Ethics Committee



  • (a) Best Practices

    - Focus will be to Finalize pdf on Competitions and get it distributed to the client community.

    - Develop an Event Code of Conduct for DesignThinkers, RGD events and by Members

    - Additional goal to consider will be to develop other resources/guidelines for other areas of design with ethical implications, ie. sustainable graphic design 


    (b) Rules of Professional Conduct

     - Focus will be to Align the GDC Code of Ethics and RGD Rules documents.

    - Additional goals to consider to Advocate against spec and develop strategies that offer a more pro-active approach and Identify ways to promote understanding of Rules to Members, particularly Provs.


    (c) Advocacy

    - Focus will be on developing ICA partnership

    - Additional goals to consider will be Develop other to raise awareness of RGD advocacy efforts and Develop initiative to involve Members in raising awareness of an ethical issue facing the world - Possibilities: diversity, sexual misconduct, climate change, gender pay equity


    Ethical Guidelines

    RGD’s ethical guidelines for designers are outlined in our Rules of Professional Conduct, to which all Members agree to adhere.


    Advocacy against Spec

    The Committee combats requests for spec and crowdsourcing of design by communicating best practices to clients and providing resources such as to designers to understand and address various scenarios when they are asked to do work for free.


    Ethical Best Practices & Advocacy

    The Committee works to develop resources and guidelines, and advocates for best practices in the areas of accessible design, salaries and billing, pro bono work, internships and other areas of design with ethical implications.

  • Chair & VP: Jennifer Taback RGD, Sudbury

    Jenn is Founding Partner of Design de Plume. She is a skilled project manager whose background working in a variety of fields allows her combine the best creative and technical practices available to create beautiful, cost-effective campaigns for her clients. She is from the Shawanaga First Nation and is currently on RGD's Board and the Sudbury Design Society


    Stüssy Tschudin RGD, Toronto

    Stüssy is a graduate of Humber’s Advertising and Design program, a former Senior Design Director at Haughton Brazeau and a founding principal of Forge Media + Design. Born and raised in Switzerland, Stüssy originally was a Swiss banker by day and graffiti artist by night. He soon realized that his passion for the creative needed to be nourished and decided to go back to school to become a graphic designer.


    Rod Nash RGD, Vineland

    Rod experienced the thrill successful communication design can bring early in his career in Australia. At J. Walter Thompson in Melbourne, Rod and agency colleagues convinced a national advertiser to integrate collateral with the advertising. What now seems an obvious design strategy was new for large ad agencies at that time. The resulting increased sales changed that. Rod has served as an Advisor to the RGD Board for several years.


    John Furneaux RGD, Toronto

    John is the Principal of Projektor Brand Image. For 25 years John has developed brand programs and communications for a wide range of North American organizations – from entrepreneurial start-ups to global leaders. 

    Prior to founding Projektor, John held executive creative leadership positions at a number of Canada’s premier design consultancies including Identica, karacters design group and Ove Brand|Design. John is a Past President of RGD and is an active speaker and contributor in the Canadian design industry.


    Evelyn Csiszar RGD, Toronto

    Evelyn is the founder and lead UX/UI designer at Collective Experience, a creative design studio specializing in providing digital design and strategy services to businesses and organizations who serve the public sector. Her lifelong fascination with studying how people think and act has led to a deep passion for user experience design. She believes that you can only create successful products and services if you build it around the needs and wants of the people who will use them. This guiding principle applies to everything she does, regardless of the medium. Along with completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Design from the York University/Sheridan College Design Program in 2010, she has also studied and practiced user experience design extensively throughout her career and completed several UX programs at BrainStation Academy. Evelyn has had the pleasure of working on projects for organizations like University of Toronto, BMO, HydroOne, CCRM, Futurpreneur, HEQCO, CNIB and the Ontario Science Centre.


    Nicholas di Cuia RGD, Toronto

    Nicholas is Creative Director at Ferrand Communications. He has been responsible for developing, leading, advancing and enhancing relevant, world-class creative for print, DM, OOH, event, digital and environmental channels. He has held project and account management, production, creative, CD and agency manager roles, including Creative Services Head for two TV networks and a global techco.


    Craig Swistun RGD, Toronto


    Jenny Bowman Prov. RGD, Woodstock

    Jenny co-founded Nifty Creative Services with her partner in 2014, out of a desire to create a design company with a personal touch. Jenny is also a Graphic Designer in Reputation and Brand Management at Fanshawe College, where she attended College for Business, then Web Development, and finally Graphic Design. Jenny is an avid knitter and loves nothing more than to pair this love with graphic design, while designing for knitwear designers and all things related.

  • Presented by Jennifer Taback RGD at RGD's AGM on April 27, 2017


    The Ethics Committee was created with a mandate that includes revising RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct as needed; advising on ethical issues and advocating against spec work.


    The main focus of this Committee continues to be lobbying against requests for spec but we’ve realized the need to develop pro-active initiatives that educate target groups and raise awareness on the issue. The first group we identified is students who are unaware of the dangers associated with doing work on spec. The second target group is clients who, similarly, fail to recognize why it is both unethical and ill-advised to ask designers (and/or the broader public) to do work for free either as part of an RFP or as some sort of contest.


    Last year, in our effort to educate emerging designers on the issues, we took inspiration from Jessica Hische’s Should I Work for Free poster and worked with interactive agency Nascent to create an online tool. The result, officially launched at DesignThinkers, is the website The site walks users through a series of questions designed to understand situations when it is okay to do work for free, when there should be a fee and situations that are best avoided altogether. Most importantly, the site offers suggested responses, provided by professional writer Doug Dolan, that designers can use to decline requests for spec in a professional manner. We have had positive feedback on the site but one of our goals for 2017 is to ensure new students are aware of it and what it offers.


    The second area where our Committee needs to raise awareness, and a focus for 2017, is on the client side, particularly when clients are considering design contests. To this end, RGD is developing a series of guidelines that will offer alternative, ethical options for clients who wish to engage the broader public but do not involve asking the public to provide design solutions. Our goal is to have something finalized by the Fall and to distribute these widely to a client audience.


    Beyond these two initiatives, there is still the almost weekly effort to address specific situations both of organizations requesting spec in Requests for Proposals and running design contests. We continue to receive pushback on the design contests since often much work (and money) has gone into the development of them, and hence the need for the guidelines. But in the case of RFPs requiring original creative, we continue to have good success getting this aspect removed. This past year, we’ve also realized the need to raise awareness of our efforts with the Membership and so have begun documenting and publishing examples on the RGD website and in our email newsletter.


    I would like to thank all of our Committee Members for their work over the past year: John Furneaux RGD, Nicholas di Cuia RGD, Rod Nash RGD, Umar Shahzad RGD, Ashley Smithers RGD, Craig Swistun RGD, Stüssy Tschudin RGD. I’d also like to thank three Committee Members who participated over the past year but have since resigned: Andrew Dolan RGD, Lionel Gadoury RGD and Maurissa Grano RGD. Lastly, I would like to thank Julian Brown, Committee Chair who will be stepping down.

  • Criteria:

    • Interest in and understanding of RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
    • Interest in and understanding of the ethical issues being faced in the industry, including with educational institutions, with clients, within in-house departments and within design firms.
    • Time to contribute to the work of the committee via email feedback, teleconference discussions and independent and group work.
    • Must be a Member of RGD


    Get Involved:

    • Those interested in joining the Committee should fill out the online form: Get Involved with RGD.
    • Click here for a list of initiatives and other ways to get involved with the Committee's activities