent on time, didn’t pick up after themselves, or maybe they never closed the cabinets when they were done.


When you inherit a .psd file from “The Roommate”, you’ll open the .psd file only to find that every layer group has been left open.


“The Hot Mess”

Urban dictionary defines “The Hot Mess” as “When ones thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.”


The Hot Mess delivers hot and sexy designs, but when you look at the .psd, you’ll see that their layer structure and naming conventions are in total disarray.



Enter “Semantic Layers”

We’ve talked about the “Semantic Web”, now let’s talk about “Semantic Layers” and why “Layer 01 Copy Copy Copy” isn’t going to cut it. Overall, it’s just poor Photoshop Etiquette. By accurately naming your layers, you’ll instantly decrease confusion for those unfamiliar with your .psd.


Tools For Success 


Renamy - Allows users to rename multiple layers at once.



.PSD Validator -  Find out how well your PSD files are structured.