Technical Skill Matrix

Many graphic design job notices have technical skill requirements included (must be ninja in PhotoShop. . .) and I often find myself wondering for what exactly are they looking. The list below is an attempt to quantify my technical skill set. It won’t tell you how much I know about communication, colour, typesetting or balance, contrast, etc, but it may give some indication of my proficiency in handling the tools of trade used design and to some extent art — where technical skill is less important in a modern understanding of what it means to be an artist.


Expert
Having a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill
Proficient
Competent or skilled in doing or using something
Knowledge
Theoretical or practical understanding of a subject
Operating Systems
Proficient
  • Mac (System 8.5–OSX 10+)
Knowledge of
  • Linux
  • Unix
  • Windows (95, NT, XP)
Colour Management
Expert
  • Calibrating monitors
  • Managing colour settings in Adobe products
  • Producing with RGB and CMYK print-ready pdfs
Proficient
  • Understanding of GRACoL, SWOP and other print standards
  • Use of ICC profile in the design and product workflow
Knowledge of
  • Training others in colour management
  • RIP printing standards
Page layout
Expert
  • Setting up page grids
  • Setting up stylesheets and style dependancies
  • Importing and processing text including kerning, tracking, hyphenation
  • Acrobat Web and prepress production
Proficient
  • XML, XSLT
  • LaTex
Page layout programs
Expert
  • InDesign v CS4–CC, Layouts, Master pages, stylesheets, GREP find and Change, Variables, Articles, Assignments, Epub export, XML import and export
  • InCopy, Setting up documents for copy editing in an assignment based workflow.
  • Quark Xpress v3.32–7, Projects and Layouts, Master pages, Shared Content, Stylesheets, Lists management, hypherlinks and indexs and lists,Opacity,Job Jackets, Composition Zones
Vector-based art
Expert
  • Drawing objects
  • Creation of logos, maps, diagrams
  • Trapping
Vector programs
Expert
  • Illustrator v4–CC, Creation of swatch libraries,Layers,Setting Appearance, Web slices
Proficient
  • Freehand
Bitmap programs
Expert
  • RGB, CMYK and LAB colour spaces, colour correction and digital development skills
  • Tiff, JPEG, PhotoShop and RAW file formats
Proficient
  • Retouching using layer composites, layer masks. Creating selections using channels, colour range, selection tools
Knowledge of
  • Color management
Bitmap tools
Expert
  • Photoshop v5–CC, Colour correction using curves, channel blends, colour modes, layers, layer masks, Creating selections with channels and paths
Word processing
Proficient
  • Word, WordPerfect
  • Open Office
Database
Proficient
  • Access
  • MySQL
World Wide Web
Expert
  • Semantic layout using XHTML, HTML5
  • Setting up Cascading Style Sheets for text and object positioning
  • Preparing images for the Web:animated GIFs, GIFS, PNG, JPEG
  • Acrobat PDF for the Internet
Proficient
  • CSS3
  • Client-side programming in JavaScript
Knowledge of
  • Scripting in PHP
  • Scripting in Python
  • Server technologies
  • Setting up content management systems
WWW Tools
Expert
  • Dreamweaver
  • BBEdit
  • Sublime Text
  • CSSEdit
Proficient
  • Wordpress
  • Symphony CMS
  • Apache
  • PHP
Painting
Expert
  • Oils
  • Watercolor
  • Gouache
Proficient
  • Encaustic
  • Egg tempera
  • Fresco
Drawing
Expert
  • Most traditional drawing materials
Printmaking
Expert
  • Intaglio
  • Relief
Proficient
  • Lithography
Assorted
Proficient
  • Letter-carving
  • Gilding