RGD's Rules of Professional Conduct

Registered Graphic Designers (RGDs) are committed to the highest professional and ethical standards when working for clients, as employees, and in service to the general public. RGD has created clear Rules that are each supported by a set of Policies, Best Practices, Situational Examples, and RGD References. All RGD members are required to abide by the Rules and Policies set out here. RGD’s By-laws outline the procedures for members, clients, employers, employees, students, and the general public to address a situation where it is felt that a member has not lived up to their ethical obligations as outlined in these Rules.



  1. I am committed to meeting the professional standards of the graphic design industry and working towards the betterment of the
    profession across Ontario, Canada, and internationally.
  2. I will engage in the practice, management, and/or instruction of graphic design in an ethical and lawful manner.
  3. I will act in the best interest of my clients and/or employers, within the limits of these Rules.
  4. I will act in the best interest of consumers and society wherever possible.
  5. I will meet financial obligations, respect lawful contracts, and be bound by provisions in all agreements.
  6. I will ensure I receive compensation for graphic design services that I provide except for pro bono work.
  7. I will respect the intellectual property rights of others.
  8. I will uphold my intellectual property rights unless I have negoti- ated a transfer of them to another party.


Download the Full Rules of Professional Conduct as a PDF including Policies, Best Practices, Situational Examples and References associated with the Rules listed above.

Design by The Office of Gilbert Li, Illustration by Sam Island


To get a better understanding of how these rules apply in the real world, and to answer your questions about ethical dilemmas you have, watch this webinar, Understanding The Basics presented by Hilary Ashworth, Julian Brown RGD and Stüssy Tschudin RGD:



If you have questions or concerns about anything outlined in RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct, please contact RGD’s Executive Director by email at .