In software engineering, there are “full-stack engineers.” Full-stack means that they can work across all the parts of software, from the front-end coding user interfaces to a back-end database. They could take an entire project from start to finish on their own and not need the help of anyone else.1
What does a full-stack graphic designer look like? Probably someone who can:
- Develop design strategy
- Use Illustrator, InDesign to create real assets
- Use After Effects, Premiere to create video and simple motion graphics
- Write excellent copy
The challenge is that it’s really difficult to be great at everything. However, it does give you a lot of power. A full-stack engineer can quickly and independently create (small) things without the help of an entire engineering team. A full-stack designer, similarly, should be able to quickly and independently make things, a significant advantage over the many people who have ideas but have no skills to bring them to life.
This breadth in skillset is great, though it usually means you can’t be as good at any one of those things as you’d like.↩