- Examine the status of Membership on an ongoing basis; make recommendations for new policies/eligibility/category refinements
- Propose and develop new programs and services for professional Members (Provisional RGDs, Affiliates, Certified RGDs)
- Develop new and refine existing tools and resources available to professional Members, in particular our Webinars, Video Archive, RGD Handbook and RGD Directory
- Assist with the coordination and update of supplier discounts and special offers for Members
- (a) Membership Categories
- Review and recommendations for changes to the RGD Emeritus Category
(b) Member Programs
- Work with Events Committee to ensure Membership is being effectively promoted at events
- Develop the new pilot program for Members consisting of virtual/in-person round-tables
- Develop the new RGD Slack Channel for Members to engage/connect and share with their RGD Community.
- Begin the process of developing a content plan for a new edition of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook with the goal of producing the new edition in 2020.
- Develop a best practice / guideline / tool for Members to use to track design effectiveness.
(d) Member Benefits
- Make recommendations for new/replacement programming/benefits specifically for Provisional RGD Members (brief to be created by RGD staff)
- Develop more extensive, relevant, up-to-date set of supplier discounts/special offers (incl. co-working spaces, type foundries, stock imagery.)
This Committee oversees and assists with the development of content to promote various levels of RGD Membership.
This program is open to Provisional RGDs and Student RGDs in their final year of study may sign up for Mentorship Program. For a period of 9 months, Mentees have 6 sessions with a Mentor, 1 hour each. Sessions can be held locally or remotely depending on the location of both the Mentor and Mentee.
Chair & VP: Brent Long RGD, Markham
Brent is Principal & Co-founder of Fusion Design Group. He is a firm believer in asking “why” in the pursuit of creating design solutions that will work for his clients. And that “fun” should always be an integral part of the creative process. Brent leads with his strategic, creative and unique perspective, providing focus and direction, but most importantly support to his amazing team. In addition to sitting on RGD's Board, he is on the advisory committees for the Graphic Design Programs at Georgian, Humber and St. Lawrence College.
Paul Gomirato RGD, Sudbury
Paul is President and Creative Director of PG Creative where is responsible for overseeing standards of excellence in creative development and production, account management and client relations. With over 35 years experience, he attributes the company's success to the mantra: "Objectively-focused. Creatively-driven." He is a long-time supporter of local non-profit organizations, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Cambrian College's Graphic Design Program and a Portfolio Reviewer, also at Cambrian.
Norm Lourenco RGD, Toronto
Norm is Creative Director and founder of Toronto-based Truth and Dare (formerly K9 strategy+design). Norm has 25 years of experience in creating strategies to execute branding and publication design for many of Canada’s small independent to large multi-title publishers and countless entrepreneurial, professional and non-profit clients with their design and communications opportunities.
Austin Mateka Provisional RGD, Toronto
Austin is a creative and designer who has been consistently working and looking for new opportunities in a wide range of industries. From collaborating with people in advertising and print shops to transportation and health, his goal is to always produce exceptional work that reflects a company's endeavours and audience interests. Austin is currently freelancing, but searching to become part of an agency/studio team. He recently graduated from Humber College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design.
Elyse Maxwell RGD, Hamilton
Elyse is a Senior Graphic Designer and Project Manager at Patch Design. From developing comprehensive branding systems to designing web and print materials, she uses her passion and curiosity to identify optimal solutions. Elyse is a life-long student with 6 years experience. She graduated from OCAD, and is currently pursuing a diploma in Marketing at McMaster.
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.
Rod Nash RGD, Vineland
Rod experienced the thrill successful communication design can bring early in his career in Australia. As one of RGD's founders Rod's communications and promotions helped with the founders' efforts to move The RGD Act through the Ontario Legislature. Rod is an active advisor to the RGD Board and Creative Director at Nash & Nash Ltd.Kyle Schruder RGD, TorontoKyle is Brand Experience Manager at Bridgeable, a Toronto-based service design consultancy. He broke into the industry learning publication design from James Ireland and has never looked back. Kyle enjoys working from strategy to execution on compelling experiences and artifacts, including content, events, marketing material, and more.
Presented by Brent Long, VP of Education, Committee Chair at the Annual Meeting
The primary mandates of the Membership Committee are to:
• Examine the status of Membership on an ongoing basis; make
recommendations for new policies/eligibility/category refinements
• Propose and develop new programs and services for professional
Members (Provisional RGDs, Affiliates, Certified RGDs)
• Develop new and refine existing tools and resources available to
professional Members, in particular our Webinars, Video Archive,
RGD Handbook and RGD Directory
• Assist with the coordination and update of supplier discounts and
special offers for Members
Currently we have 4,096 Members, up from 3,674 at this time last year. They include 815 Certified RGDs (up by 16); 126 RGD Emeritus (retired RGDs, up by 14, which we assume will be a continuing trend); 340 Provisional RGDs (down by 24); 284 Affiliates (up by 28); 62 Junior Affiliate Members (in its second year as a new category, up by 33); 2,447 Student Members (up by 367 because of new automatic from???) and 22 Teams – up from 17 last year.
One of the key challenges for the Membership Committee over the past year has been with the generality of our goals. In theory, technically everything that every committee does is related to membership in one way or another. For that reason, we have refined the mandate of our committee and subsequently our goals for the upcoming year. A number of our initiatives have been re-routed to the Communications Committee and Board responsibility, allowing us to streamline our focus.
A brief synopsis of our 2019/2020 Goals for the Membership Committee includes:
(a) Membership Categories
- Review and make recommendations for changes to the
RGD Emeritus Category
(b) Member Programs
- Work with Events Committee to ensure Membership is
being effectively promoted at events
- Develop the new pilot program for Members consisting of virtual/in-person round-tables
- Develop the new RGD Slack Channel for Members to engage/connect
and share with their RGD Community
(c) Member Resources
- Begin the process of developing a content plan for a new edition of
The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook with the goal of producing the new edition in 2020
- Develop a best practice/guideline/tool for Members to use to
track design effectiveness
(d) Member Benefits
- Make recommendations for new/replacement programming/benefits
specifically for Provisional RGD Members (brief to be created by RGD staff)
- Develop more extensive, relevant, up-to-date set of supplier discounts/
special offers (incl. co-working spaces, type foundries, stock imagery)
A focal point for RGD is transitioning members from one category to another. Specifically, Student Members to Provisional. Many students have their
membership dues wrapped into their overall yearly fees, so they may not
be fully aware that they ARE members, combined with the task of staying in touch with students after they graduate (many have a school email address which no longer exists once they leave school). On top of that, there is the membership cost for someone with limited income straight out of school.
In light of these challenges, last year was the first full year with the Membership categories as follows:
Overview of Membership Categories
Student RGD: $40
- Part-time or full-time enrollment in a post-secondary program (minimum
1 year in length): Proof of enrollment required
Provisional RGD: $150
- Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program and 8 or less years of professional experience: proof of graduation and portfolio review required
Certified RGD: $335
- Successful completion of RGD’s Certification Process
RGD Emeritus: free (for now?)
- For Certified RGDs who have retired (were RGDs for at least 10 years)
- Open to anyone, including professional designers and “others”
Jr Affiliate: $50
- Graduation from a recognized post-secondary program
and 4 or less years of professional experience
Team Membership: starting at $1,000
- Design firms, agencies and in-house creative teams of 5 or more.
The decision was made early in 2018 to create the Junior Affiliate category that would allow a recent graduate to continue as a member of RGD and receive very basic benefits for very little cost. More serious graduates, as well as designers with a few years experience can get on the “Certification Track” by joining as Provisional RGDs, a category that includes professional designation for a cost that is excellent value and an easier stepping stone between Student and fully certified RGD categories.
A new step added to achieving Provisional status is a virtual portfolio review by a certified RGD. This is meant to be a way of ensuring the integrity of RGD as a whole, presentation practice for the prospect, and an opportunity to receive feedback on the process and work presented by an industry professional with years of experience. Feedback we have been receiving from new Provisionals about their Portfolio Reviews has been extremely positive. These reviews are not meant to be overly critical of the young designers’ work, but ensure that they can present solid reasoning behind their solutions, as well as prove they understand the basics of graphic design as a practice. In return they get a mini mentoring session and potentially one of their first one-on-one industry networking opportunities. I have had the pleasure of taking part in a number of these portfolio reviews and have been pleasantly surprised with how the reviewees have presented their work, and responded to feedback.
A big thank you goes out to the many, many other RGDs who have been
participating in these primarily virtual reviews.
A few other key highlights from the past year include:
• Reviewing feedback from the Dues Survey on the state of RGD.ca’s Design Directory. The majority of respondents were clear in that the overall experience is dated. This is definitely on the Membership Committee and Board’s radar and we’ll be discussing in the coming year how to make the Directory an easier tool to both use and look at
• I’d like to thank Elyse Maxwell RGD for all of her work looking into the viability of LinkedIn as a desirable solution for further membership engagement
• I’d also like to thank Norm Lourenco RGD for taking on the initial research
and development of our first membership “whitepaper resource” on Design Effectiveness; Norm has joined Design Industry Advisory Council (DIAC) which has a history of conducting research on this very subject
I would like to thank all of the Committee members for their work on the
initiatives that I have talked about today, as well as all of the many, many
other tasks that have gone on over the past 12 months. These people are:
Mary Davis RGD in Thunder Bay ON, Denver Dewar RGD in Sudbury ON,
Andrew Edgecombe RGD in Toronto ON, Wafé Gara RGD in Burnaby BC,
Shanti Hadiotomo RGD in Toronto ON, Norm Lourenco RGD in Toronto ON, Austin Mateka Prov. RGD in Toronto ON, Elyse Maxwell RGD in Hamilton ON, Wendy Millard RGD in Kingston ON, Angela Simon RGD in Simcoe ON and Silvia Stanziola RGD in Ottawa, ON
Going into 2019/2020 we have had some changes to the committee, and I would like to welcome our new additions: Stijn Daenens RGD in Vancouver BC, Celina Fischer RGD in Toronto ON, Paul Gomirato RGD in Subury ON, Rod Nash RGD in Vineland ON, Noah Ortman RGD in Toronto ON, Kyle Schruder RGD in Toronto ON, and Mike Scott RGD in London ON.
Presented by Brent Long RGD at RGD's AGM on April 25, 2018
The primary mandates of the Membership Committee are to:
• Examine the status of membership on an ongoing basis, including retention, recruitment and member satisfaction;
• Propose, develop and review recommendations for programs and services
available to members.
• Propose, develop and review recommendations for membership recruitment strategies.
• Propose, develop and review recommendations for new discounts and special offers to arrange for members.
Currently we have 3,674 Members, down from 3,730 at this time last year. They include 799 Certified RGDs (up by 11); 114 RGD Emeritus (retired RGDs, up by 14, which we assume will be a continuing trend); 362 Provisional RGDs (up by 5, which is amazing considering the increase in dues from $90 to $150); 248 Affiliates (down by 22 but the good news is quite a few of our previous Affiliate Members have become Certified RGDs); 34 Junior Affiliate Members (an entirely new Category); 2,100 Student Members (down by 100 due to a two programs not being able to sign up for Automatic Membership due to the Ontario teachers’ strike on the fall) and 17 Team Members – up from 12).
One of the key challenges the association faces is transitioning members from one category to another. Specifically, Student Members to Provisional, and increasing the number of Provisionals going through the certification process to become RGDs. Many changes that were made this past year to membership were responses to these concerns, and this continues to be a focus of this year’s goals.
We realized, from past Member surveys, that Provisional Members value their designation above everything else. Ironically, these same Members have difficulty understanding why they pay $80 as Provisionals, and jump to $350 as Certified RGDs (and also pay a $75 admin fee to go through the Certification process) with what they see as very little difference in benefits. The decision was made to create an entirely new category, Junior Affiliate, that would allow a recent graduate to continue as a member of RGD and receive very basic benefits. More serious graduates, as well as designers with a few years experience, can get on the “Certification Track” by joining as Provisional RGDs, a category that includes professional designation. A new step added in achieving Provisional status is a virtual portfolio review by a certified RGD. This is not meant to be a roadblock, but a way of ensuring the integrity of RGD as a whole, presentation practice for the prospect, and an opportunity to receive feedback on the process and work presented by an industry professional with years of experience. Feedback we have been receiving from new Provisionals about their Portfolio Reviews has been extremely positive. A big thank you goes out to the many, many RGDs who have been participating in these, primarily virtual, reviews.
Also changed for Provisionals is the amount of time that they can stay in this category before going through the process of becoming a fully certified RGD, or switching to Affiliate status. It is now eight years specifically of work experience. Previously it was seven years combined education and experience—and had to be determined on an individual basis depending on how many years of schooling a Provisional had.
We were concerned that Provisionals were being required to become RGDs before they were ready, before they had a portfolio of appropriate work. A significant number of Provisionals were leaving RGD because they could not remain in the professionally-designated Provisionals category, but didn’t feel ready to become RGDs. Raising the fee for Provisionals allows us to extend the time that they can remain in this category in a fiscally responsible way and reduce the gap between what they will pay as Provisionals compared to as Certified RGDs. It also allows us to entirely waive the Certification Admin fee. The goal for the future is to allow Provisionals to potentially take the Online Test portion of Certification process in stages.
A brief synopsis of our 2018/2019 Goals for the Membership Committee includes:
(a) Reviewing member feedback from the past few years’ dues surveys to
ensure we are always focused on keeping our current members happy
(b) Raise awareness of RGD within our own communities, and within the business communities (clients) so that they know why we are the best
(c) Continue to improve member transitions (as mentioned earlier) and promote the RGD membership path
(d) Continue to promote Team Membership (previously Corporate Membership) to studios and in-house departments
The Teams category (previously known as Corporate Membership) allows creative teams to be a part of the RGD community. It has only been around for a few years and has continued to grow. The Teams category is a focal point for the committee. In three years we have added 17 groups to this list. Originally, studios with five or more designers were targeted, however, the new focus is in-house departments at larger corporations, helping them promote themselves as capable, thought leaders to their senior leadership and internal clients. As more and more of our originally grandfathered RGDs retire, we see Team Membership as a way to reach the mid-generation of designers who will be the future leaders of the Association. There is a great story about a fairly large studio where one of the owners was an RGD but none of the other staff were Members. Last year the studio joined as a Team Member which connected several of his staff directly to the Association as Affiliate Members. The Certified RGD Member has now retired but 5 staff remain affiliated and at least one has indicated his intention to get his RGD designation this year.
A big step in the GDC/RGD relationship is the ability for a GDC Member who has passed the GDC’s certification process can now apply for fully certified RGD status without the need to take the RGD exam. This also works for RGDs becoming GDCs.
I would like to thank our Committee for their work over the past year. They are: Silvia Stanziola RGD, Ottawa, Angela Simon RGD, Simcoe, Elyse Maxwell RGD, Hamilton, Shanti Hadiotomo RGD, Toronto, Wafé Gara RGD, Burnaby, Andrew Edgecombe RGD, Toronto, Denver Dewar RGD, Sudbury, Mary Davis RGD, Thunder Bay, Randal Boutilier RGD, Toronto
And we would also like to welcome our newest additions for 2018/2019: Wendy Millard RGD Kingston, Norm Lourenco RGD Toronto, Austin Mateka Prov. RGD Toronto
- Interest in and/or understanding of RGD membership categories and policies.
- 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.
- 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