Record-breaking attendance, a new venue and insights from international design visionaries make DesignThinkers 2014 our best conference yet!

At our 15th annual DesignThinkers Conference, RGD welcomed speakers from around the world to share experiences, inspire new ways of thinking and celebrate the power of design.  


DesignThinkers is the largest annual gathering of creative communicators in the country. Held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, this year’s event was record-breaking in both the number of attendees (over 1,800) and the international roster of delegates and speakers who came from the United States, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, Spain and the Netherlands.


Thank you to our Design Partner for this year's conference, TAXI Canada for going above and beyond to create the visual experience of 'The Awakening' and Illustrator Andrew Kolb. And thank you to all of our DesignThinkers 2014 Partners Adobe Systems (Software); Rolland (Paper); Creative Niche (Career Development); Designedge Canada (Media); Moveable (Signage); The Pixel Shop (Web); Porter (Airline); Somerset (Print).

We'd also like to congratulate the three winners of our Twitter/Instagram photo contest, who each receive a free registration to DesignThinkers 2015. Thanks for sharing!


Winner #1: Gaetan Godin Prov RGD @gatorgee


Winner #2: Brianna Beahen Student RGD @briibea


Winner #3: Christie Yuen Prov RGD @cyhurein


Quotable moments from our speakers

“It’s okay to question everything. Ask why.” - Charles Adler

“What has disrupted our industry more than anything else is the rise of mobile.” - Frederic Bonn 

"The space you are in creates a behaviour. Your environment influences the quality of work."- Annette Diefenthaler

"Well designed ideas respect people’s intelligence – they’re built on more than novelty.” - Andrew Deitchman

“Clients are going to say they want the logo bigger. Ask them why and you may get at the real problem they want you to solve.” - Andy Epstein

“Code is our modern medium for artistically expressing our ideas.” - Wesley Grubbs 

"Type is a product of its time." - Sybille Hagmann 

"Create rituals for brands. Rituals win hearts." - Mary Lewis

“Never go to work for someone who doesn’t like you. It will never work out well.” - Debbie Millman 

"We are not human beings. We are human becomings. Learn. Unlearn. And Relearn." - Marty Neumeier 

“Making mistakes teaches you how you might achieve something." - Paula Scher

“Life is way too short for kerning. How many more pixels can I push before they start pushing me?" - Erik Spiekermann 

“The end goal of graphic design is to get inside people’s heads and get them to think about things differently.” - Richard Turley 

“The best thing I ever did was hire people who know completely different things than me.” - Steve Vranakis

“Small things can bubble up into much larger outcomes if they make it into the hands of the right people.” - Willy Wong

“Have the confidence to fail so that you can take risks within your work.” - Jessica Walsh 

“The best ideas, experience, design solutions have equal parts inevitability and unexpectedness.” - Todd Waterbury


Highlights from Twitter

@viv_kay: How does one go back to normal life and things like #laundry after the inspiring talks at #rgdDT!?

Samuel H Campbell @gotakeawalk: #rgdDT is over for another year, it was said time and time again, “best one yet!” Amazing and inspirational.

@chris_t_designs: #rgdDT was a great experience. Definitely coming back next year!

@amber_warren: Well that concludes another great conference by @RGD #rgdDT I can't wait to get back in the office…

@rafapf: This years designthinkers was mind-blowing good #rgdDT

@ddobbie: The best part of #rgdDT and other conferences like it is being able to connect with new/old friends and the conversations that stem from it.


Crowd favourites

@gustavokondo: I think I'm love with Jessica Walsh :/ #rgdDT - Thanks for the amazing and inspiring keynote! 

@jennybrunet: Well on my way back home, had a great time at design thinkers #rgdDT my ultimate favourite speaker was @Draplin :)!!

@lisa_lombardo: Really inspirational talk by @wwong on NYC branding. Lots of ideas to take back to @cityofmarkham. #rgdDT

@edtrejos: DT will never see another presentation like Javier Mariscal's again... fantastic! #rgdDT #MasterStorytelling

@lindsay_smail: Inspired and more than a little awestruck after @irma_boom presentation. Amazing work #rgdDT

@itsfarwa: What a guy! @espiekermann stole the show with the perfect dose of wit, humour, sass, charm, wisdom, and inspiration. Made my day. #rgdDT


From the blogosphere

Larochelle Photography & Design Blog

JVNK Design Blog

Kelsi Wilson: 'Said By The Best'

Uppercase Magazine (Day 1 / Day 2

Whitman Emorson

Designedge Canada


View more photos from the conference and related events on RGD's Flickr page.   


For more tweets and pictures from the conference, search the hashtag #rgdDT on Twitter and Instagram.