Volunteer of the Month for May 2020
While completing his portfolio for entry into the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Alan Joson Provisional RGD discovered his passion and enthusiasm for graphic design and photography. He joined the corporate world for several years while simultaneously engaging in creative pursuits, including managing his own photography business. In 2010, Alan completed his studies in Advertising & Graphic Design at Humber College. Having further refined his design skills through his work at George Brown College and at the Ontario College of Trades, Alan now balances his role as the in-house graphic designer for the Michener Institute of Education at UHN with an active career as a freelance designer.
Q. How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity? what made you want to get involved?
I have participated in numerous RGD events since 2009, but started volunteering for the RGD mid-2017 by helping to host the Designer + Drink + Discussions in Toronto. What inspired me to get involved was the sense of community that I felt at the D+D+D events. This feeling soon changed as my graphic design career progressed to how I can contribute/give back.
Q. What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
I’ve learned that the profession is like the “wild-west”; everyone is a graphic designer, but not everyone is held to the RGD level of standard/success. There are many talented individuals in the industry, but there must be a standard to which we are held.
Q. Based on your experience volunteering, how would you describe the role of the organization?
I feel the RGD provides a “gold standard” for graphic designers. I feel pride when I put my 'Provisional RGD' designation on correspondence. The programs the RGD offers add value to my Membership. These build my skills as a graphic designer and build my network of professional colleagues. RGD strengthens Members' sense of community.
Q. Can you share any ideas or suggestions for what individual designers and/or organizations like the RGD can be doing to further improve the industry?
I feel as a designer, it’s important to grow your skills and network beyond your school/workplace. The best thing an individual designer can do is to become a Member of the RGD. Any level of Membership has value. You’ll gain access to a wealth of knowledge and expand your professional network. Volunteering has also helped me broaden my understanding of design.
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?
Volunteering for the RGD has helped me expand my professional network on all levels. I connect with students; just-starting-out designers; to legendary-level creatives, all of us are part of a community of like-minded professionals.
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