Creative Directions Conference

Date: March 4, 2017 (Studio Tours & Workshops on March 3)

Location: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

Registration: Register here.

 

Informative presentations. Lively panel discussions. Networking opportunities with over 100 industry professionals. Creative Directions 2017 is your chance to gain the tools and knowledge that will take your career to the next stage. Come learn how to package, polish, promote and profit from your talent. Connect and collaborate with other industry pros. Learn new skills that will help you build a long and successful career in the creative field. Check out a video of highlights from last year produced by one of RGD's Sponsors.

 

 

Credits:  Design: russellgibbsdesign.com |  Photo: christhomaidis.com |  Copy: spellingbee.ca

 

  • Other RGD Members
*

    Full Day: $75 (after Jan 27: $110)
    Morning (10:00am - 12:25pm), Mid-Day (1:15pm - 3:40pm) OR Afternoon Only (4:00pm - 6:20pm): $30 (after Jan 27: $50)
    Morning (10:00am - 12:25pm) & Mid-Day (1:15pm - 3:40pm); Mid-Day (1:15pm - 3:40pm) & Afternoon  (4:00pm - 6:20pm) OR Morning (10:00am - 12:25pm) & Afternoon (4:00pm - 6:20pm): $60 (after Jan 27: $100)

    * Including Student RGDs, Prov. RGDs & Affiliate Members

     

    - Certified RGDs attend FREE (Email for details)

     

    Non-Members
    Full Day: $120 (after Jan 27: $160)
    Morning, Mid-Day OR Afternoon ONLY: $50 (after Jan 27: $75)
    Morning & Mid-Day; Mid-Day & Afternoon OR Morning & Afternoon: $100 (after Jan 27: $150)
     

  • Air Canada

    Air Canada is offering instant online registration and a 10% discount on eligible fares for travel to and from Creative Directions 2017.

     

    The travel period begins Friday, February 24, 2017 and ends on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

    To book a flight, visit aircanada.com and enter promo code R8C6N3G1 in the search panel.

     

    Wi-Fi and comfortable, leather seating is available.

     

     

    VIA Rail

    Creative Directions 2017 delegates can save 10% traveling to the conference with VIA Rail Canada.

     

    This discount applies for bookings between February 28th, 2017 and March 6th, 2017 to all destinations, and all fare categories, with the exception of the Escape fare and the Prestige Fare on the Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver train).

     

    Book by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL using the corporate rate code 13431 or click here or ici to get full details and have the discount automatically applied to your purchase.

  • Strathcona Hotel
    60 York Street, Toronto

     

    Special rates available until Feb. 3, 2017.

    • Standard Room: $159 CAD + 13% HST and 3% fee.
    • Executive Room: $179 CAD + 13% HST and 3% fee.

     

    Click here to book online or call
    1-800-268-8304 or 416-363-3321
     
    Please provide the Group Name:
    RGD's Creative Directions Conference

     

    Guests may also send an email request at 

     

  • Morning Session A: 10:00 AM- 11:05 AM

    Attendees can pick one of the following four choices during registration:

     

    A) PRESENTATION: Everyone Else Is Already Taken

    B) PANEL: The Future Designer

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Speed Mentoring

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    A) PRESENTATION: Everyone Else Is Already Taken presented by Isabel Urbina Pena

    In a country where the creative force is close to one million, how we present our work to the world and who we are as designers is as important as the work we do. The strategy for making a lasting impression should start with our own identity. Isabel Urbina Peña talks about how having a unique approach when presenting your work can make you recognizable and set you apart.

    Isabel is a letterer, graphic and type designer, originally from Venezuela, now based in Brooklyn. She has worked at Penguin Random HouseC&G Partners LLC, American Museum of Natural History and for clients like The New York Times, Harper Collins, Variety and Campari. In 2015, she was named a New Visual Artist: 15 under 30 by PRINT. Her book cover design for All Our Names was featured in The New York Times Best Book Covers of 2014.

     

    B) PANEL: The Future Designer

    What will the design field look like over the next 10 years? Will the very definition of the designer loosen up and will  designers be called upon to re-think the entire way businesses function, from how teams collaborate to how corporations are structured? Even though we can't predict the future, it's fun to try! This panel examines current trends, predicts the future of the field and identifies the skills that the future designer will need to flourish in this brave new world.

    Moderator:

    Panelists:

    • Natalie Armata RGD, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Giants and Gentlemen
    • Christopher Moorehead RGD, Director, Information Design at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
    • Laura Sellors RGD, Director, Business Development at Entro
    • Marko Zonta RGD, Principal and Creative Director at Zync

     

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Speed Mentoring

    Get together and make connections. In a series of 15-minute sessions, delegates gather for mentoring advice from 4 of 8 RGDs. A selection of questions will be your starting point for discussions, covering a range of topics from portfolio presentations to pricing creative work.

    Mentors: 

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by firm owners, creative directors and senior design professionals from top studios and agencies. Get feedback on your work and get advice how to make your portfolio and your presentation of it the best it can be. Select Reviewers with expertise in your areas of interest from editorial to advertising, interactive to motion, wayfinding to illustration. You may register for up to three review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Morning Session B: 11:20 AM- 12:25 PM

    Attendees can pick one of the following four choices during registration

     

    A) PRESENTATIONS: Think Like A Client & Sell Your Ideas to Clients

    B) PANEL: Presenting Your Ideal Portfolio

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Process Workshops of In-House Success

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

     

    A) PRESENTATIONS: Think Like A Client & You’re Not Being Paid to Think. But You Should Be.

    Two half-hour presentations:

    Think Like A Client presented by Rhonda Page

    Understand more about how client's think and leverage that understanding to become a strategic partner rather than a supplier. Rhonda Page explains how to develop deeper, more meaningful, more loyal, longer lasting relationships with your clients.

    Rhonda is a speaker, author, consultant and business coach. She began as a designer then evolved into a brand strategist and business developer, bringing hundreds of thousands in new business to the design firms she has worked with. She’s worked on the biggest global brands — for companies like Kraft and Coca-Cola and been mentored by the top designers and branders in the world including the renowned April Greiman.

     

    You’re not being paid to think. But you should be. Presented by Doug Dolan

    Design problems usually begin life as communications or even basic business problems: how do organizations hope to get people to feel or act, and what unique value do they offer in return? Helping them work those problems out starts with thinking. But not all clients or employers understand that. Or they may not believe you can deliver. Or they see your ideas as a welcome bonus they don’t have to pay for. So getting them to think differently about all of this can be a problem. A designer problem. Doug Dolan offers ways to solve it.

    Doug is a communications strategist and writer who partners with designers, developers, video producers and other creative types on everything from brand and marketing programs to corporate reports and fundraising campaigns. He’s worked with corporate, public-sector and not-for-profit organizations in all corners of the client universe, including financial services, technology, education, research, healthcare, loyalty marketing, luxury goods, travel, mining, architecture, real estate, law, media and innovation strategy. Along the way, various awards have been won and everyone has felt pretty good about the results. 

     

    B) PANEL: Presenting Your Ideal Portfolio

    Whether physical or online, your portfolio is your career calling card. Panelists offer frank advice about developing and presenting your portfolio.

    Panelists:

     

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Process Workshops of In-House Success

    Join an intimate group as an in-house creative director talks through the keys to in-house success from intake to briefs from efficiency hacks to project management. Ask questions along the way and discuss what it takes to create great creative internally. Each will be 30 minutes and participants will have the opportunity to select two designers/projects from 8 options.
    Presenters:
    • Tom Browne RGD, Art Director at Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
    • Nicola Hamilton RGD, Deputy Art Director at ChatelaineNicola presents the process of creating Chatelaine's #ThisIs40ish project—an annual, multi-platform editorial package. Along the way, she discusses the magic of collaboration and the agility of an in-house team.
    • Gigi Lau RGD, Art Director at Harlequin Enterprises
    • Library System Marketing Brand, presented by Tina Mackenzie RGD, Manager/Creative Services at The City of Mississauga. Tina presents the process of developing and designing a new marketing look for the Mississauga Library System while in keeping with the overall City brand. Our In-house team brings a deep internal organizational knowledge and understanding of our client goals which in turn results in more effective and efficient design solutions.
    • Ashley McCarthy RGD, Graphic Designer at IMAX Corp. Ashley presents the process of creating a new brand identity for a new IMAX venture in virtual reality. Along the way, she discusses the misconception that design agencies always produce better, more glamorous work than in-house design departments. 
    • Christopher Moorehead RGD, Director, Information Design at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by senior design professionals in your areas of interest. Get feedback on your work, ask questions about portfolio best practices and develop key contacts in the industry. You may register for up to three review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Mid-Day Session A: 1:15 PM- 2:20 PM

    Attendees can pick one of the following four choices during registration:

     

    A) PRESENTATION: Going Out On Your Own

    B) PANEL: Not A Whiny Millennial Panel

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Process Workshops of Design for Inspiration

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

     

    A) PRESENTATION: Going Out On Your Own

    Seven firm owners, from a one-person shop to owners of larger firms, share their experiences starting their own businesses and offer their best advice for your success.

    Presenters:

     

    B) PANEL: Not A Whiny Millennial Panel

    Our Millenial designer panelists discuss how they feel about these labels and what they are doing to position themselves in the industry and build their career futures.

    Panelists:

    • Antonia Goga RGD, Designer at TAXI
    • Nicola Hamilton RGD, Deputy Art Director at Chatelaine
    • Ashley McCarthy RGD, Graphic Designer at IMAX Corp.

     

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Process Workshops for Design Inspiration

    Join an intimate group for an interactive session where a creative director from a specific design discipline (wayfinding to book design, titles design to interactive) presents the design process for a favourite project. Ask questions along the way and get a true understanding of what it takes to bring an inspired piece of design to life. Participants have the opportunity to select 2 projects from 8 options.
    Presentations

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by senior design professionals in your areas of interest. Get feedback on your work, ask questions about portfolio best practices and develop key contacts in the industry. You may register for up to 3 review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Mid-Day Session B: 2:35 PM - 3:40 PM

    Attendees can pick one of  the following four choices during registration:

     

    A) PRESENTATION:The Upside of Frustration

    B) PANEL: Diversity & Inclusion In Design

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Speed Mentoring

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

     

    A) PRESENTATION: The Upside of Frustration, presented by Jillian Adel

    As humans, but especially as creative minds and visual communicators, we can all relate to the feeling of dissatisfaction and its amplified cousin, frustration. We've all experienced these feelings in our jobs, creative work, and life situations, sometimes in short and intense moments and sometimes in more subtle ways over long, extended periods of time. While this feeling is never comfortable, it can be the most powerful motivator to make changes that aren't necessarily easy, but incredibly beneficial to the work we make and our daily lives. In this talk, Jillian will share how this was the case is most of the decisions she's made in her life and career, including by not limited to the college to career transition, her move from NYC to LA, and in her journey through exotic dance, tarot, and releasing her zine, Divine, which explores the intersection of art, sex and self love.

    Jillian Adel is a freelance art director, designer and typographic illustrator based out of Los Angeles. With roots in the music and entertainment industries and branches in the pole dancing and spiritual communities, she aims to bring the emotion, story and soul out of any project. She also speaks, writes and educates on topics such as vulnerability, experimental typography and the often blurry lines at the intersection of personal and professional life.

     

    B) PANEL: Diversity & Inclusion In Design

    Race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, ability/disability, location. Our panel discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion in our industry. What does it mean? Why does it matter? How do we transform our industry to ensure its future strength and relevance?

    Panelists:

     

    C) ROUNDTABLES: Speed Mentoring

    In a series of 15-minute sessions, delegates gather for mentoring advice from 4 of 8 RGDs. A selection of questions will be your starting point for discussions, covering a range of topics from portfolio presentations to pricing creative work.

    Mentors:

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by senior design professionals in your areas of interest. Get feedback on your work, ask questions about portfolio best practices and develop key contacts in the industry. You may register for up to three review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Afternoon Session A: 4:00 PM - 5:05 PM

    Attendees can pick one of the following four choices during registration:

    (Attendees picking Design Challenge session will be signed up for both Afternoon sessions).

     

    A) PRESENTATION: Design with Guts

    B) PANEL: The Art of Selling Out

    C) DESIGN CHALLENGE

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

     

    A) PRESENTATION: Design with Guts presented by Bobby Martin Jr. & Jennifer Kinon

    Bobby Martin Jr. and Jennifer Kinon talk about how they approach design, using heart, guts and grit, and how it has driven their work and the decisions they have made to create successful designs, and help their business succeed.

    Bobby C. Martin Jr. is a designer and educator based in New York City. In 2010, he co-founded the branding and design agency, OCD, with Jennifer Kinon. Together they develop brand identity systems for a broad range of clients that include Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Basketball Association and The New York Times. Their work has won numerous awards from AIGA, the Art Directors Club, Brand New, D&AD, Print and the Type Directors Club. Jennifer Kinon is a designer and educator based in New York City.  Most recently, Kinon served as Design Director of Hillary for America, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, where she led a team of designers, strategists, content developers and filmmakers.

     

    B) PANEL: The Art of Selling Out

    Building a creative career is hard enough. So why do so many of us make things even more difficult by kowtowing to some notion of “not selling out”? Maybe some version of selling out helps you realize your next goal? Maybe it gives you more freedom to concentrate on your craft? Or, maybe it makes you a better designer? Join our panel for an honest, judgement-free conversation about money and design.

    Panelists:

    • Lionel Gadoury RGD, Principal/Creative Director at Context Creative
    • Robin Honey RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Arcane
    • Ciabh McEvenue, Creative + Managing Director and Partner at Tamm and Kit
    • Barry Quinn RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Juniper Park TBWA
    • Cai Sepulis RGD, Creative Director, Illustrator, Designer, and Owner of Ballyhoo Media

     

    C) DESIGN CHALLENGE

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by senior design professionals in your areas of interest. Get feedback on your work, ask questions about portfolio best practices and develop key contacts in the industry. You may register for up to three review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Afternoon Session B: 5:20PM - 6:20PM

    Attendees can pick one of the following four choices during registration:

    (Attendees picking Design Challenge session will be signed up for both Afternoon sessions).

     

    A) PRESENTATIONS: What Creative Directors Know

    B) PANEL: Kick in the Door: Seize the Career You Want

    C) DESIGN CHALLENGE

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

     

    A) PRESENTATIONS: What Creative Directors Know

    Seven Creative Directors each share the most important lesson they've learned in their illustrious careers.

    Presentations by:

     

    B) PANEL: Kick in the Door: Seize the Career You Want

    Nobody cares that you got top marks in your professional practices course or were voted most likely to succeed. After you receive your diploma, you enter a war where the hiring for every new job is a battle and many casualties are lost along the way. And school doesn’t give you a plan for how to survive nevermind be victorious. This panel equips you with actionable advice on how to take control of your career within the design industry. Kick in the door, come on in and have a seat.

    Panelists:

     

    C) DESIGN CHALLENGE

     

    D) REVIEWS: 3 One-on-One Portfolio Reviews

    Have your work reviewed by senior design professionals in your areas of interest. Get feedback on your work, ask questions about portfolio best practices and develop key contacts in the industry. You may register for up to three review sessions over the course of the day.

    Reviewers:

  • Creative Directions 2016 Greenmelon Inc. Scholarship Winner Report

    Sarah Dowling Student RGD shares her experiences at the 2016 Creative Directions Conference.


    I arrived at the 2016 Creative Directions Conference with the question, “where do I fit in the design industry?” My goal, therefore, was to leave with some insights to lead me on a clearer path to specializing my work. Specifically, I was hoping to obtain a better understanding of the connections found in three main areas—my design education, personal experiences and the advice and insights of industry professionals. Between the studio tours, the mentoring sessions and pecha kucha presentations, I felt that I was well on my way to achieving these goals.

     

    The Studio Tours were structured so that each studio was able to provide hands-on insights into their operations and creative processes, work focus and span. They also opened the floor to any questions, which I certainly took advantage of! As someone living and learning outside of Toronto while considering a career in the Toronto area, I found the tours very helpful in providing a better understanding of what I should expect and what I would like to look for in my future workplace.

     

    The roundtable Process Workshops were a great opportunity to get a feel for real projects in specific areas of the design industry from conception to completion and all the other factors that occur in between. The wide variety of projects allowed for a better understanding about areas of which I was less familiar, and inspired an even stronger interest in design areas I previously hoped to pursue in my future career. I gained many great resources as well networking was less intimidating in the smaller groups. I will definitely look for similar opportunities in the future; I highly recommend these!

     

    Finally, the pecha kucha-style presentations in the final session tied everything together for me. They were a great way to end the conference, by allowing me to bring together and expand on those three puzzle pieces I had entered the conference with. To summarize the main points I took from this last session:

    • Speak up. Asking for help is ok; you need to actively look for the answers to your questions to get to where you want to be.
    • Never get too comfortable because it hinders your learning. Don’t be afraid to fail.
    • Those connections you make (personal, mental, networking) will help you to develop your personal and professional self.
    • Finding your passion can be difficult, but make sure you stay active and balanced in your other personal interests because every skill is useful.
    I want to say a big thank you to both Greenmelon Inc. and RGD for making my experience at the conference so successful!
  • Creative Directions 2016 Greenmelon Inc. Scholarship Winner Report

    Sage Mosurinjohn Student RGD shares her experiences at the 2016 Creative Directions Conference.

    I was so happy to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Creative Directions conference. It was my first time participating in any RGD event and it was truly an eye-opening experience. I can honestly say I learned something new from each panel and presentation!

     

    The first day of the conference was filled with interesting studio tours. It was great to be able to walk in and see a bustling design studio at work. Everyone was so positive and welcoming; it really felt like we were part of the RGD community!

     

    The first session I attended at the conference was “How to Build the Perfect Portfolio”. The panelists went over everything from how to present your work to what employers look for in an applicant’s portfolio. One of the best pieces of advice that all panelists repeated was not to apologize for your work. As young designers it so easy to feel like your work is inadequate or that it could be better if only you had more time, but presenting your portfolio with confidence is much more important. Another takeaway was the importance of explaining the design challenges and solutions of your piece instead of just describing the work. I used this approach in the portfolio reviews later that day, and found it was so much easier to present my work with confidence this way.

     

    The portfolio reviews were also a really great (although nerve-wracking!) experience. The reviewers were positive but provided great feedback on things to change or improve in my portfolio. As a second-year student, I have not had the opportunity to show my portfolio before, and  presenting to three industry professionals provided an absolutely immeasurable boost to my presenting abilities.

     

    The “How to Survive Critique” panel was another wonderful learning experience, full of helpful tips for emerging designers. The panelists shared stories about their best and worst portfolio reviews when they were junior designers and what they learned from those experiences. They all agreed that you can’t let one bad review change your career path. An important note was to remember that you are not your work, your work is a time capsule product of you. Embrace critique and know that each piece of feedback is meant to make your work stronger!

     

    One of my favourite speakers from the conference was Vincent Galante RGD. He spoke about the importance of a work-life balance. He said, “being a designer is not what you do. It’s who you are.” By that, he meant that as a designer, you will find a way to be a designer in every aspect of your life. He also said, “tenacity is more important than talent.” He said that the best designers have failed more than the worst designers because they keep putting themselves out there, trying new things and embracing uncertainty. As Vinceent said, “sometimes great work has to start out like crap!”

     

    I want to thank Greenmelon Inc. for providing the scholarship and the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful event. It is so great that a local design studio in Ottawa supports emerging designers!