An Associate Art Director at Lucidia Ltd in Sault Ste. Marie highlights the value of connecting with the design community through RGD: to help grow business, establish a network and learn from fellow creatives at all stages of their careers.
Community is the motivator. With so much focus on individuality, I think the world today has become disconnected from this important value.
In 1992, I found the idea of a synergistic group of designers sharing ideas and advancing our profession in Northern Ontario a very appealing concept, and my sister was similarly motivated to participate in RGD, taking an active role as Treasurer.
Having both started our careers in the early 1980’s, just before technology was about to up-shift, we knew the value of connections with other designers. We exchanged ideas about design and the business of design whenever our profession felt growing pains. RGD membership offered the support we needed to achieve our professional goals. It was an opportunity to learn about best practices and breaking news and a chance to meet leaders in our industry, who benefited in turn from the experience of mentoring young designers like us. RGD became our community.
When I made the choice to go into business on my own, setting up the studio meant prioritizing overhead costs that would generate income - this unfortunately meant allowing my RGD membership to lapse. Having spent 10 years as the owner of a design studio without RGD membership, I can say now that the disconnect from the design community was a disadvantage. Going through the day-to-day motions of running a business was humbling to say the least, and looking back I know that having access to RGD's resources and the community of designers who are part of the Association would have made a difference. When it made sense to do so, I was happy to re-join the RGD community.
In 2010 and 2011, I participated on the judging panel for the RGD Student Awards. As an Associate Art Director at Lucidia, contributor of funding for the Lucidia Web Design Award, it was a privilege to participate as a judge. What followed was a great exhibition of student work, and an opportunity for student members and experienced RGDs to connect and exchange opinions.
Today Lucidia continues to recognize the value of the RGD, with two Lucidia designers recently earning the Registered Graphic Designer designation. Being able to contribute as a mentor to fellow designers and provide support as a sounding board before and during the testing process was a rewarding experience for me, plus I enjoyed the added benefit of 25% off my annual membership dues for referring a new member.
We all value the RGD designation. As a member of the RGD community, I always look forward to opportunities to train or guide new designers in their careers -- any chance to impart what I've learned over the past 30 years. RGD has given us multiple ways to participate in the industry and connect with each other through forums, webinars and discussions, and as a result we benefit from this expanded network.
Simply put, good business is about being an active part of the community your business is in. RGD provides a reliable source of information on the design community to students, industry, government and the public. Being part of this community involves contributing, volunteering and mentoring; the reward is seeing how the world of design continues to evolve.
To find out more about becoming a Registered Graphic Designer, click here.