In my opinion, directories should not be considered targets of your makefile, either in technical or in design sense. You should create files and if a file creation needs a new directory then quietly create the directory within the rule for the relevant file.

If you're targeting a usual or "patterned" file, just use make's internal variable $(@D), that means "the directory the current target resides in" (cmp. with $@ for the target). For example,

$(OUT_O_DIR)/%.o: %.cpp
        @mkdir -p $(@D)
        @$(CC) -c $< -o $@

title: $(OBJS)

Then, you're effectively doing the same: create directories for all $(OBJS), but you'll do it in a less complicated way.

The same policy (files are targets, directories never are) is used in various applications. For example, git revision control system doesn't store directories.


Note: If you're going to use it, it might be useful to introduce a convenience variable and utilize make's expansion rules.

dir_guard=@mkdir -p $(@D)

$(OUT_O_DIR)/%.o: %.cpp
        $(dir_guard)
        @$(CC) -c $< -o $@

$(OUT_O_DIR_DEBUG)/%.o: %.cpp
        $(dir_guard)
        @$(CC) -g -c $< -o $@

title: $(OBJS)