RGD Mentorship - Internship Edition

Complete a project with creative direction from one of our 30 Mentors.


Deadline to apply: March 12, 2021


This program is open to Student RGDs, Provisional RGDs and Junior Affiliates.


Fill out an application here. On the form, you will be asked to select your top 3 choices from the list of mentors below. Matches will be based on a review of applications by our Mentors after the deadline.


If you have any questions, email .


Program Structure


Mentors and Mentees will hold six 45-60 minute virtual sessions over a 3-6 month period, based on the following schedule:

RGD Mentorship as Internship (6 meetings, each about 2-3 week apart)
Throughout the process, the mentee is encouraged to reach out via email for clarifications on client/firm expectations.

1. Introductions
• Mentor/Mentee meets for introductions; Opportunity for Mentor to get a sense of the type of project best for their Mentee

2. Initial Project Briefing (30-60 minutes for briefing and Q&A)
• Mentor to supply a brief based on a real, existing project, current or from the past; give background on the project
• Mentee to come up with concept, ideas, sketches for next meeting

3. Concept Review (30-45 minutes)
• Mentee presents concept, ideas, sketches
• Mentor provides feedback and outlines expectations and next steps

4. Refinement Review (45-60 minutes)
• Mentee refines concept and starts preparing creative
• Mentor provides feedback and outlines expectations and next steps

5. Final Concept Review (30-45 minutes)
• Mentee to present final, refined concept
• Mentor provides feedback and outlines expectations and next steps
• With 2-3 week deadline, Mentee prepares final artwork and emails to Mentor for review

6. Post-mortem meeting
• Mentor gives feedback on artwork quality and suggests how to improve or further refine artwork (30 minutes)
• Mentor gives feedback on overall performance throughout the whole project, a “performance review” (30 minutes)




Miki Arai, Design Lead at Omnia AI (Deloitte's Artificial Intelligence practice) in Toronto

Miki leads a team of designers that focuses on strategic communication design and UX/UI design, and brings a human-centred design thinking lens to solve complex challenges at the intersection of business and technology at Omnia AI. With extensive experience in design agencies, Miki has successfully led impactful design projects ranging from communication collateral, brand identity, website and digital application interface design, publications and reports for cultural, institutional and corporate clients. Having lived, studied and worked on three continents, Miki brings a global perspective to the design process and delivers simple and thoughtful solutions with a business lens. Her extensive experience has been recognized by numerous national and international design awards.
Possible Projects:
Option 1: Diversity gap report
The majority of workplaces still need to close a great gap in diversity and become more inclusive. The objective of this project is to produce a report that accelerates the change and progress.
Option 2: Reconnecting with culture
Keeping connected to one’s cultural heritage may become harder for children of immigrants to Canada as they naturally assimilate into “western” Canadian culture. Imagine an app that reconnects and inspires younger future-generation Canadians with their cultural heritage(s).


Gurjot (Joti) Bhuller, Design Director at TRUEdotDESIGN in Ottawa
An award-winning creative, Joti has 15+ years of experience designing everything from digital, print, packaging, environmental to brand development. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to work with national and international brands such as the YMCA, Dairy Queen, Campbell’s, EQ3 and more. Currently leading the design team at TRUEdotDESIGN, Joti’s day-to-day includes providing creative direction, strategic-thinking and advocating for exceptional design and UX.

Possible Project: 360 rebrand. Breathe new life into an existing brand with a new name, logo, stationary, vehicles, office interior and more! You’ll be expected to think strategically when brainstorming the new name for the brand. Use your creativity to conceptualize bold designs that captivate the client and engage their audience.


Marlo Biasutti RGD, Founder & Creative Director, M81 Creative in Toronto
Marlo founded M81 nearly a decade ago. It has evolved from a simple freelance “logo design” service into a boutique studio that specializes in brand strategy, custom brand identities & Squarespace website customization. The type of clients M81 partners with tend to be in professional services – such as Law Firms, Financial Services, Interior Design, Photography, Real Estate and Education. With a background in teaching, Marlo enjoys mentoring the next generation of design talent and celebrating the work that is the future of our industry.
Possible Project: Brand or rebrand a company of choice that will be based on a foundation of research and strategy. Looking at the competitive landscape, target market, opportunities to stand-out and elevate beyond the traditional approach in that sector. Deliverables will a full brand identity, with branded stationery and a website landing page mock-up.


Miriam Blier, Senior Designer at IPG Mediabrands in Toronto

If you ask Miriam, almost everything in design and life is about striking a perfect (or perfectly imperfect) balance. As a Senior Designer, Miriam brings over 15 years of design experience to her role at Mediabrands. Having launched her career in Montreal’s vibrant fashion scene, she subsequently spent years honing her skills within the publishing, corporate and agency worlds. Her appreciation for well-crafted tactile projects have made her the go-to expert for all things print. She believes that at its most compelling, visual communication is great storytelling.

Possible Project Every year our network of agencies runs a large-scale event that brings together hundreds of our customers and well-known advertising industry sponsors. Our design team is responsible for the design of the event in all facets: logo, invitation, website, event space décor (physical or virtual) and even the presentations themselves. You would design a brand from scratch within the constraints of the brief, including the challenging task of representing upwards of 7 brands with different visual styles/colour palettes–––as well as providing a handful of mock-ups/designs of several event elements (invitation, presentation slides, decor ideas).


Sabrina Chan, Product Designer at Ubersuggest, based in Vancouver

Sabrina is a multi-disciplinary designer specializing in UX and communication design. She has expertise in UX/UI design, interaction/web design, art direction, branding, design thinking, user research and web development. Apart from her passion for design, she spends a lot of her time (and money) on food, discovering the best new local restaurants and dessert places.

Possible Project

Problem: Covid-19 is continuously on the rise, causing many local businesses to lose customers or shut down. Even with the vaccine coming our way, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on many of these businesses.

The Ask: How might we help these struggling businesses recover? Provide a design solution for this problem. This project can be designed in these formats (but not limited to them): UX/UI Design; Web Design; Campaign; Print Design; Art Direction/Branding


Grace Cho, Associate Creative Director at Rethink in Vancouver
Grace is an associate creative director at Rethink. She specializes in art direction, design, and illustration and has worked on advertising campaigns and design projects for clients like McDonald's, Sephora, Vancouver Art Gallery, Tourism Yukon, Destination Canada, Kabam, and Curling Canada. As an illustrator she has created art for Reader’s Digest, Rethink Breast Cancer’s H&M collection, Phenomenal x Netflix, and others. Her work has earned nods from The Clios, Marketing Awards, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, ADCC, Webby Awards, CMA Awards, and others.
Possible Projects:
- Art direction for advertising. The student will develop and execute (to the furthest extent possible) a sticky, concept-based ad campaign for a cause or brand of the student's choosing. 
- Concept to completion of design or branding project. Project will have a strong conceptual backbone. Possibilities include: full brand identity, packaging design, annual report, or book design. 
Note: Grace would love to have a BIPOC mentee.

Branden Douglas RGD, Creative Director at Relish in Winnipeg

Branden brings a contemporary, intuitive and creative approach to Relish. With an ad agency background, he is continuously pushing the envelope with ideas that are commanding and on-strategy. Branden has over 20 years experience and his expertise on strategy, brand development, advertising and design is continually sought after by clients from every industry. 

Possible Project: An in-depth brand development project. We do a lot of integrated work in our shop, so a typical branding exercise would involve everything from the broader identity to specific touchpoints in both digital and traditional media (identity, print, display, motion, web, social, etc). We also work with a wide range of industries and professions so if there was a specific area of business you wished to focus on, we could easily adapt to that preference.


Andrew Elliott RGD, Senior Graphic Designer and Typographer in Toronto
Andrew has been working in the communications field since the Macintosh was in its infancy, but his passion for design and typography began from the moment he began to hold a crayon. The depth of his work covers a range of specialties including band development, internal and external facing corporate communications, investor communications and reporting, marketing and promotion, information design, packaging and custom hand lettering and typography. 
Possible Projects:
- Develop and implement a brand that celebrates an existing major worldwide (preferably Canadian) corporation's 25th, 100th or 200th anniversary.
- Develop and implement a major overhaul and rebranding of an existing major worldwide (preferably Canadian) corporation.


Blair Francey, Senior Designer at Trajectory in Toronto
Blair joined the Trajectory team in 2017 after 10 years of successfully running his own business. His work includes branding, web design, marketing strategy and print design for a variety of organizations from small non-profit to large-scale educational institutions. Blair has a Masters of Arts (Design: Critical Practice). His thesis project, Public Transit: Remixed, is a look at designing a holistic transit system from an experiential, as opposed to infrastructure, standpoint. 
Possible Project: Design a brand identity for either a region, city, neighbourhood or a cultural institution. Components of the brand may include items such as a visitor’s guide, website mockup, environmental design and promotional materials.


Jesse Gibb RGD, Owner and Creative Director at Gibb Design in London

A couple of decades deep into his design career, and after stints as Art Director and Design Director at big and small firms, Jesse is back where he’s happiest - flying his own flag and working directly with great clients on interesting projects.
Possible Projects:
Packaging - Develop a showcase display for a handheld medical device. The package would need to hold both a sample of the device as well as info cards, and be designed to fit within specific sized space.
Brand Identity Design - Develop an identity system for an organization focused on providing resources and information about ecologically sound improvements home owners can make to their dwellings to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.
Web - Develop a 5-8 page brochure website using a specified CMS platform. Most graphic and photo assets and site architecture would be provided, but all other design decisions would be on the table.

Ian Greener, Senior Designer at Davis in Mississauga

A skilled and patient designer with more than 23 years of experience, Ian considers the conceptual phase of a project the most stimulating one. In addition to working with clients like Mondelez, Pfizer and Canadian Tire, Ian imparts his knowledge by teaching design courses at Conestoga College.

Possible Project: A real-life project that includes development of a brand identity, a package design (face panel) and a social media campaign. This is a fairly large project and tasks will be decided with student input at first meeting.


Ben Hagon RGD, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Intent in Toronto

Ben is an award-winning design specialist with 19+ years’ experience as a graphic designer, creative director and entrepreneur. Ben is renowned for his passionate commitment to his clients, his ability to listen to them, understand their challenges and turn those insights into award-winning design work that always meets client objectives. Intent works exclusively with nonprofit organizations.

Possible Project: Fundraising event branding. Redesign the brand identity for the main fundraising event of a Toronto-area charity focused on assisting those living with HIV/AIDS.


Carolyn Harman RGD, Creative Principal at Carolyn Harman Design and Graphic Designer with the City of Ottawa

With over 20 years’ experience, Carolyn's career has taken her from working at a top Ottawa-based agency – to working in-house – to owning a boutique studio herself.  She is driven by the power of design thinking, holistic strategy and clever creative. She uses a unique lens for her clients which range from charitable organizations like the Gilbert Centre and the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum to large corporations like Chrysler and General Dynamics Missions Systems; from start-ups like Arc Healthcare Solutions to our Canadian Forces; and, from the City of Ottawa to various branches of the federal government.

Possible Projects:  

- Branding package with multi-faceted marketing collateral. Possibilities include: rebranding company logo, design: a product sell sheet, pop-up banner, website mock-up, explainer video, sample swag options, and PPTX template – a complete multifaceted brand / identity package focused on a building a cohesive image and respecting brand integrity

- Complete city bus wrap with a print and digital advertising campaign using measurable goals of increasing ridership


Teodor Herman RGD, Designer, Project Coordinator at Entro in Toronto
At Entro, Teo’s primary focus is on research and visual communication strategies for wayfinding and signage projects, including Artscape Launchpad, Eglinton Cross Town with Metrolinx and OC Transpo. Beginning his career as an automotive technician, Teo changed directions and studied design at OCAD U and as an exchange student at Berlin’s Universität der Kunste in Germany. He completed a Master of Digital Media at Ryerson in 2019. For his Major Research Project, working with The Toronto Zoo, he programmed an Augmented Reality AR application that resulted in an increase of +90%NPS in visitor engagement. 
Possible Projects:
- Digital Product Design (Augmented Reality in Unity/Web)
- Signage and Wayfinding
- Web App Development in Django, Wordpress or UI/UX
- Arduino, Robotics and Creative Coding


Jowenne Herrera RGD, Senior Consultant, Government of Ontario, & Senior Designer, ABAKADA design + communication in Toronto

For over 20 years, Jowenne has been delivering creative design solutions to small and large organizations that meet client objectives, while achieving high design standards. His design work spans private, public and non-profit sectors with specialties in strategic branding, corporate visual identity, editorial design and illustration. In government, he uses compelling visual narratives to inform policy decision-making. Jowenne also runs a firm specializing in design and communication services with clients that include the Toronto Police Service, City of Toronto, CivicAction and Pro Bono Ontario.


James Kuo RGD, Design Director at Design Platform in Toronto

James is a multi-disciplinary art director, senior designer and design entrepreneur whose work encompasses print and digital media. James was a senior designer of Graphic Design and Digital Media at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a contract senior designer at the Royal Ontario Museum. For decades, he has designed collateral for design studios across North America. Additionally, James is an adjunct professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, focusing on design and branding; design business, management and decisions; design production; design technology; environmental graphic design; graphic design; interaction aesthetics; logic in typography.
Possible Project: Print and digital remix media and designing value; mentees can expect to learn about the comprehensive design production process from start to finish and breakdown existing print and digital media cross-platform projects.

Denis Leclerc RGD, Creative Director and Principal at Costa Leclerc Design in Toronto
Denis has more than 25 years of experience and is comfortable managing projects in both English and French. He has worked in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto before starting his own business in 1989 that would become Costa Leclerc Design. His experience in marketing and his artistic approach guide CLD’s strategy as well as the development of interactive initiatives, visual identities and integrated brand campaigns in either official language. As a visual artist, Denis has presented more than 60 exhibitions and numerous installations.
Possible Project: A new virtual university is ready to be launched! You will develop and implement a visual platform to promote the new Campus and its virtual space and engage future students to register. This mentorship can be conducted in French or English. You will learn how to master Adobe Suite to create cohesive visual assets (print, social media and animation).

Diego Lopez RGD, Creative Director at Compass Creative in Toronto
With experience in research, brand strategy, copywriting and marketing, Diego has spent the last decade helping brands of all sizes (from Porter Airlines, Manulife, Costco to beloved local brands) find clarity and express authentically, so they can better connect with their audience.
Possible Project: Design a complete brand identity system, including a list of assets. The process will begin with research and culminate with a list of brand assets and brand manual.


Lawrence Ly RGD, Multidisciplinary Designer at designerly.ca in Toronto

Lawrence is a multi-disciplinary designer and budding researcher with a decade of experience designing for government, non-profit and research organizations. Having recently graduated from OCAD with a MDes in Design for Health, he’s focused on reframing social and healthcare challenges through the lens of design and combining visual communication with a systems approach to shape the future for a better world. He currently works at CanAge, a national seniors advocacy organization, where he’s involved in shaping policy and outreach initiatives that advance towards an age-inclusive Canada. Nothing gets his heart pumping faster than a well-executed wayfinding system or vintage signs decked out in neon lights.

Possible Projects:

- Enhance the existing brand through development of new assets to support membership and partnership growth. You’ll work closely with team members to identify collateral needs and provide brand direction for current and future business needs. Deliverables would include a comprehensive brand guide, toolkit for stakeholders and media kit for media partners.
- Develop a public education campaign based on VOICES, our roadmap towards an age-inclusive Canada. You’ll be creating collateral to explain issues to the general public (e.g. infographics, social media, motion graphics) and incorporating calls-to-action to increase brand engagement with advocacy-focused messages. This is your chance to develop an end-to-end user conversion journey - and help influence change for seniors across Canada.


Kiel Perchinig, Creative Director of Epigram in Toronto

With over 10 years in the advertising and design industry, Kiel has helped build some of Canada’s most iconic brands. At Epigram, Kiel leads a talented team of designers, copywriters, photographers and developers, enjoys tackling tough problems and shaping impactful design solutions. Having developed nation-wide campaigns for clients like Rogers, Live Nation, Jack Daniel’s and Sears, Kiel helps brands reach-out to new and core customers with striking messages and beautiful content.

Possible Project: Various aspects of the branding process; creating icons, doing image research and editing, designing layouts for ads, websites and stationary, as well as creating a brand concept from scratch


Carl Poirier RGD, Founder, President & Creative Director at Cayenne Creative

Carl has played a leadership role in the graphic design field since the mid-1990s. He specializes in strategic communications which include brand development, traditional print communication & collateral tools, marketing & advertising campaign development, UX & UI design, environmental design and social media strategies. Bilingual in both official languages, at Cayenne Creative, Carl directs all creative & strategic services as the lead senior graphic designer.

Possible Project: Get the chance to take part in a BRANDING experience with Cayenne Creative. You will get to design a logo and graphic elements and compare it to our work.


Mark Roberts RGD, VP Creative Director at Davis in Mississauga

"We create unique, memorable and engaging brands for our clients. Communicating a message with clarity and emotion ... that's Dramatic Simplicity!"

Don’t let his humble and politely opinionated exterior fool you. Mark’s dry wit and sharp creative speak volumes. Always open to hear ideas from any source and never afraid to ask a question, Mark makes collaboration between client and studio flow freely. He leads with a critical eye, smart strategy and “dramatically simple” cutting-edge branding for our clients. With over 20 years experience, Mark’s current portfolio includes Bacardi, Benjamin Moore, Ford, Jack Link's, Kraft, Mondelez, Unilever and Vincor.

Possible Project: A real-life project that includes development of a brand identity, a package design (face panel) and a social media campaign. This is a fairly large project and tasks will be decided with student input at first meeting.


Elyssa Schmid RGD, Art Director at Schmid Grafikdesign in Toronto

"The discipline of solving business communication problems through design is my engine!" For the past two decades, Elyssa has worked with multi-nationals and non-profits in Canada and Europe, and cites her favorite projects as the large-scale campaigns she's designed that carry lasting cultural and social impact. She earned her Master of Arts at the infamous London University of the Arts in 2000. Since then, her work has encompassed brand identities, digital campaigns, editorial, packaging, and experiential design for such clients as The Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Vancouver Olympics & Resort of Whistler, Capital One, TED Conferences, and recent branding projects for musicians and a documentary film. Elyssa also teaches Advertising Art Direction at the School of Design, George Brown College.
Possible Project: Design an integrated campaign to promote the release of a documentary film about a visual or performing artist. The campaign must include digital, social, and out-of-home touchpoints in order to bring 360-degree attention to the film's wide release next year.



Carolyn Shaw, President and Chief Creative Officer of Humanity in Toronto
Carolyn has spent two decades balancing creativity and strategic thinking, and using good design as the cornerstone to good business. She also believes that ideas can change the world and build a better future when done right. Currently, Carolyn is the President and Chief Creative Officer at Humanity, overseeing every piece of creative coming in and out of the agency’s doors, as well as leading and mentoring a department of Art Directors, Copywriters, Designers and Production.

Possible Project: Creating a brand for the owner of a network of agencies. He is an industry thought leader who published books, travels the world doing speaking engagements, has a blog, and podcast. Deliverables would include full brand system (logo, colour palette, etc.) and actual executions (business card, website, etc.).


Ronald Tau RGD, Founder of Meat Studio in Toronto

Ronald (@rontau) is a Chinese Canadian art director and graphic designer specializing in visual identity design. Born in Hong Kong, raised in Toronto, relocated to Beijing, Ronald creates in multicultural creative contexts, crossing cultural borders through creativity and design. His work has been covered and/or awarded in a variety of awards and media, ranging from the Tokyo Type Director’s Club It’s Nice That and Asia-Pacific Design. 

Possible Project: Meat Studio specializes in visual identity design for brands ranging from culture to fashion, hospitality to education. An internship at Meat Studio will be required to work remotely, engage in rigorous visual research, to drafting sketches for concept explorations. Interns may also be required to execute and revise approved designs of the design team. Possible project: research, sketching and design followup for an identity design project for an architecture studio and/or an international A-levels art school and/or a Thai restaurant chain.


Andrew Terwissen RGD, Creative Director at Epigram in Toronto

Andrew is a multi-disciplinary designer with experience working with clients such as Rogers and Auto Trader. He was a Co-Creative Director on the  rebranding of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall, successfully creating a lasting and functional brand for the venerable organization. He’s also a photographer and has experience in motion graphics and videography. Epigram specializes in tech and music branding.

Possible Project: Various aspects of the branding process; creating icons, doing image research and editing, designing layouts for ads, websites and stationary, as well as creating a brand concept from scratch.


Kevin Umana, Senior Designer at Quake Creative & Design in Toronto

Over the years Kevin has had the opportunity of working alongside some of the industry’s top creatives, by teaming with shops like JP/TBWA and DDB Chicago. He’s gained experience in working on a variety of different brands from all categories, such as McDonald’s, Blue Moon, Miller Lite & Miller High Life, Jeep, Coors Light and more. One of Kevin’s most notable pieces is a logo design he did for one of the world’s largest international franchises; McDonald’s McDelivery.

Possible Project: Design a brand identity for a product or service of your choosing, and build out a case study (print, digital, merch, social, etc.)


Carmen Wagner, Manager, Graphic Design at The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto

Carmen is an art director, graphic designer, illustrator and musician. Over the last 15 years, she has delivered out-of-the-box concepts, dynamic visuals and innovative strategies for print, web and social, working with brands such as The National Ballet of Canada, Holt Renfrew and Warner Music Canada. She also maintains a freelance client roster, art shop and personal art practice. Fascinated by ideas and images, Carmen is a natural storyteller who approaches creative briefs with wit, sensitivity and colour.
Possible Project: Give our fundraising proposal templates a fresh new look. Working in InDesign, you will propose and envision a new way of presenting images and type based on our previous layouts while adhering to our brand standards.


Katie Wilhelm RGD, Graphic Designer & Marketing Consultant KatieWilhelm.ca in London
Katie is an independent graphic designer and marketing consultant. Prior to founding her own design practice, Katie spent more than 10 years specializing in corporate communications, specifically in the area of local economic development. Katie is a leader in her local arts and culture community and has produced several permanent large-scale art installations. Katie is a proud band member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation of Neyaashiinigmiing.
Possible Project: We will create a suite of print and digital design templates for an Indigenous-focused charity. You will help to design marketing materials and brand standards. The project will focus on accessibility, encourage creativity and will produce a real-world portfolio piece.


Ben Wu RGD, Founder and Creative Director at Team X Studio Inc. in Toronto

Ben is an experienced multimedia artist with over 10 years of experience, driven by technology and art. His skills include projection mapping, holograms, interactive solutions, kinetic displays, and he is able to apply innovative concepts to final solutions to improve user experience for clients.

Possible Project: This is a multi-media display solution, we will project the visual (animation) on a 3D city map (acrylic white model) by a single projector. The content will be the geographical information of Montreal central area.