q30 design inc. celebrated our 25th anniversary this past August! This is a significant milestone for our firm. We have seen a tremendous evolution of our industry and design practice over the past quarter century, which has necessitated that we address our service offering and staffing model to maintain relevance in a highly competitive marketplace.
How has the RGD helped me?
I became an RGD in 1996, several years after we opened our doors. Glenda Rissman (my business partner) and I were looking for ways to help establish our firm and give us additional credibility to our corporate clients. The RGD designation was a recognized credential that meant we met professional standards in our industry. We resourced the RGD Handbook and Salary Surveys for employee management when we began to hire staff and support. As well, new project pitch encounters with spec work requests were an area where the RGD gave us the support to respond strongly and professionally - that we would not participate unless spec components were removed. In many of these cases, the organizations acknowledged and understood our concern and often deleted the spec component.
I have also participated in many portfolio reviews and panel discussions at RGD events, which helps me stay connected to the community and also helps us find potential employees from the large pool of talent. I look forward to attending the annual DesignThinkers Conference each year and typically bring a number of staff with me.
How do we support the RGD?
Our relationship with RGD has evolved over the last 20+ years. As a mature firm, we now can give back to the RGD through a variety of initiatives including the Studio Open Door tours, panel discussions, salary surveys, portfolio reviews and the Mentorship program. In 2007 we designed all the marketing communications for the DesignThinkers Conference. We also sponsor and judge the branding scholarship in RGD's annual Student Awards, open to all graduating students in Ontario. Last year we changed our RGD status to a full Corporate Membership, rather than 2 individual memberships for Glenda and I. We now can offer our staff additional benefits and can help them work towards their RGD designation.