Celebrating an influential design career: Congratulations to Ron Beltrame RGD on his retirement

Colleagues and students share their best wishes and congratulations to Founding Member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, Ron Beltrame RGD on his retirement.


"Ron has been an advocate for the value of design and has worked tirelessly to build a strong, supportive design community in Sudbury and beyond," says Nico Taus RGD. "As a professor Ron has taught successive generations of designers and has always been a mentor, an inspiration and a friend to his students. Beyond his teaching career, Ron’s branding work for Ajax Downs Racetrack & Slots, Ziggy’s Pasta, President’s Choice PC Green, Chefx and Autumnwood Properties continues to inspire."


In 2002, Ron took on the task of resuscitating the Graphic Design Program at Cambrian College. Until that time, the program had been run for years by part-time graphic design instructors and full-time artists. "The instructors had little vested interest is preparing students for a career in graphic design, and graduates exited the program with a skill set that aligned more with a fine-artist than a graphic designer," says current Graphic Design Professor at Cambrian, Sean Grant RGD. "We refer to that time as 'the dark years', and the task to change this was formidable."


For the last 16 years, Ron has championed the Graphic Design Program, guiding youth into meaningful careers, feeding the local and global industry with talent, turning fledgling artists into award-winning graphic designers. "Thanks to Ron, the Graphic Design Program at Cambrian has survived and thrived. His retirement is well deserved!" says Sean. 



Read more from Ron's colleagues and students:


"It's really impossible to measure the impact Ron has had on the local design community. An entire generation of Sudbury graphic designers owes their foundational knowledge to him. I will always be proud to be one of his students, and I'm happy to count him as a friend." Emma McAllister RGD Emeritus 


"Ron has to be one of the most dedicated, insightful and hilarious teachers I've ever had. He not only taught us the fundamentals anyone would need to become a successful Graphic Designer, but also put a large emphasis on training us—in a very general sense—how to approach problems in creative ways. I personally feel very lucky to have been taught by him. He's always a pleasure to be around, in or out of the classroom." Scott Savarie


"In addition to being a superlative educator who has built a highly-regarded, nationally-recognized graphic design program, Ron is one of my all-time favourite designers. I’m anxious to see even more of his brilliant work in the private sector. Congratulations on a stellar career." Tony Jurgilas RGD, 50 Carleton


"Ron is an outstanding teacher whose impact goes beyond the graphic design program. My three years in the program were full of inspiration, encouragement, and lessons that are still applicable eight years later. I can't thank Ron enough for inspiring me to do what I do today." Brett Lair, Brett Lair Design


"Ron Beltrame has been a great inspiration to many students in Northern Ontario, both as a designer and an educator. There is no doubt in my mind that the success of the design community here in Sudbury is rooted in his dedication to fostering and encouraging those around him to go out and do what they love to do. I certainly wouldn’t have ended up where I am today without his guidance and am very grateful for all he’s done." Jennifer Taback RGD, Design de Plume  


"He really prepared us students for the realities of the Graphic Design field and drove us to focus on being meaningful and designing with a well thought-out strategy behind our aesthetic choices. To this day I cannot bring myself to use the word "like" as an explanation of my design choices (as in "I like this colour"); Ron banned the word from our presentations, forcing us to think about our choices and to find better ways to express why we actually had chosen a certain shape, a font weight, a style. It worked. I think that we were very fortunate to have crossed paths with Ron, and he really changed us all for the better." Silvia Stanziola RGD, Graphic Design Officer at Canada Post