Creative Directions
Creative Directions is a Virtual Conference designed to give graduates and emerging designers tools and tips to build a career in communication design industry.
Join us April 27, 29 & May 1 to learn how to package, polish, promote and profit from your talent.
Over 150 Creative Directors and Senior Designers will share their advice in virtual presentations, virtual panels, virtual one-on-one reviews and an online discussion platform.
Trailblazing: Presentations by renowned designers designed to motivate and inspire.
60 minutes on 3 days at: 9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM AT
Tools & Tactics: Panel Discussions of employers on Job-Hunting and career development strategies.
90 minutes on 3 days at: 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM AT
Transparency: Panel Discussions by senior professionals and industry experts on top-of-mind issues impacting designers.
90 minutes on 3 days at: 12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM AT
Trajectory: Series of short presentations by design professionals about how they found success in their specific disciplines.
90 minutes on 3 days at: 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT

Download the PDF program here!


  • When?

    Presentations take place April 27, April 29 & May 1.

    One-on-one Portfolio Reviews take place over the entire week.



    - All presentations take place virtually on Gotowebinar.

    - Portfolio Reviews will be offered on a variety of different online platforms.

    - Participants also receive access to a Slack Workspace for all participants, including presenters, panelists and portfolio reviewers.

  • Pricing (in Canadian dollars, includes 13% tax)


    All Access Pass (incl. 12 virtual Sessions (over 3 days); 3 thirty minute virtual Portfolio Reviews and access to online discussion platform)

    RGD Members: $141.25; Non-Members: $282.50

    Grad Special: $169.50 with Prov RGD Membership to Dec 31/20

    Non-Member Special: $310.75 with Affiliate Membership to Dec 31/20


    One-Day Pass (incl. 4 virtual sessions; 1 thirty minute virtual Portfolio Review and access to online discussion platform)

    RGD Members: $56.50; 

    Non-Members: $124.30



    RGD Members: $16.95 each or 3 Keynotes (Lewis, Zhu, Collins) for $39.55; 

    Non-Members: $39.55 each or 3 Keynotes (Lewis, Zhu, Collins) for $96.05


    Portfolio Reviews

    RGD Members: $22.60 each or 5 for $84.75; 

    Non-Members: $33.90 each or 5 for $141.25



    Register here.

  • The day will be hosted by Dominic Ayre RGD, Creative Director at Hambly & Woolley.


    9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM AT: Find Your Personal Style

    Presented by Meg Lewis

    Are you tired of seeing the same design trends? Feeling drenched in imposter syndrome trying to fit into a world of extremely talented creatives? We all have the makings for a design, illustration or fine art style unlike anyone else. After all, you’re unlike anyone else! In this talk, Meg explains how you can embrace the qualities that make you most unique, pinpoint lifelong sources of inspiration and translate your totally “you” personality into a visual style unlike anyone else's. Meg also explains how creating a set of style guidelines can be applied to your personal branding, work, wardrobe and even the way you decorate your home!


    About Meg Lewis

    Meg Lewis is a designer creating experiences for happy companies and a one-on-one educator creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. Meg is the founder of Ghostly Ferns, a collective of designers & commercial artists and is the co-founder of Fool Proof, a shared workspace for creativity & collaboration in Minneapolis. She specializes in creating emotional connections between businesses and their audiences by adding personality to their brand. Meg is also a sought-after speaker and educator, travelling the world to present at conferences and private events on personal brand, defining a purpose and living an authentic life.

    11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM AT: Tools & Tactics

    Perfecting Your Portfolio Panel Discussion

    A portfolio is a designer's career calling card. Panelists offer advice and answer your questions about developing and presenting your portfolio so you can feel confident and competent during interviews.


    Nicola Hamilton RGD, Art Director & Graphic Designer in Toronto



    12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM AT: Transparency

    So You Wanna Design A Better World? Panel Discussion

    Social good, sustainability, accessibility, inclusion... buzz words or basic & fundamental principles? Join us as our panel of designers discuss the important topics our world is talking about, and the role that design can play in addressing them.


    Victor Szeto RGD, Creative Director at Green Living Enterprises in Toronto



    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory
    Sponsored by Depositphotos


    What Brand Designers Know

    How do you build a memorable brand? What are the tips & tricks of the trade? Senior professionals offer tips specific to their roles in packaging, brand consulting and in-house brand management.


    • Mooren Bofill RGD, Executive Director, Design at john st. in Toronto

      • Topic: Branding in the Expectation Age: How do we build successful brands today?"

    • Wade Convay, Interactive Creative Lead at Google Brand Studio in San Francisco
      • Topic: Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind, Brave - What it's like to work in-house for one of the largest brands in the world.
    • Robin Honey RGD, Brand Consultant in London (ON)
      • Topic: BRANDLINGO - Translating for success
    • Wilson Wong, VP of Creative Services, Creative Director at Everbrave Branding Group in Calgary
      • Topic: A Sneak Peek into the Brand Refresh of a Branding Agency
  • The day will be hosted by Jennifer Taback RGD, Partner at Design de Plume in Sudbury.


    9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM AT: Trailblazing

    Make It: 400+ Slides on making it.

    Presented by Zipeng Zhu

    Zipeng is a Chinese-born designer, art director, illustrator and animator in New York City who wants to make every day a razzle-dazzle musical. His clients include Apple, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix, Viacom, The New Yorker, Fox, Animal Planet, CNN, Refinery29, Chobani and Samsung. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, he has worked at Pentagram and Sagmeister & Walsh. He was an ADC Young Guns 13 winner and has been recognized as Print magazine’s New Visual Artist and The One Show Young Ones. His work has been exhibited in New York, Barcelona, Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai and other major museums and institutions. Now he runs his creative practice Dazzle Studio and gift shop Dazzle Supply to push dazzle to the next level.


    11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM AT: Tools & Tactics

    Perfecting your Job Search Tools (Post COVID-19) Panel Discussion

    Close your eyes. Can you picture your dream job? This panel of design professionals will give you helpful insights and advice to help you land it.


    Nicola Hamilton RGD, Art Director & Graphic Designer in Toronto



    12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM AT: Transparency

    Real Life 101: The Missing Design Course Panel Discussion

    So you went to school and are about to start your career... but what did you miss? Join our panelists as they offer strategies, tips and advice on the important challenges you'll face in the work world that you weren't taught in school. This from-the-hip discussion explains what really matters for success in your career.


    Alison Garnett RGD, Creative Director & Founder of Field Trip & Co in Toronto



    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory
    Sponsored by Depositphotos


    What Digital Designers Know

    Interested in a digitally-driven career? Senior professionals offer tips specific to their roles in user experience design, motion design and game design.


    • Jay Grandin, Partner & Creative Director at Giant Ant in Vancouver
      • Topic: What the heck is motion design anyway... and who cares?
    • William Liani, Head of API - Business Development at Depositphotos in New York
      • Topic: Visual Trends 2020
    • Lin Oosterhoff Prov. RGD, Senior Designer at Critical Mass in Calgary
      • Topic: Down the Rabbit Hole. My unexpected journey into the magical world of digital design
    • Ellen Tham, Manager, UX Design, at GALE Partners in Toronto
      • Topic: Getting hired: tips for getting and growing in your first UX role


  • The day will be hosted by Freelance Designer Greg Dubeau RGD from Halifax.


    9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM AT: Trailblazing

    Re-Imagining Better Tomorrows

    Presented by Brian Collins

    Any future worth creating should seem ridiculous to achieve in present. In this closing keynote, Brian will discuss how he and his team have worked with some of the world’s leading organizations - Spotify, Mailchimp, Twitch, The San Francisco Symphony and the Exploratorium —to make leaps into the future, not by “changing,” but by evolving from their center. At the heart of COLLINS’ philosophy is the belief that problem-seeking is far better than problem-solving, and why the future only belongs to those who test the limits of their imaginations.


    About Brian Collins

    Brian is Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, the independent experience design company in San Francisco and New York City. They were named by Forbes as one of the companies reshaping the future of brand building. Over his career, Brian and his team have won every major creative award. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Businessweek, Creativity, Fortune, NBC News, ABC News and Fast Company, which named Brian an American Master of Design. Their clients include Target, Mailchimp, Nike, Coca-Cola, Spotify, Dropbox and the Exploratorium Museum. Under his leadership, COLLINS was added to Working Not Working’s annual list of Companies Creatives Would Kill To Work For Full-Time. They were also placed on Ad Age’s 2019 A-List and were named the first Design Agency of the Year in 2019. Brian is a Distinguished Alumna of The Massachusetts College of Art & Design.


    11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM AT: Tools & Tactics

    What Employers Will Be Looking For (Post COVID-19) Panel Discussion

    How do you stand out in a crowded job market? What are the essential skills to make you a sought after commodity? Join us as our panel discusses the qualities and skills of the designer of the future, and learn how to make sure you are exactly what employers are looking for.


    Nicola Hamilton RGD, Art Director & Graphic Designer in Toronto


    • Julie Barge RGD, Manager of Visual Design at Canada Life in London (ON)
    • Vanessa Eckstein RGD, Founder & Creative Director of Blok Design in Toronto
    • Geoff Lee, Director, Design and Brand at Bell Media Agency in Toronto
    • Nick Richards, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Will in Vancouver


    12:30 PM PT / 3:30 PM ET / 4:30 PM AT: Transparency

    Show Me the Money

    We’re throwing out the who, what, when, where & why. Let’s talk about the how. Like, how much? How much should you charge? How much should you ask for up front? How much can I expect to make as a junior designer? How much do you want to know these things? 

    Moderator: Julian Brown RGD, Owner, Creative Director of ON THE CHASE! Motion Design in Toronto



    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory
    Sponsored by Depositphotos


    What Solo Designers Know

    Interested in working by yourself? Experienced solo designers offer tips specific to their roles as both freelancers, working for creative agencies, and as solopreneurs, working directly for clients.


    • David Nuff RGD, Freelance Designer in Toronto
      • Topic: The Opposite of the Royal We
    • Marta Ryczko, Freelance Designer in Toronto
      • Topic: Sidepiece: How, When and Why you should start a Side Project
    • Cai Sepulis RGD, Freelance Illustrator/designer/art director at Ballyhoo Media in Guelph
      • Topic: Solo Designers: The Jack (and Jill) of all Trades
    • Carson Ting, Creative & Partner at Chairman Ting Industries in Vancouver
      • Topic: Creating Your Own Opportunities.

  • Portfolio reviews offer the opportunity to get professional feedback on your work and advice on how to improve your portfolio and presentation skills.
    One-day of programming includes one 1/2 hour virtual portfolio review. Sign up for an all-access pass with 3 three days of sessions to receive three 1/2 hour reviews. Or sign up for just reviews!
    Reviewers will be selected based on the areas of design that you are most interested, your location, your availability and other factors indicated on our review preferences form. Form will be provided after you register.
    You can find the list of reviewers here.
  • All event registrants will be invited to join a Slack Workspace to connect directly with other participants in the event, including speakers, panelists and portfolio reviewers. 


    Registrants will be added to channels specific to any and all panels and presentations that you are signed up to attend so that you can ask questions and receive resources related to the specific sessions.

  • All Full Access & Day Pass Registrants will receive a digital goodie bag after the event which will include the following items:

    • Chapters from the RGD Handbook including the sample forms and agreements
    • Speaker slides
    • Coupon offering free .design domains for 1-year w/ email hosting & 3-month free website builder
    • Depositphotos - Free 7-day subscription for 10 images
    • InVision - 6-month upgraded license granting 3 free prototypes ($72 value)
    • Adam J. Kurtz's complete 42-page activity book
    • Foreword, intro and complete Chapters 13 & 14 of Douglas Davis' book Creative Strategy & The Business of Design
    • Free use of Dalton Maag fonts for all trials & student work; 20% off fonts used for commercial purposes
    • Exclusive advance content from Robert Smith RGD's book The Frankenstein Creative on creativity & the monsters we create
    • Complete digital version of Applied Arts' new P&I issue