Creative Director at CASCO Agency shares how RGD has helped him connect with creative professionals at all levels of the industry, both locally and internationally.
When I started my design business in 2002, all I had in my toolbox was Adobe software, a Mac computer with a 'fancy' 19” LaCie monitor, a pantone book, a bunch of business books and six years of experience as a graphic designer in a foreign country. Armed with a cellphone and a thick Spanish accent, I embarked on a journey. One opportunity led to another, and in 2003 I learned about RGD, a place where I could meet other designers, learn about the industry, meet suppliers, gain inspiration and become part of a larger design community.
In 2008 I wrote the RGD exam and obtained my RGD designation. As a professional member, I have participated in many of RGD’s initiatives such as HeadStart (now called Creative Directions), the RGD Handbook and DesignThinkers. I am also currently contributing through the PR Committee, and I have recently been invited to join the RGD Portfolio Evaluation Committee.
During portfolio review nights, I have had the opportunity to share my views on design with many aspiring designers, hoping they would take my favourable (and unfavourable) feedback with a positive outlook, to build and improve their skills.
As a firm owner, I have helped propel discussions on RGD's LinkedIn Group, which provides a safe haven for designers to talk about the challenges of running a firm as well as other issues, questions and trends that come up in the industry.
Attending DesignThinkers has also been an enjoyable experience. Each conference has made me a better designer, thinker, employer and peer. Not only does this conference annually showcase the work of great designers like Michael Bierut, Jessica Hische, Massimo Vignelli and the one and only Stefan Sagmeister, but they also remind us how important our profession is to the wider community.
At DT 2013 I met two designers from Asia who were in town for the conference and had been sent to Toronto by their employer specifically to attend DesignThinkers. I thought to myself, 'Wow, how cool is it that these designers have the opportunity to travel to Canada to experience the conference? And how incredible is it that our organization is so well regarded around the world!'
RGD is not just an Association. The team behind the scenes who run the day-to-day operations of RGD are there for all RGD members, answering our questions and providing invaluable support.
RGD members share love, respect and appreciation for good design, and we stand by it. There is value in our designation because each and every one of us set an example for high standards in our profession.