- Review and revise RGD’s Rules of Professional Conduct as needed.
- Codify Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure they are clear and explicit on specific situations that are common in the industry.
- Advise on ethical issues that may arise from both design professionals, educators, managers and/or buyers of design.
- Assist with spec work advocacy by identifying and reacting to instances where the Rules are compromised, particularly in the area of spec work.
- Review and assist to write questions for the Rules of Professional Conduct section of the the Online Test portion of RGD's Certification Process
- Develop presentation/resources to assist applicants to prepare and successfully complete the Rules section of the Online Test portion of RGD's Certification Process.
(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.
- 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
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 FreeFeeFlee.ca 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.
Jenny Bowman Prov. RGD, Woodstock
Jenny co-founded Nifty Creative Services, 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, Web Development and finally Graphic Design.
Evelyn Csiszar RGD, Toronto
Evelyn is founder and lead UX/UI designer at Collective Experience, which specializes in digital design and strategy services for organizations serving the public sector. Her lifelong fascination with studying how people think and act has led to a deep passion for user experience design. Evelyn has worked on projects for organizations that include the University of Toronto, BMO, HydroOne, Futurpreneur, CNIB and the Ontario Science Centre.
John Furneaux RGD, Toronto
John is 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. Previously he held creative leadership positions at premier design consultancies Identica, karacters design group and Ove.
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. Rod is an active advisor to the RGD Board and Creative Director at Nash & Nash Ltd.
Laura Sellors RGD, Toronto
Laura is Managing Director, Business Development at Entro, a multi-disciplinary design firm that sits at the intersection of branding and experiential graphics. She holds an Honours BAA and certificate in Design Management from Ryerson U.
Craig Swistun RGD, Toronto
Craig has been a partner in a design firm, a sole proprietor and has extensive experience leading in-house design teams inside large corporations. He has been a presenter at numerous design conferences and has written extensively on the business of graphic design for a number of publications.
Julia Linda Wells, RGD, Toronto
Linda retired from full-time employment in 2017 after 45 years in the design and printing industries. She started her career as a 3-time summer student in the Ottawa graphic arts branch at the Department of National Defence. As well as having risen to the level of art director, Linda has a solid background in project management, purchasing, research and proposal writing.
Presented by Jennifer Taback RGD at RGD's AGM on April 25, 2018
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 focus of the Committee in the last year has been to continue to lobby against requests for spec and be proactive in our approach to educating both designers and the public on the topic. This was consistent with our goals last year and originated out of a need to create awareness with students who might not be familiar with what spec work is and the dangers of it.
We expanded on this to explain the differences between spec work and pro bono and how designers can effectively donate their time to meaningful causes. The Ethics Committee updates our 'A Graphic Designer's Guide to Pro Bono Work' to assist designers in the process of working with non-profit organizations on pro bono communications projects. It is available on the RGD website as a PDF download and gives designers information on the benefits of pro bono, how to select a client to work with, the challenges, quotes from current RGDs, and additional resources.
We continue to see success in addressing specific spec situations and find that a majority of complaints from designers tend to be much more minor than in previous years, save for those that are issued from municipalities. These continue to be the most harmful, especially to local designers.
One example was the City of Guelph, which held a contest for the design of graphics to be painted on their water tower. In this case, two designs were submitted to the public for a vote, with a voting option of selecting neither. Out of a total of 2,546 votes, the majority—38 per cent—voted in favour of not displaying either of the final designs on the water tower. This is certainly an outcome that we can use as an example of why not to do spec contests when we are called up to advocate in the future.
Another area of focus for our Committee was a thorough review of our current Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure they remain relevant and in keeping with current industry and overall business best practices. A number of the Committee’s recommendations, including the addition of Rules related to diversity and respectfulness in the workplace. Further work by the Committee on the Rules will consider the issue of cultural appropriation in the hopes of developing a new policy or best practice that is respectful of cultures without coming into conflict with the important principle of freedom of speech.
In recent months, Committee Members have been examining the similarities and differences between the RGD Rules of Professional Conduct and the GDC Codes of conduct as part of our goal to align our two certification process. I’m pleased to report that the two documents share many commonalities and very few differences, these being more to the structure of the two documents than anything. We will be reviewing our findings with the GDC over the coming weeks with the goal of creating one unified document.
A goal for the coming year is to develop competition guidelines that will focus on contests aimed at the general public to design a logo or related items. This document will be especially directed at government administrators, offering them arguments for why they shouldn’t organize design contests and suggesting alternatives that still offer opportunities for community engagement and involvement.
I would like to thank all of our Committee Members for their work over the past year: Jenny Bowman Provisional RGD, John Furneaux RGD, Evelyn Cziszar RGD, Rod Nash RGD, Craig Swistun RGD, Stüssy Tschudin RGD, Julia Linda Wells RGD as well as our newest members Laura Sellors RGD and Wendy Gray RGD, and Nicholas di Cuia RGD and Ashley Smithers RGD who both recently stepped down from the Committee.
- 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