For and By Designers: An update on the new RGD website
As we move into summer, we’re pleased to give you an update on the RGD website redesign with our design and development partner Context Creative.
Currently we are in the coding phase of the completely overhauled RGD website, with improved visuals, streamlined menus and a fully responsive design. The new website will make accessing the breadth and depth of RGD content and interacting with our community seamless.
Since our last update, the Context Creative team has logged over 800 hours in development and quality assurance and written over 20,000 lines of code.
Having collaborated with Context Creative on projects in the past, from branding to accessibility guides, it has been a pleasure to work with them again and watch this project grow from a kernel of an idea, to rough wireframes, to its current stage of development, where we begin to see hundreds of hours of creative ideation, careful planning and thorough testing come to fruition. Thank you to the Context Creative team and Lionel Gadoury RGD, their Principal and Director of Strategy and Creative Services, who also served on the RGD’s Board for eight years, five of those as President.
Our goal for the redesign is to transform rgd.ca into a workhorse website that effectively showcases the best in Canadian design and communications. With our busy content calendar — from e-newsletters, videos and articles to profiles, news and events — the RGD has a wealth of resources and inspiration to offer to the design community and it was important to bring that value to the forefront.
Besides the size and scope of our content, another design challenge lies in the diversity of our end users: firm owners, freelancers, managers, in-house designers, educators, students and even buyers and employers of designers all visit on the site, using it as an essential community hub, hiring board and resource centre. Part of the decision-making process in terms of information architecture has been making sure that every user, no matter the reason for their visit, has an intuitive and easy journey through the site.
With all this in mind as we progress towards a final product, decisions about multiple key new features have been finalized. The team at Context Creative are currently working on revamping the navigation menu and taking a fresh approach to displaying our extensive video library. They are also carrying their thoughtful approach from the front end to the back with a custom build on the Craft content management system, curating a user-friendly dashboard that makes it seamless for the RGD team to populate and update the website daily.
“The new website does such a great job conveying the value of being an RGD Member. What used to be hidden behind layers of navigation or Member logins is now on full display. Anyone visiting the site can see and appreciate the full volume of RGD programming,” offers Nicola Hamilton, RGD President
While functionality and robust performance are key, this is a website for and by designers. In our shared vision, we and the team at Context Creative were drawn to timeless and minimalist design choices that bring value to the RGD Members. Taking its cue from the understated elegance of art galleries and legacy media, the refreshed website will be a beautifully clean, curated space where the work of designers is always what stands out most.
The typeface for the new website has been selected from Montreal-based studio Pangram Pangram Foundry. Founded by designer Mathieu Desjardins in 2015, the studio gives free access to designers to play and work with their font collections, while clients and employers can purchase licenses for commercial projects.
We’re looking forward to sharing the finished website with the community and are certain it will serve as an essential resource for the Canadian graphic design industry. Once Context Creative’s work on development and quality assurance is complete, the RGD team will begin the task of updating and populating the new site with our deep and wide-ranging library of content — from videos and resources to news and events, all under one brand new roof.
Thank you for your continued support during this exciting transition. Stay tuned for updates as we work towards a 2023 Fall launch!
New RGD website teaser: