File naming convention

We strongly recommend you prepare and rename (if necessary) your files, before uploading them to Brandkit or any other DAM or file management system.


When you upload a file, it’s filename will be preserved irrespective of what metadata you add to the Asset such as Caption, Reference, etc.

And when a user downloads the file in the future generally the downloaded file will use the original filename.

How to name files?

In your computer’s operating system or file management application, navigate to your files and have a look at the filenames.

You’ll clearly see the files where it’s obvious as to what they are all about and others that have arcane names , which require you to open them to discover what they are.

Often they are named something like, ex-1234.tif, or 2c05918a9c0a076ac49b.jpg.

These files are hard to read and give very little clue as to what the file contains. You probably can work out they are an image of some sort, but that’s about it.

Think about how this might look after one of your users downloads several files. Not good.

Instead you should be looking to make your filenames meaningful, logical and human readable. For example, Acme Banner Image Jun 17.jpg is a much better name than 918a9c0a076ac49b.jpg

You could write it:

  • Acme Banner Image June 2017.jpg
  • acme banner image 06 17.jpg
  • acme-banner-image-jun17.jpg
  • etc

Which ever works best for you.

Combine Folder structure in filenames

Often your files will come from a well organised folder structure. Files however have no way of knowing what folder they were in once you move them or copy them elsewhere.

You can however embed some of that hierarchy in your filenames.

From a folder hierarchy:

images -hero –staff portraits — John Smith.jpg

To a filename with an embedded hierarchy:

e.g. images-hero-staffportraits-john smith.jpg

The important thing here is to be consistent and check that the hierarchy that you have is accepted and important, before making the effort to name this way.

Photographers Reference, Product names, Barcodes and Other References.

If your file has a reference of some sort, it’s a good idea to include these in your filename.


We generally recommend you DO NOT include the date the file was created or updated in filenames, because dates are already a core piece of metadata in the file itself.

The exception is a more broadly defined date - such as a season (e.g. Winter), a campaign period (e.g. June or 2017, etc)

e.g. images-hero-staffportraits-john-smith-winter-2017.jpg

Filename length 255 Characters

255 is the maximum length (including the four .extn characters) for Filenames to ensure backwards compatibility with operating systems.

It’s also sensible to make filenames easy to read and display in file management applications, including Brandkit.

What to avoid in a filename?

There are some characters that you should not use in your filenames.

Filenames should include only letters, numbers, hyphens or underscores.

You should NOT use the following characters anywhere in a file name:

  • Tilde “~”
  • Number sign “#”
  • Percentm “%”
  • Ampersand “&”
  • Asterisk “*”
  • Braces “{ }”
  • Backslash “/“
  • Colon “:”
  • Function “ƒ”
  • Angle brackets “<> “
  • Question mark “?”
  • Slash “\”
  • Pipe “|”
  • Quotation marks “
  • Apostrophe ‘

Permitted but may lead to issues elsewhere so should ideally be avoided:

  • Period “.”

Also avoid special characters (e.g. Macrons), non latin scripts (e.g. Chinese characters), etc.

See this wikipedia article

Avoid Underscores

Also avoid underscores “_” in filenames and use a hyphen “-“ or simply a space instead to separate words in your filename.

2 reasons why:

  • The filename is hard to read in a URL or hyperlink to a file with underscores in the filename
  • in many systems, including Brandkit, underscores are treated as a contiguous (a single) string of characters, which impacts search.

Happy file naming  :)


File naming convention

How to name your asset files before uploading them to Brandkit.

Asset type post
ID 113869
Word count 642 words


Licence Worldwide Paid and Unpaid Available to anyone for royalty free use in paid and unpaid media worldwide, provided Brandkit benefits from such use, with attribution required to the named Credit, when a Credit is provided.
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Statistics above last updated 1 March 2024