Why is Rory Kelly an RGD?

Rory Kelly RGD explains how his involvement with RGD, from Student to Certified Member, has impacted his career through its many changes.


My involvement with RGD goes back to about 2004, during my time as an advertising and design student at Humber College. Being a Student RGD Member was an incredibly valuable experience since it offered me opportunities to tap in to RGD’s various resources and also connect to professionals working in the industry. Ultimately it was a great complement to my student experience, allowing me to learn more about the industry, business and craft of design. 
Change. Connection. Two words that have been on my mind a lot lately and would likely best describe the whys and wherefores of my continued involvement with RGD. 
I joined as a Professional Member in 2012, receiving my RGD Certification in December of that year. Since then, I have enjoyed several opportunities including participating in Creative Directions as a portfolio reviewer and contributing content to RGD’s website including Top 5 lists and Why RGD sections.
It’s a relentless yet necessary force in just about every industry; more-so in fields that are closely involved with and influenced by culture and technology, such as design. Change can be as inspiring as it is intimidating, depending on how prepared you are for it.
The RGD website offers a wealth of resources including articles, book lists, skill sharing webinars and best practices that can offer value to any designer, no matter what point they’re at in their career. Being an RGD gives me access to those resources and just about anything I could need to anticipate and embrace change in an ever-evolving industry. My own career is constantly being shaped by change, as I’ve worked as both an Art Director and a Designer in both agency and in-house environments in full-time, contract and freelance capacities.
Networking and connecting with others in the field, whether they are our peers, mentors or heroes, is an incomparable benefit, no matter what level of your career.
Being a member of RGD certainly does offer a variety of ways to connect, whether it’s reviewing portfolios to help with the Certification process for new RGDs, attending a Designers + Drinks + Discussions event, participating as a Mentor or attending the annual DesignThinkers Conference. Doing so offers a chance to connect with others with similar aspirations and industry experience to share. In my experience, whenever I’ve reached out to connect with other designers, I’m always left with a sense of being more connected to the industry and reminded of why I continue to do it.
So, Why RGD? Perhaps the most important thing is that RGD exists to stand as an advocate for the integrity and value of the craft, and sets standards for the business and profession of design
The combined efforts of RGD’s staff and Members stand to benefit to my career in one way or another. From my perspective, that’s an organization worth supporting.


To tell us what being an RGD Member means to you or to share an RGD story, email comm@rgd.ca
To find out more about becoming a Registered Graphic Designer, click here.