Communications Committee
Mandate: 
  • Advise on how RGD communicates in print, on our websites, in our email communications and on our social media channels
  • Propose, develop and review recommendations for Membership communications and recruitment strategies
  • Propose, develop and review strategies to raise awareness of the Association beyond the design community

 

  • Design Committee

    A sub-Committee oversees RGD's Brand & Identity Guidelines and Cohesiveness and manages the involvement of external agencies in the development of RGD communications initiatives such as DesignThinkers, the Certification Sticker and Awards Programs.

     

    Creative Earners

    RGD produces Canada’s most comprehensive survey of salaries and billing practices in the creative communications industry every two years. Creative Earners surveys a diverse range of professionals including Graphic Designers, Account Executives, Copywriters, Firm Owners, Creative Directors, Design Managers and more. Results of the survey help raise awareness about Canada’s thriving creative industry.

     

    The Business of Graphic Design

    The only comprehensive guide to maintaining a graphic design business in Canada, the RGD Handbook explains how to build a design practice, understand intellectual property, hire creative talent and market design, in addition to providing sample forms. This Committee is working on developing a content plan for a 4th edition to launch sometime in 2020.

     

    Social Media

    This Committee oversees RGD's social media presence to ensure effective communication to our virtual followers. To stay updated with all of RGD's events, programs and industry updates, connect with us through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

     

    RGD Website & Email Newsletter

    This Committee oversees the design and development of RGD digital communications through the RGD website, which receives approx. 50,000 unique visitors a year and email newsletter sent to over 19,000 subscribers.

     

    DesignThinker of the Year Recognition/Videos

    Every year RGD recognizes CEOs/Founders of Canadian companies that are using design effectively to drive business success. The Committee oversees the creation of video content to document and showcase the Award-winners. The Committee is also working to develop other sources of RGD video content.

  • Julian Brown RGD, Toronto

    Committee Chair & RGD VP of Communications

    Julian is the designer and entrepreneur behind the motion design studio ON THE CHASE!. Just under ten years young, OTC! has won international awards and collaborated with diverse clients ranging from retailer Shoppers Drug Mart and consulting giant Deloitte, to video game maker Ubisoft and charity WWF. A proud member of RGD, Julian is a past VP on the RGD Board of Directors and an avid speaker and design advocate. He is a graduate of the York/Sheridan Design Degree program, a world traveller and most recently a proud and terrified father.

     

    Andrew Boardman RGD, CGD, Winnipeg

    Andrew is a designer, studio founder, artist and educator. He manages Manoverboard, a purpose-based studio in Winnipeg with the mission of creating a better world by design. Manoverboard is the first Certified B Corporation in the Province. Andrew teaches design, theory and visual research methods at the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. He served as president of GDC Manitoba for three years. His research interests include design history, critical theory and philosophy of mind.
     
    Priyanka Chanda Provisional RGD, Toronto
    Priyanka is an art director and graphic designer based out of Toronto and has been working in the advertising & design industry since 2011. She has worked for award winning national and international ad campaigns and has her own independent business www.priyanka.design. Her goal is to define and implement human-centric communications that empower brands to resonate with both internal and external audiences in relevant and innovative ways. She loves all things creative and colourful. She has worked for a wide range of industries including hospitality, packaging, retail, non-profits, finance. Priyanka is passionate about helping businesses through her creativity. Watching dreams come to life through design and creative expression give her the most joy.
     

    Alison Garnett RGD, Toronto

    Alison is a creative director with over 20 years of global and national design, advertising and digital. Through the course of her award-winning career, Alison’s work has spanned various industries including automotive, retail, consumer-packaged goods, professional services, telecommunications and not-for-profit.

     

    Wade Gilpin RGD, Toronto

    Wade is the Creative Director of Sherpa Creative. Wade has 20 years of industry experience working with companies of all sizes and across a number of industries to strategically evolve brands. He has extensive experience working within theatre and the arts & culture. Wade spent 2 years on the Public Advisory Council (PAC) for Centennial College Media, School of Communications, in respect to their Media, Arts and Design Program and is a regular reviewer of student portfolios with RGD.
     

    Nicola Hamilton RGD, Toronto

    Nicola is an independent art director and graphic designer, who specializes in editorial design. Her work has been internationally recognized by the D&AD, the Society of Publication Designers, and the National Magazine Awards, among others. She has held positions as art director at Studio Wyse, deputy art director at Chatelaine and associate art director at The Grid. An educator as well, Nicola teaches design at both Humber College and George Brown College.

     

    Jack Henry Provisional RGD, Toronto

    A graduate of OCAD University’s Graphic Design program, Jack is the Head of Design and Graphic Designer at OmniWorx Inc., a boutique design firm based in Scarborough in Toronto’s east end providing graphic design, branding, marketing services to individuals, local small & mid-sized businesses and architectural firms. Jack has designed for a wide range of industries including restaurants, retail stores, health care, community organizations and charities.

     

    Marc Lauriault RGD, Toronto

    As lead designer of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Marc designs and directs the design output of Team Canada and the COC. Previously, Marc has held roles at Sportsnet and Bruce Mau Design. 

     

    Meg Lynch RGD, Toronto 

    Meg is currently the Design Director at Forge Media + Design in Toronto. For over a decade, Meg has applied her creative insights and enthusiasm working with clients spanning coast to coast and beyond. She has honed her skills building brand identities, crafting strategies and conceiving innovative digital solutions focused on creating meaningful and engaging experiences for all. In her spare time, she curates her ever-growing collection of plants.

     

    Wendy Millard RGD, Kingston

    Wendy is the Design Manager at Empire Life and has an extensive background with in-house design management. With over 18 years of experience, she’s led several design rebrands in the technology and financial services sectors. She is a graduate, advisory board member and mentor for St. Lawrence College Graphic Design Program.

     

    David Nuff RGD, Toronto

    David runs an independent practice designing brand identities, apps and art installations.

     

    Ian Scott RGD, Thunder Bay

    Ian has over 20 years of experience in creative design. He started his career in Toronto working on national and international print campaigns and later returned to his northwestern Ontario roots to produce materials for the tourism industry and establish his own design business, Kuda Media. For the past nine years, Ian has been producing award-winning work at Confederation College and teaching in the Interactive Media Development program. 

     

    Chelsey Stuart-Duval RGD, Ottawa
    Chelsey is Creative Lead and PR Coordinator at ES Sports | Alison Sheri & Elena Wang, where she coordinates and oversees all print production, graphic arts, digital publishing, and web design/maintenance for two major fashion brands. She also organizes seasonal photoshoots, creating and executing eight distinct concepts every year. While completing her professional degree in graphic design from Dawson College, Chelsey ran a chapter of a humanitarian organisation and competed with Team Canada for dragon-boat, winning gold in 24 World competitions over two years. This multi-sectoral experience contributes to her excellence in managing company operations while ensuring continued brand promotion and fostering engagement through advertising and social media.
     
  • Presented by Nicola Hamilton RGD; VP of Communications, Committee Chair at RGD's AGM on April 18, 2020

     

    PDF of accompanying presentation

     

    Committee Mandate

    To advise on RGD communications in print, on our websites, in our email communications and on our social channels; propose, develop and review recommendations for member communication and recruitment strategies; propose, develop and review strategies to raise awareness of the Association beyond the design community.


    Social Media
    Social Media has been a consistent area of focus for the Communications Committee, working closely with the RGD’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Dudgeon.


    We’ve increased our total social media reach to 33,700, which includes Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


    We’ve been primarily focused on LinkedIn and Instagram, and by focusing more heavily on member spotlights and regular engagement, we’ve seen massive increases on both platforms. LinkedIn has seen a 61% YoY increase, sitting at 9,675 followers. We have 7,800 followers on Instagram, which is a 32% YoY increase. We’re still working towards 10,000 which unlocks powerful new features. It’s worth mentioning that we did break 10,000 on Twitter this year!


    None of this would be possible without the daily work of RGD’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Rebecca Dudgeon. Thank you Rebecca!


    Website
    Traffic to the website has been holding steady for the last three years. We see an average of 120,000 users a year, spending 2m15s. In the interest of audience growth, the Communications Committee began an audit of the website this year. We’re currently compiling insights with the goal of completing a brief for a future renovation of the website.


    Newsletter
    Last year, we launched an overhauled RGD Word, which included a redesigned template and a shift to targeted mailings for specific levels of Members. In total, we have 23,350 newsletter subscribers.


    We’re seeing a slight decrease in both open rate (7%) and click through rate (5%) YoY.


    In recent months, we’ve increased the amount of Member-contributed content, which means more of our content is coming directly from our Membership base. We’ve launched:


    Creative Earners Survey
    Our bi-annual salary survey, Creative Earners, was completed by 4,010 respondents (+30% YoY, up from 3010 responses). Publishing the results has been delayed and they should be posted soon.


    Member Communication
    It’s the first year that Member Communication has been on the Communications Committee’s list of responsibilities. We’ve completed a Member path audit for all levels of Membership and will be making changes based on those insights in the coming months. We’ve also started to build a guideline for usage of the RGD logo with the goal of encouraging our Membership to proudly include it on their website or in their email signature without misrepresenting themselves.


    Design & Video Partners
    One of the Committee’s ongoing responsibilities is to confirm Design Partners for RGD projects. Firms donate their work in return for exposure, free tickets to events and the opportunity to contribute to the strength and vitality of RGD and its programs and services. I’d like to thank the following firms:

    • Concrete for their work on DesignThinkers 2019.
    • john st. for their branding and design work for DesignThinkers 2020 and for working with Array of Stars who designed and developed the DesignThinkers 2020 website.
    • Julian Brown RGD of On The Chase! Motion Design for the design of a 20th anniversary video for DesignThinkers.
    • Jayme Cowley Media Co for the development of a promotional video for DesignThinkers 2019 in Vancouver.
    • Alison Garnett RGD and her team at Field Trip Co. for their work on Creative Earners.
    • Mediaface for the development of a promotional video for Team Membership.
    • Rod McDonald RGD for his design of the 2020 RGD Certification Sticker.
    • Rod Nash for his design of a new sticker for RGD Emeritus Members to place on their RGD Certificate.
    • John Furneaux RGD and his company B3 for the naming and branding for our new UltraBOLD Awards.
    • Ryerson University for their work on RGD’s 2019 In-House Awards & In-House Conferences for 2019.
    • Sid Lee for their branding and design work for the 2020 So(cial) Good Design Awards.
    • Jordan Bamforth RGD for his branding for the In-House Design Conference for 2020.


    And a preemptive thank you to firms who have agreed to work with us in the coming year:

    • Bruce Mau Design for agreeing to take on DesignThinkers in 2021
    • Herschel Supply for the InHouse Design Awards 2021

    Staff
    We wouldn’t be able to accomplish any of this without the organizational power of our RGD Staff Members. I want to take a moment to thank them for their guidance and contributions:
    • Kim Wells worked as our Communications Coordinator before taking a position at the University of Toronto in November 2019. We thank Kim for everything she’s done to keep this committee moving, and wish you so much success!
    • Rushika Shah joined us last year as an intern, before taking over as our Communications Coordinator. Thank you Rushika for compiling our agendas, taking minutes and general keeping us on track.
    • Rebecca Dudgeon, Community Engagement Coordinator who is responsible for the bulk of our social media growth! Thank you for keeping an eye on the trends, our audience engaged, and the trolls at bay.
    • Karin Heinsch, RGD’s Creative Director who stewards our brand for us and works directly with all our design partners (of which there are many!) Thank you, for your patience, organization, and undeniable skills in deciphering our collective ramblings into coherent feedback.
    • Lauren Nisbet, Communications Consultant gathers content for the newsletter and social media until we put cost-saving measures in place in March of this year.


    Committee Members
    I’d like to thank my fellow Committee Members for their participation. They are Julian Brown RGD, Erin Craig RGD, Alison Garnett RGD, Wade Gilpin RGD, Jack Henry Provisional RGD, Jordan Jackson Provisional RGD, Jiamin Lin Provisional RGD, Meg Lynch RGD, Wendy Millard RGD, Ian Scott RGD, and Jessica Vitale RGD. And a special call out for the efforts of out-going Committee Member Stüssy Tschudin RGD.
     

  • Presented by Nicola Hamilton RGD, VP of Communications/Committee Chair, at RGD’s AGM on April 29, 2019

     

    Committee Mandate

    To advise on how RGD communications in print, on our websites, in our email communications and on our social channels; propose, develop and review recommendations for Member communication and recruitment strategies; propose, develop and review strategies to raise awareness of the Association beyond the design community.

     

    Member Communications

    In 2019, the Communications Committee will be taking on Member Communication. We’ll be reviewing how RGD communicates with new Members: from going to the website, filling out the application to getting their first mailing. We’ll make recommendations for how it can be improved for all categories of Membership, considering the transition from one level of Membership to the next.

     

    Social Media

    Social Media has been an ongoing goal for the Communications Committee. Our responsibility is to recommend social media strategies and programs with the goal of increasing RGD’s following and engagement on all channels. We’ve seen the largest growth in Instagram (+70% YoY, now at 5,900 followers) and LinkedIn (+50% YoY, now at 6,000 followers). We will continue to focus on those platforms in 2019/20 with the goal of reaching 10,000 followers which unlocks some powerful new features.

     

    Newsletter

    We completed an overhaul of the RGD Word Newsletter in December of 2018, led by my fellow Board Member and Committee Member Alison Garnett. It included a redesigned template executed internally by RGD’s Creative Director, Karin Heinsch. We’re now sending targeted mailings for specific levels on membership. The newsletter is sent to over 21,000 subscribers.

     

    Website

    The Communications Committee has placed an audit of the current website on our 2019/20 goals. The aim is to provide recommendations in order to make manageable improvements to the site with the intention of increasing traffic by 25%.

     

    Creative Earners

    Our bi-annual salary survey, Creative Earners, launched last fall at DesignThinkers Toronto and was completed by 4,010 respondents (+30% YoY, up from 3010 responses). The results are being worked by Field Trip Co. for launch this Fall.

     

    Video

    Video has become a large focus for the Communications Committee, led by Committee Member Julian Brown RGD. We facilitated the execution of a handful of videos last year: Two DesignThinker of the Year Award Videos (MediaFace), a DesignThinkers Toronto Promotional Video (k collective), three Certification Excuse Animations (On the Chase – Julian’s company). We’ll be working with Jayme Cowley on a DesignThinkers Vancouver video in the coming months and producing one with MediaFace, which will focus on promoting our Team Membership category.

     

    Design Partners

    One of the Committee’s ongoing responsibilities is to confirm Design Partners for RGD projects. Firms donate their work in return for exposure, free tickets to events and the opportunity to contribute to the strength and vitality of RGD and its programs and services. I’d like to thank the following firms:

     

    Zulu Alpha Kilo for the work on DesignThinkers 2018

    Concrete for their work on DesignThinkers 2019

    john st. agreeing to take on DesignThinkers 2020

     

    Jennifer Weaymouth RGD and Weaymouth Creative for their design of the 2019 RGD Certification Sticker

    Rod McDonald RGD for agreeing to design the 2020 RGD Certification Sticker

     

    Josh McInerney RGD and his team at Ryerson University for their work on RGD’s 2019 In-House Awards & Conference

    Randal Boutilier RGD and his team at 12thirteen for their work on the Student Awards

    Alison Garnett RGD and her team at Field Trip Co. for their work on Creative Earners

    Stussy Tschudin RGD and his team at Forge for a new RGD Poster + Postcard

    Vanessa Eckstein RGD and her team at Blok Design for new RGD t-shirts, water bottles and tote bags.

     

    Committee Members
    I’d like to thank my fellow Committee Members for their participation. They are Julian Brown RGD, Alison Garnett RGD, Wade Gilpin RGD, Jack Henry Provisional RGD, Jordan Jackson Provisional RGD, Wendy Millard RGD, Stüssy Tschudin RGD and Jessica Vitale RGD. And thank you in particular for the efforts of out-going Committee Members Bob Hambly RGD, Tina Mackenzie RGD, Karen Satok RGD, Hans Thiessen RGD and Rod Nash RGD.

     


  • Presented by Bob Hambly RGD at RGD's AGM on April 25, 2018

     

    COMMITTEE MANDATE
    To facilitate communication between RGD and its Members; propose, develop and review strategies to raise awareness of the Association within the design community; and inform the community about our mandate, activities and membership.

    DESIGN PARTNERS
    One of the Committee’s ongoing responsibilities is to confirm Design Partners for RGD projects. Firms donate their work in return for exposure, free tickets to events such as DesignThinkers, and the opportunity to contribute to the strength and vitality of RGD and its programs and services. I’d like to thank the following firms:

    DESIGN PARTNERS 2017/2018
    - The Rethink team for their work on DesignThinkers 2017
    - Kyle Greenwood RGD for his design of the 2018 RGD Certification Sticker
    - Kathleen Scott RGD and the team at Bruce Power for the identity and materials designed for RGD’s 2017 In-House Design Awards
    - Vince Galante RGD, Tim Smith RGD and the team at The Pixel Shop on CreativeEarners as well as the DesignThinkers website
    -  Character Creative for the new Student Awards identity
    - Design de Plume, particularly Jennifer Taback RGD and Mat Chambers Provisional RGD, for our new Pro Bono Guidelines
    - Purpose/Built for our Creative Earners Results Documents


    DESIGN PARTNERS 2018
    - The team at Underline Studio on the 2018 So(cial) Good Design Awards
    - The team at Zulu Alpha Kilo on DesignThinkers 2018
    - Truth Dare on the Hiring a Designer Guidelines
    - Also Ryerson University for the 2019 In-House Design Awards


    DESIGN COMMITTEE
    Within the Communications Committee, a smaller group are responsible for encouraging positive and constructive relationships with our design partners. This committee reviews potential design partners, creates comprehensive creative briefs, attends design presentations and offers guidance and support. This process has helped to establish a professional framework for all RGD communication projects and has been well received by our design partners.

     

    WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA
    An on-going role of the Committee is to monitor and make recommendations for RGD web and email communications and social media content. Just a few stats: in 2017, the website had over 1 million page views with users compared to 129,912 users in 2016; 374 jobs were posted (about the same as in 2016) and about 200 items were published to the site. New web content is featured in RGD’s e-mail newsletter with a subscriber base that has increased from 17,000 in 2016 to over 19,000 today and RGD’s social media channels reach 8,700 Twitter Followers (up by 400 from this time last year); 4,400 Facebook Followers (up by 200); 2,230 Instagram Followers (up by an impressive 1,400) and about 10,000 LinkedIn Group Members and 3,335 LinkedIn Followers.

    RGD STUDENT CHALLENGE
    One of our goals for 2018 is to continue to increase engagement through RGD’s social media channels, particularly Instagram. As part of this, we recently launched a new #RGDStudentChallenges initiative where students are invited to post projects relating to each month’s specific theme for a chance to be recognized on RGD social channels and on display at DesignThinkers.

    RGD VIDEOS
    Another ongoing initiative includes a series of Certification Myths videos, which focus on the misconceptions surrounding RGD’s Certification Process. Created by Julian Brown RGD, the first video focuses on the misconception that people don’t have time to complete the process, and the second focuses on the misconception that only people who are solely “Designers” are eligible to become Certified RGDs. These videos are shared on RGD’s social media channels in hopes that, while poking fun at ourselves, we can demystify RGD Certification.

     

    COMMITTEE MEMBERS
    I’d like to thank my fellow Committee Members for their participation. They are Julian Brown RGD, Alison Garnett RGD, Tina Mackenzie RGD, Rod Nash RGD, Karen Satok RGD, Stussy Tschudin RGD, Hans Thiessen RGD and Nicola Hamilton RGD.

  • Criteria

    • Experience working with all forms of communications particularly digital and social media.
    • Time to contribute to the work of the Committee via email feedback, videoconference meetings and independent and group work.
    • Must be a RGD or Provisional Member

     

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