RGD celebrates 10 accomplishments for 2014 and what to look forward to in the new year
After a busy year at RGD, we reflect on what we've achieved and look forward to what's coming in 2015: 


10 RGD Accomplishments in 2014


1. DesignThinkers 

With great graphics from TAXI and speakers coming from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA, RGD had its highest attendance at our 15th annual DesignThinkers Conference at a new venue, the Sony Centre, with greater international participation from speakers and delegates than ever before.


2. CreativeEarners

With assistance from The Pixel Shop, Creative Niche and many other industry and promotional partners, RGD completed our 2014 CreativeEarners National Survey of Salaries & Billing Practices in the Communication Design Industry with our highest response rate in the 14 years we have been conducting this bi-annual national resource. 


3. Exhibits

RGD raised the profile of award-winning and socially-responsible design with public exhibits of our Student Award-winners and So(cial) Good Design Awards at Pearson International Airport from September 2014 into March 2015.



4. Social Media

RGD expanded our social media platforms, exploring new ways to engage with online communities through the launch of Pinterest and Instagram accounts, LinkedIn Company Page and significant growth for RGD's existing followings on Twitter (increased by 1,700), Facebook (increased by 700) and LinkedIn (over 2,000).   


5. Web Accessibility Initiative 

In cooperation with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), RGD launched our Web Accessibility Initiative with October's Web Design Accessibility Conference and the release, in early 2015, of related resources to help shape best practices for accessible web design including the new Web Accessibility Handbook, updated website and other tools. 



6. Virtual Exam

The Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers, the body that administers the certification process for RGDs, has transitioned the RGD Exam process to be completely virtual as of 2015. This means that two components of the process - the test and portfolio interview - may be conducted from any location in the country, and even the world. And Portfolio Interviewers will also be situated in different locations.


7. Student Member Engagement 

With amazing contributions from RGD's Student Rep Committee,  opportunities for Student Member engagement were expanded, with the launch of the new Student Blog and by opening up our annual Student Awards program (with has distributed over $250,000 in its 15-year history) to Students across the country (resulting in the largest number of submissions we've ever had). In addition to the exhibit at Pearson Airport, the 2014 Student Award-winners also had their work on display at the DesignThinkers Conference.  


8. Featured Member Opportunities 

RGD expanded opportunities for RGD Members to be featured through the RGD website and contribute to our growing body of knowledge on the design process, design management, as well as our industry as a whole, through weekly featured profiles, case studies, community updates, insights, articles and more. In 2015, selected Provisional RGDs will be selected to be profiled.


9. So(cial) Good Design Awards 

With the assistance of Forge Media + Design, the international So(cial) Good Design Awards program was developed and improved with the addition of category-specific judges, the creation of a physical Award, and a ceremony to recognize the winners at DesignThinkers.



10. Design Educators Conference 

In partnership with Centennial College, RGD conducted our second annual Design Educators Conference, helping improve the training and preparation of our next generation of designers by recognizing innovative thinking and best practices among educators. The 2015 Design Educators Conference will take place Nov 14 at George Brown College.  


10 Things to look forward to in 2015


1. Handbook 

The Office of Gilbert Li, the contributing authors, RGD and our many partners on the project have finalized the new edition of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook, which will launch in early 2015. The book will be distributed to RGD professional members and available for others to purchase. 


2. Creative Directions

We are transforming our annual HeadStart Conference to Creative Directions with more content relevant for working designers, in addition to students and recent grads, to take place March 6 and 7 in Toronto.


3. Future By Design

RGD's Future By Design program - a series of panel discussions webcast - is expanding to a growing number of cities across Canada, beginning with The Future of Making on Jan 27, followed by The Future of Storytelling, The Future of Research, and other topics throughout the year. 


4. Design at Work 

Launch of a new Design at Work program with increased opportunities to emphasize the business value of design at the local level. 


5. National Billing Survey 

Launch of new National Billing Survey for the Creative Industry to provide clients and designers with information on billing rates and project fees.


6. Responsive Website 

Redesign of the RGD website as a responsive site and enhancement of our searchable Designer Directory to be more useful for clients to access designer information.  


7. DesignThinkers Interactions 

Increased opportunities for interaction and networking for RGD Members at DesignThinkers 2015, which will take place November 12 and 13 at the Sony Centre in Toronto.


8. Webinars 

Further development of RGD's weekly webinar program (running Thursdays at 12pm ET beginning in 2015), offering universally-accessible, virtual professional development opportunities covering a wide range of diverse topics.


9. DesignThinker of the Year 

Expansion of the DesignThinker of the Year Award program to celebrate Canadian business leaders' recognition of design's value by recognizing finalists and producing additional video, visual and written content to better highlight the winner's appreciation and application of design thinking.  


10. Advocacy 

On-going lobbying and a new public campaign against spec work and advocacy for industry best practices and the highest standards for our industry.