RGD's Year in Review: 2021
2021 continued to present challenges while also promising a return to some sort of "normal," if not today, then in the not too distant future. Let's take a look back on some highlights from the past year and look ahead to what's in store for 2022.

RGD's 2021 in Numbers


     • 2,827 new Members (431 increase)

     • 55 new Certified RGDs

     • 110 Committee and Board Members

     • 13,248 posts/messages on RGD's Slack Community (7,741 increase) 



     • 40 RGD Word e-newsletters sent to 22,500 subscribers

     • 44,380 followers on social media (6,400 increase)

     • 24 Featured Members

     • 218 jobs on the RGD Job Board (115 increase)


Professional Development

     • 49 webinars with 8,000 attendees

     • 1,990 attendees at virtual conferences

     • $3,000 in scholarship Scholarships



     • 45 In-House Design Award Winners

     • 1 Ultrabold Winner with 6 Finalists

     • 2 Design Educator Award-winners and 9 Honourable Mentions

     • 21 Student Award-winners (from 850 entries) with $15,000 in cash prizes

     • 4 Trailblazer Award-winners and 2 Honourable Mentions with $5,000 in cash prizes

     • 12 Awards to Graduates from RGD's Partner Programs



     • 1 Virtual Designathon (our first ever) with 30 students/grads designing

       for 9 non-profits with 11 mentors

     • 130 emerging designers paired with Mentors

     • 150 virtual and in-person portfolio reviews


RGD's 2021 Achievements

Perhaps more importantly, RGD continued to advocate on behalf of the profession and raise the profile of graphic design across Canada. In 2021, the RGD:

     • Enhanced RGD virtual events, including DesignThinkersCreative Directions and the In-House Design Conference

     • Launched a new Accessible Design Webinar Series

     • Re-conceived our Designathon for the virtual world

     • Added Virtual Communities for BIPOC Members, UX Managers & Senior Designers, Signage and Wayfinding Designers and Type Designers

     • Launched the RGD Emerging Designer Network on Discord to connect Student, Provisional and Junior Affiliate Members to make connections, share resources and provide support

     • Re-instated RGD's Provisional Committee to give Members opportunities to connect with peers, develop relevant resources and advise the RGD on the needs and concerns of this vital demographic

     • Created three new Online Test Sections and a new Application for Design Educators for RGD's Certification Process

     • Provided a new Certification Sticker for RGD Emeritus Members

     • Launched Dues Relief for Members experiencing financial difficulties

     • Added fields to the RGD Directory for pronouns and demographics

     • Launched our Trailblazer Awards to recognize and support students from underrepresented and marginalized communities

     • Simplified the nomination process for our Design Educator Awards, increasing our nominations by 150%

     • Released guidelines for academic-based client projects

     • Developed speaker guidelines to ensure presentations are diverse, accessible and reflective of our community

     • Created a video presentation outlining RGD for students and educators

     • Participated in the AIGA 'Back to Business: Creative Leaders at the Forefront' Panel

     • Launched #OpenDialogue on Instagram to start conversations about important issues that matter to design professionals

     • Launched #HeyRGD on Instagram to help students promote their work and connect with industry professionals, receiving over 400 entries

     • Partnered with General Assembly, Shopify, OCADU, Accessibility Services and VFS to offer scholarships and discounts for Members' continuing education

     • Received design/branding support from Bruce Mau Design (DesignThinkers), Canada Life (In-House Design Conference), Herschel Supply (In-House Design Awards), Rod Nash RGD (RGD Emeritus Sticker), Studio Millie (Creative Directions), Mel Sutjiadi RGD (Certification Sticker) & Wedge (Student Awards)

RGD's 2022: What's Next

Stay tuned for more information on the exciting new initiatives and returning programs coming up in 2022.


Initiatives Planned

     • Launch a new Creative Earners Survey, in partnership with Deloitte

     • Develop a new RGD website, in partnership with Context Creative

     • Develop a new DesignThinkers website, in partnership with Nurun

     • Release new Certification Guidelines for Design Practitioners/Managers and Design Educators

     • Launch a new Group Mentorship Program for experienced Members

     • Present a new Accessible Design Webinar Series, starting in January


Events (add RGD events to your calendar)

     • Creative Directions Conference, Feb 14–18

     • In-House Design Conference, April 25–29

     • DesignThinkers Vancouver Conference, May 31-June 1

     • Design Educators Conference (with Emily Carr U), June 2

     • DesignThinkers Toronto Conference, October 27-28 (tbc)


     • So(cial) Good Design Awards (with exhibit of winners at Vancouver's Central Library)

     • Student Awards

     • Trailblazer Awards

     • UltraBold Awards

     • Design Educator Awards