From the basis of this, I guess I’m a Generalist, but I have discovered that my Graphic Design expertise needs to be rather deeper in several related relevant specialities. As a solo freelancer with a small studio, serving a primarily small business clientele, these guys expect me to know … well, kind of everything. Of course that’s out of the question, but I do have to show considerable expertise across the spectrum of connected stuff my clients associate with the “Art Guy.”
When I entered the field, back in the 80's B.C. — before computers. I by necessity focused on a specific set of drafting table based skills. as out profession became increasingly digital, I had to absorb at the very least, basic skills in several specialties I was very content to send out to the type house, color house, darkroom, prepress service bureau. But as more and more of those functions were absorbed by increasingly sophisticated software and ever more capable hardware, I had to become familiar with what those things were.
Don’t get me started on INK TRAPPING… *cringe*
On the other hand, I don’t miss stripping tables. I do miss 3M Color-keys, even as I appreciate PDFs.
The Web has made it even more … interesting. Often the client that wants a graphic identity also needs a web site. I also end up consulting about email, security, social media. On and on in a field that evolves at dizzying speed. Learning about code and Responsive Design and CMS systems has been quite the journey. But the further I get from a pencil into programming, the deeper the water. But I am quite happy to know that there are extremely skills code monkeys I can HIRE when it gets a little too deep for visual thinkers.