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Art of the Blueprint

Object Blueprints allow you and your team to structure information the way you want to see it, in the way that makes sense for your objects and your projects, using your own terminology. You’re in control – you have the power – and we know it feels terrific. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Be strategic in setting up your Blueprints, creating a purposeful set that works for your specific needs. Then, as your needs change, Blueprints can always be updated.

Set Up the Core Blueprint

The Core Blueprint serves two important purposes. First, it is the default Blueprint selection for any object added to your Base. Second, it is the foundation on which all your other Blueprints will be built. What information do you want to capture in every Blueprint? These are the fields you’ll add and label to set up the Core. For example:

  • Artist (or perhaps you’ll label this “Maker” or “Creator” – that’s up to you!)
  • Date
  • Accession Number

To add fields to your Core Blueprint:

  1. Add rows with one, two, or three columns.
  2. Rearrange the order of the rows by dragging and dropping. The only exception is the row with the field labeled “Title,” which is always in first position.
  3. Determine which fields to group together in a row. For example, “Artist,” “Nationality,” and “Life Dates.”
  4. Give each field a unique label (for example, “Culture”). When you add information for an object, the data entry field created by the Core Blueprint will be labeled “Culture.”
  5. Select the field type from these options: Short Text, Long Text, Select, Select: DataSet, Tags, or Number. For the Tag field type, when you input information for an object, you’ll be able to enter key words for searching. You can have multiple Tag fields, they just need to have unique names.
  6. Decide whether or not the information being requested is required. For example, you may add a “Dimensions” field, but might not require that dimension information be entered for every single object. However, you may require that an accession number be entered in your “Accession Number” field for each object.
  7. You also have the option of adding a note about the content or format of information to be entered in the form field (for example, for the “Dimensions” field, you might add a note to indicating “Height x width x depth.”).
  8. Save your Blueprint at lower left by clicking or tapping “Save Blueprint.”

core blueprint

Section Headers and Spacers

When you add a single column, you’ll have the option of incorporating a Section Header into your Blueprint for organizational purposes. Section Headers help you group related rows and fields of information.

For example, you might add headers like:

  • Conservation
  • Display Plans
  • Provenance Research

By using the Spacer option, you can create empty space between rows or fields.

Determine your DataSets

DataSets are controlled, selectable options for a Select: DataSet field type. DataSets can be used in any Blueprint in your Base. For example, you might create a “Object Locations” DataSet. Options might include: “On display in gallery,” “In storage,” “In conservation lab.” If you are a gallerist with works by ten artists, you might add these names to an “Artists Represented” DataSet.

You can add and update DataSets from the Blueprints Page. When you add a Select: DataSet field to the Core Blueprint, the selectable options in that DataSet will appear as a dropdown list when you’re adding object information.

Finalizing your Core Blueprint

After you’ve set up your rows and labeled your fields, make sure you like the look of your Core Blueprint. Remember, these labeled fields will appear in all other Blueprints. Save your Core by clicking the “Save Blueprint” button at lower left.

Create Additional Blueprints for your Objects

Once you’ve set up the Core Blueprint, you can create Blueprints for your specific types of objects. Be sure to give each new Blueprint a clear, descriptive name. You can add as many as you like. Examples might include:

  • Photographs
  • Fossils
  • Architectural Models
  • Movie Posters

For each Blueprint, you’ll add rows of fields with custom labels. You can arrange the information in the order you want it to appear by dragging and dropping the rows. A Blueprint can have three fields or thirty, whatever makes sense for that type of object. As with the Core Blueprint, when you add a field, you’ll select the field type from these options: Short Text, Long Text, Select, Select: DataSet, Tags, or Number, and you’ll decide whether or not the information is required.

For example, a “Photographs” Blueprint might include these specific labeled fields:

  • Photographers (Short Text, Not Required)
  • Photographic Studio (Select: DataSet, Not Required)
  • Negative date (Short Text, Not Required) - Conservation History (Long Text, Not Required)
  • Bibliography (Long Text, Not Required)- Mat and Frame information (Long Text, Required)

photographs blueprint

You can also add Section Headers to group fields together in a specific Blueprint. For example, in a “Paintings” Blueprint, you might have a “Framing” section.

Changing and Editing Blueprints

When viewing an object, you’ll see the object’s current Blueprint below its title. You can easily switch to another Blueprint. If you delete a field from a Blueprint, that field will no longer appear when you view the objects with that Blueprint. If you delete a field from your Core Blueprint, the field will be deleted across all your Blueprints. In either case, if information for an object had been entered and saved into the now-deleted field, the information will appear in the “All Data” section for that object. Any and all information entered and saved for an object, regardless of the selected Blueprint, can be viewed in the “All Data” section for that object.

PLEASE NOTE: If you update and save your Core Blueprint after you’ve created other Blueprints, you may need to reorder the rows in the other Blueprints, as the Core fields will appear first. Always remember to save your updates.

Object Blueprints empower you and your team to structure and prioritize data that matters for your objects and your projects. That’s pretty exciting! Want to discuss Blueprint strategies and goals with us? Get in touch