Stream for Emerging Professionals

Design professionals presented insights for making choices to carve a purposeful career path in the design industry.


*All these presentations were recorded and are available for RGD Members in the Members-only section of the site.

Creating Clarity for Impactful Designs

Presented by Henry Chu, Senior Designer at Microsoft and Digital Design Instructor at VFS in Vancouver, BC

Henry will discuss how, as more companies recognize the value of design, our job to create clarity within our designs has never been greater. Join Henry to find out how shifting your mindset from presenting to understanding can help make your design presentations more engaging for stakeholders.


  • Design framing techniques
  • Insights to become a better storyteller
  • Shift your mindset from presenting to understanding

Panel: Agency, Studio, Freelance or In-House?

Ah, the big one: what environment do you want to work in? This panel will delve into the opportunities and challenges that arise with different workplaces.

Moderator: Ashley Tomlinson Prov. RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer


Presentations + Discussion: Designer Pain Points

Join this panel to hear tips for dealing with anxiety around presenting your work, pricing (and undervaluing) yourself and dealing with clients.

  • 5 Tips for Dealing with Clients
    Presented by Cai Sepulis RGD, Partner at Toque Ltd & Freelance Illustrator in Guelph, ON
  • Talk TBC
    Presented by David Nuff RGD, Designer & Principal at Nuff in Toronto, ON
  • Dare to Freelance: Tips to Becoming A More Confident Designpreneur
    Presented by Fungi Dube, Creative Entrepreneur & Creative Director at Asambe Mobility in Harare, Zimbabwe
    Thinking of breaking out and heading a solo creative career? This talk aims to empower and equip transitioning designers with the necessary creative toolkit that will help them to pivot towards becoming successful and independent designpreneurs. This talk will address the importance of and how to effectively navigate:
    • Stepping into a recognizable and distinct style
    • Positioning yourself to attract your ideal client
    • Developing foolproof systems that facilitate quality client acquisition, easing client onboarding and having successful design outcomes
    • Pricing strategies to maximize value retention
    • Cancelling out fear and/or doubts
    • Flourishing as an independent designpreneur

Show Me the Money

Presented by Julian Brown RGD, Owner & Creative Direction at ON THE CHASE! Motion Design in Toronto, ON

In this session, Julian will talk money with Dan Mall, Founder and CEO of SuperFriendly, and author of Pricing Design. They’ll chat about why hourly rates don’t work, and what clients are really willing to pay for. Watch Julian try to get on super-friendly terms with Dan, so he’ll dish on all things money: his worst mistakes, his most awkward conversations and his best, most practical advice.


Presentations & Discussion  95... and Passion Projects

Where do you find the time and energy to do more of what you love? Join our presenters to hear how they incorporate side projects while also working full-time.

  • The Early Bird Business Plan
    Presented by Sami Christianson, Co-founder & Design Director at Best Studio in Vancouver, BC
    Join Sami as she explains how to turn your side hustle into your main squeeze before sunrise.
  • Working While Not Working – The Unpaid 5–9
    Kevin Moran RGD
    , Creative Team Lead at Kira Systems in Toronto, ON
    Personal side projects are a great way to challenge yourself, add work to your portfolio and ultimately get paid for what you love to do. Kevin will walk you through his journey and explain why the work you do between the hours of 5PM to 9PM can open the door to new opportunities and fuel your creative career.
  • Working 5 to 9
    Presented by Lin Oosterhoff Prov. RGD, Art Director at Critical Mass in Calgary, AB
    In this short talk, Lin will chat about what passion projects mean to her and how she balances full her-time job as an Art Director with personal and freelance design work. Showcasing a selection of recent projects, Lin will share her biggest learnings on how to work smarter, manage your time and make the most of the passion projects that fulfill us as designers.
  • Casting Your Creative Net
    Presented by Paul Twa Prov. RGD, Graphic Designer at Sticks & Stones in Edmonton, AB
    How do you get more work doing what you love while developing the skills that interest you? When you share personal projects, is anyone really looking? Passion projects can sometimes feel like casting a net into the abyss with no promise of what you’ll catch. Paul will share how, over time, these self-directed projects have led him to opportunities in line with his interests and fueled his creativity at work and beyond.

Panel: Staying Current from Home & How to Feel Less Disconnected

How are you doing while working from home? Panelists share ways to handle Zoom fatigue, feel connected with your team (and yourself) and more.

Moderator: Ceri Higgs Prov. RGD, Graphic Designer at in Kitchener, ON



Join Verònica Fuerte, Founder & Creative Directress of Hey Studio in Barcelona, Spain, as she ​talks to emerging designers with a few years work experience under their belt and where to go from here.


Launch Your Own Design Empire

Presented by Stüssy Tschudin RGD, Founding Principal & Creative Director at Forge Media + Design in Toronto

Have you always dreamed of being your own boss? Join Stüssy as he offers important lessons for starting and succeeding as a business owner. He’ll cover everything from the initial planning and establishing partnerships to securing clients and managing the financial side of the business.


*Pre-registration is required. Limited spots. First come, first get.