RGD thanks RGD Board & Ethics Committee Member Caitlin Legere Provisional RGD for her contributions to our community.
As a sole proprietor, Caitlin is passionate about helping business owners reach their full potential by aligning with their company’s purpose and creating scalable designs. She specializes in brand development, social content, digital and print design, upholding a high standard of quality and integrity.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with RGD, and in what capacity?
I’ve been volunteering with RGD since 2016, shortly after becoming a Student Member. From there, I became more involved by helping out at events, designing assets for various programs and later joining the Ethics Committee to bring awareness and raise industry standards for designers across the country. I initially joined to be closer to a like-minded community that valued design.
Q: What have you learned about the industry through your experience as an RGD Committee Member?
Throughout my experience working with RGD, I’ve learned that Members truly look out for one another. In the world of design, there is so much competition amongst creatives to get the clients, the jobs and the recognition. RGD opens all designers up to a space where they can learn from one another and share their knowledge.
At a recent event, I had the pleasure of talking with a few designers who worked in similar roles as me. It was helpful to hear their triumphs and struggles with things like project management, difficult clients and even work/life balance. I'm a firm believer that being vulnerable and open to conversations like these can facilitate your own growth as a designer and build friendships in the process.
This sense of community is also relevant in the realm of ethics in the sense that designers are willing to stand together and speak up, contributing to the rise of design standards in the workforce.
Q: Based on your experience volunteering with RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
RGD is a valuable resource to designers at all stages of their career. It connects, educates and supports the industry by holding space for designers to explore their craft, learn from our idols and grow. Events like the DesignThinkers Conference and the Designers + Drinks + Discussions networking events, among many others, facilitate conversation and inspire creativity. They provide a space where attendees can feel like they’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who also obsess over a well-designed font in their spare time.
Chris Do at DesignThinkers Toronto 2017 | Photo by Breck Campbell
One of the big game changers in my career was when I saw Chris Do at DesignThinkers in 2017. While I was familiar with his work, being able to attend a live event gave me a handful of tools to begin using right away and gave me someone to look up to as a young designer. This is also true for the more intimate discussions that take place at D+D+D, as you're able to ask the burning questions you have about the industry and know you're getting answers from a credible source in front of you.
Q: Can you share any ideas or suggestions for what individual designers and/or organizations like RGD can be doing to further improve the industry? What would you like to see change in the next 5-10 years?
While RGD does a great job of bringing awareness to the design industry, I’d love to see more individuals and organizations focused on the importance of design ethics and providing education on the topic for the wider communications community. I see so many young designers charging too little for their work or participating in spec, which can confuse and discourage clients from paying fair wages to designers.
I recommend educating yourself on the topic so you know how spec work affects both designer and client and will be able to provide the best possible information and resources when situations arise. I also recommend standing up when you see spec work happening. That could look like sharing a questionable RFP with RGD staff, or if you know the person hosting the contest, suggest that they find a more ethical option for their company's brand development.
Q: What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer, and why would you recommend it to other members who might be thinking of getting involved?
By volunteering with RGD, I have surrounded myself with a community that supports my growth as a designer. I love having the opportunity to give back to that community and enjoy contributing to important causes like sustainability, accessibility and inclusion. I’m currently researching tips to be more environmentally-conscious as a designer, which has taught me a lot about my own practice and allows me to make small changes in the world by sharing what I’ve learned.
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