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

 

  • (a) Social Media

    • Recommend social media strategies and programs with the goal of increasing RGD followers and engagement on all social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
    • Focus on Instagram growing to 10,000 followers (currently at 5,697) and LinkedIn growing to 10,000 followers (currently at 5,357)

     

    (b) Website

    • Complete an audit of the current website and provide recommendations in order to make manageable improvements that helps to increase traffic by 25% and overall user experience of 4/5 by end of 2019.
    • Make recommendations for manageable improvements with the goal to increase traffic and overall user experience.
    • Consider plans for a complete redesign of the RGD website, with the goal of developing a brief to aid in engaging a web design partner by end of 2019

     

    (c) Member Communications
    • Review how RGD communicates with new Members: from going to the website, filling out the application to getting their first mailing.
    • Make recommendations for how it can be improved for all categories of Membership, considering the transition from one level of Membership to the next.
    • Develop general Membership/RGD promotional materials in both print, pdf and email format
    • Consider the role of video in Member recruitment strategies.
  • 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.

  • Nicola Hamilton RGD, Toronto

    Committee Chair & RGD VP of Communications

    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.

     

    Julian Brown RGD, Toronto

    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.

     

    Erin Craig RGD, Toronto

    Erin is Creative Director of Trade Publishing at Harlequin.

     

    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.
     

    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.

     

    Jordan Jackson Provisional RGD, Toronto

    Jordan is a designer at Puncture, a culture-creating design studio based in Toronto. He has previously served as the Co-Chair of RGD’s Student Committee and on RGD’s Board of Directors for two years.

     

    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.

     

    Ian Scott RGD, Thunder Bay

     

    Jessica Vitale RGD, Toronto

    Jessica is Director of Graphic Design at FORREC, a global multidisciplinary design firm that specializes in entertainment design. She’s an award-winning designer whose conceptual thinking, creativity and design experience leads FORREC’s graphic design work in branding and brand activation, signage and wayfinding strategies, exhibit design, and other experiential graphics. Her user-centric design approach is foundational to the work Jessica and her team produce for major brands including Nickelodeon, LEGOLAND and Universal. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design from OCADU.

     

    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.

  • Presented by Nicola Hamilton RGD, VP of Education/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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