Apply for the RGD Mentorship Program to be paired up with a Mentor who has the knowledge and experience that will help you grow your professional design career.
RGD recently received feedback from a participant in this program:
"The Mentorship Program was an amazing opportunity. As a recent grad starting her own business, it was great to have a professional contact where I could ask all my questions in the 1 hour a month meeting we had."
Grace Laemmler Prov. RGD
Fill out an application by February 16, where you will be asked to select your top two choices from a list of 13 mentors. This program is only open to Provisional RGDs. Student RGDs in their final year of student may also sign up for our regular Mentorship Program here. (A new group of Mentors will be available in June.)
The Structure of the Program
For a period of 9 months, you will have 6 sessions with your Mentor, 1 hour each. Sessions can be held locally or remotely depending on the location of both the Mentor and Mentee.
Any applicant not paired with one of our Mentors will be given the opportunity to participate in the Program with a different RGD Mentor in the industry with similar qualifications.
Designing your Sessions
Once the pairing has been finalized, you and your Mentor are ready to start the program! RGD will provide you with a list of discussion topics for each session, however, it is completely up to you and your Mentor what you'll want to cover in each session.
"As your Mentor, I will act as a guide to help you shape the course of your career. That guidance coming from over 20 years of experience, with highs and lows, wins and losses, tears and laughter and a passion for the craft and business of graphic design that only gets brighter every year."
Dominic Ayre RGD
Dominic has worked in Toronto as a designer for more than 20 years. At Hambly & Woolley, Dominic focuses on high-level strategic initiatives with clients such as the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, SOSCIP, RGD, Harry Rosen, OCAD University, CIFAR and Quadrangle Architects. Currently on faculty at OCAD University, Dom is an enthusiastic mentor to new designers and is well known within the design community for his expertise in typography, web platforms, design trends and popular culture.
"As your mentor, I will provide advice and help you navigate the many sides of creativity including working with clients, building the portfolio you want and some of the differences between in-house and agency environments. A mistake I made early on was thinking hard work and a good portfolio was all one needed to succeed as a designer—while those form an important foundation, there are many other skills to master."
Caroline Bruckner RGD
Caroline is the Creative Director for Deloitte Canada, leading the Design and Video studios. She helps to clarify client goals and objectives and leads design teams to execute the plan and deliver results. Over 20 years in corporate design, Caroline has worked with private companies, professional services and non-profits to develop strategic, creative communications. Caroline has been the lead creative on projects for clients including Yamana Gold, TransAlta Renewables, TMX Group and Tim Hortons. She also led the introduction of Ernst & Young’s new brand identity across Canada.
"As your Mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience of UX/UI design and share insights on how user-first design thinking can be applied to any design project to help maximize efforts and ensure success. I would also offer advice on how to become a freelance designer and provide insights on what it takes to be your own boss and run your own business."
Evelyn Csiszar RGD
Evelyn is the founder and lead UX/UI designer at Collective Experience. Her lifelong fascination with studying how people think and act has led to a deep passion for user experience design. She believes that you can only create successful products and services if you build it around the needs and wants of the people who will use them. This guiding principle applies to everything she does, regardless of the medium. Evelyn has had the pleasure of working on projects for organizations like University of Toronto, BMO, HydroOne, CCRM, Futurpreneur, HEQCO, CNIB and the Ontario Science Centre.
"As your Mentor, I will share insights and my experiences as both an independent freelancer and in-house designer. I will offer advice on how to be a good designer, and make good work in any situation."
Raj Grainger RGD
Raj is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer who lives and works in Toronto. After dropping out of architecture school, he studied conceptual art and media design. Raj now focuses primarily on print- and identity-based projects and likes to collaborate with cultural and educational institutions, non-profits and other creative types.
"As your Mentor, I will share my approach to charting your unique design path. If you’re interested in eventually running your own design business, I can provide insights on how to get there and how to carve out niche markets that are both strategic and interesting over the long-haul."
Wendy Gray RGD
Big picture thinking, strategic solutions, outstanding design, happy clients, discovering young talent, the privilege of teaching, mentoring, judging and contributing to the professional design industry are but some of the things that continue to motivate Wendy after 20 years of building Gravity into the full-service, multi-disciplinary firm it is today. Designing for social good is one of her passions and in 2004, she made a commitment to service the non-profit sector in equal part to all of her other clients.
"As your mentor, I will share insights on the industry through the lens of an editorial designer. I will help you identify your goals and be your guide as you work towards fulfilling them."
Nicola Hamilton RGD
"As your Mentor, I will share my knowledge and experience to assist you in your creative process. I have a wide range of practice areas, from magazines to branding, and as a studio owner & creative director, I can help you choose an area of design you want to focus on."
Norm Lourenco RGD
Norm is Creative Director and founder of Toronto-based Truth and Dare (formerly K9 strategy+design). Norm has 25 years of experience in creating strategies to execute branding and publication design for many of Canada’s small independent to large multi-title publishers and countless entrepreneurial, professional and non-profit clients with their design and communications opportunities.
"As your Mentor, I will listen, provide feedback and share my experiences. I am passionate about walking alongside other designers as they discover their place in the exciting and ever-evolving world of design. My goal is for this experience to be relevant and enjoyable for you!"
Trevor Martin RGD
Trevor is a multi-disciplinary senior designer at Innovative Design & Print Inc based in Kitchener, Ontario, and enjoys analyzing and creating strategic solutions for any communicational project. His expertise is in brand identity, print and interactive design. Above all, he works to establish strong and meaningful relationships with his clients, understanding their story and giving them a voice that gets them noticed above the noise.
"As your Mentor, I will share insights I have gleaned running a small business while sustaining a creative practice. What structures and tactics will help your creative heart thrive? What kinds of work or networks of support will help you grow your full potential as a designer, and build upon your strengths? Whether you aim to work as a solopreneur or in a team, these questions are ongoing, and great to keep exploring."
Rami Schandall RGD
Rami is the principal designer and owner of Visual Creative, a Toronto studio founded in 2005. She works with diverse clients — institutional, corporate and nonprofit organizations, small businesses, artists and professionals — to illuminate their communications with clean, unique and functional design. As a multi-disciplinary artist and writer, Rami draws on her work across media for both solutions and inspiration, building a flexible and sustainable practice over nearly 20 years.
"As your Mentor, I will offer assistance building and refining your portfolio to show design thinking across disciplines and offer tips as you look to make your next career move."
Iliana Sergeev RGD
As the founder of the multi-disciplinary design studio IS Design Labs, Iliana’s passion for problem-solving and communication is not bound by definitions, as she pushes the line where graphic design meets dimensional experiences. Her years of experience spans across numerous industries.
"As your Mentor, I will share insights on branding from a holistic and strategic perspective, designing for accessibility and identifying and maximizing your strengths as a designer."
Eduardo Trejos RGD
Eduardo is a highly creative soul with a natural drive toward exploration, yet he has the business acumen and technical know-how to deliver on his vision. While his formal training is in advertising design, photography and animation, his creative interests have led him to build additional expertise in web design and video. Eduardo has worked, both locally and abroad, as a multimedia designer and front-end web specialist. His diverse client base includes CBC The National, WestJet, Bank of Montreal, Canada Post, Canadian Cancer Society, OLG Corporation and the University of Toronto.
"As a designer who thinks a lot about the impact me and my work have in the world, I will share insights on the specifics of graphic design and its larger influence on society."
Elliot Vredenburg RGD
Elliot is from Toronto and lives there sometimes. At others, he is in LA or Western Europe. For over 10 years, Elliot has worked as a designer and writer across many fields, ranging from fine art, academia and the nonprofit sector, to advertising, web and boutique design studios. He has exhibited, taught and held residencies in Canada, the US and Europe. Today, he's working as a freelance designer and engaging in design research on topics including the weird intersections of marketing and social control, nature made by people and how bad design may actually be good.
"As your Mentor, I will share experiences working for corporate firms, design agencies and as a freelancer. I will share what it’s like working in print as well as digital, and describe the merits of each. I can offer advice on building professional RFP presentations and conceptual mood boards to support your designs."
Hilary Walls RGD