I was first presented with the opportunity to join RGD back when I was a student, but at that time I didn't think it was for me. The Association seemed like it was for people more successful, experienced and fashionable - how would I ever compare?
After graduation I worked at a small studio, primarily doing production work and slowly building a freelance client base. While I found my freelance work more fulfilling than my day-to-day work, I still yearned for a bit more of a spark. That passion was ignited when I attended my first DesignThinkers Conference.
In those two days I was exposed to a whole range of personalities and began to see ‘design’ as a broad term that encompasses a variety of jobs and careers. After seeing some inspiring sessions about the creative spark combined with the practicalities of business, I wanted to find out more about the organization that had put this fantastic event together. At the very least, I knew that as a member I could save a few bucks on my next DesignThinkers ticket!
I started my first interactions with the friendly folks in the RGD office when I attended the information session and exam study groups. In those meet-ups I came to know other designers, and became more comfortable in my pursuit of the RGD designation. We were all in different stages of our careers, and seeing people who were both ahead of me and behind me in experience really illustrated the continuum of our professional paths.
From there, and through my portfolio interview, I started to frame myself as a creative person and realized that my talents and perspective were things to celebrate. With RGD, I discovered a space where people expressed their creativity and connect with others in the community. Needless to say, this knowledge made me want to take further advantage of my membership.
My career has definitely grown because of RGD and the professional development it offers. Through RGD, I have continued my education in design with up-to-date information on technology, self-promotion and client service. Events and workshops have helped me expand my contacts and refer clients to other designers who are better suited to specific types of work. The Business of Graphic Design has been my go-to source from freelancing to owning of my own studio.
I have found that the advantages of RGD are truly revealed when I say one word: “Yes”. If asked to attend an event, provide a portfolio review or give a presentation, I eagerly do so. Saying “yes” opens up more opportunities to be involved and gives me a stronger voice in shaping the future of the design profession. My RGD Membership is more than a discount card – it’s a commitment to elevating the status of all creative careers.
To find out more about becoming a Registered Graphic Designer, click here.