After graduating with a Bachelor of Design from NSCAD University, I moved to Toronto to kick-start my career and to place myself in where I believe is the design centre of Canada. Through my network, I was connected with Bob Hambly, an active RGD member and Partner at Hambly + Woolley, who encouraged me to join RGD if I wanted to be involved in the larger community of designers in Toronto.
Since then, RGD has connected me to a community of passionate and driven leaders in the design industry and to a library of invaluable resources. Upon joining as a Provisional RGD, the Mentorship Program was one of the first opportunities of which I took advantage. This program connected me with Mikey Richardson RGD of Jacknife. Mikey gave me some fantastic advice when I was starting my first job as an in-house designer - our conversations really pushed me to think about what kind of designer I wanted to become and gave me the confidence to plan the steps I would need to get there. Being able to speak with and get critique from these types of passionate and successful people is something that you would have a hard time finding if it weren’t for RGD’s programs, initiatives and social events. This Mentorship Program is a very unique advantage for someone who is new to the industry.
As someone who frequents freelance projects, another amazing tool is the RGD handbook. This book has saved me countless hours when I began freelancing; it acted as a guide in creating client quotes, creative briefs, writing contracts, navigating intellectual rights and much more. In addition, if I can't find the answer to my questions in the handbook, the RGD staff has always been able to point me in the right direction with quick and friendly replies.
As an in-house designer, I am very excited to see that the RGD is now recognizing and incorporating in-house design more and more through their programs and resources. This includes the In-House Design Awards and the webinar panel series, Challenges of In-House Designers. This is a huge step in helping to guide those of us in creative teams, especially in an oftentimes unregulated industry.
I became a provisional RGD as a means of joining a community and in the hopes of furthering my design knowledge and career. Being able to stay up to date with best practices, advocacy, news, job postings and more is an advantage I would recommend to everyone. I can say with certainty that I have been provided with first-hand wisdom and a toolbox better equipping me to pursue my ambitions as a designer in an ever-evolving industry.