Creative Directions
Creative Directions is a Virtual Conference designed to help graduates and emerging designers gain the tools and knowledge needed to embark upon and build a career in the creative communications industries.
Join us April 27, 29 & May 1 to learn how to package, polish, promote and profit from your talent.
Over 150 Creative Directors, Design Managers and Senior Designers will share their experiences, advice and knowledge in virtual presentations, virtual panel discussions, virtual one-on-one portfolio reviews and an online discussion platform.
Trailblazing: Presentations by renowned designers designed to motivate and inspire.
60 minutes on all 3 days starting 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 all 3 days starting 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 all 3 days starting 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 all 3 days starting at: 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT


  • 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)


    Student Members

    All Access Pass*: $141.25 ($169.50 for grads with Prov RGD Membership to Dec 31/20)

    One-Day Pass**: $56.50

    Single Session: $16.95


    Prov RGD / Jr Affiliate Members

    All Access Pass*: $141.25

    One-Day Pass**: $56.50

    Single Session: $16.95


    Certified RGD/Affiliate Members:

    All Access Pass*: $226

    One-Day Pass**: $84.75

    Single Session: $28.25



    All Access Pass*: $282.50 ($310.75 with Affiliate Membership to Dec 31/20)

    One-Day Pass**: $124.30

    Single Session: $39.55


    *All Access Pass includes 12 virtual Sessions (over 3 days); 3 thirty minute virtual Portfolio Reviews and access to Slack Workspace

    **One-Day Pass includes 1 thirty minute virtual Portfolio Review and access to Slack Workspace



    Online registration is now open. 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: Trailblazing

    Presented by 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.


    - Matthew Clark RGD, Creative Director at Subplot in Vancouver

    - Sarah Di Domenico, VP, Partner & Creative Director at WEDGE in Montreal

    - Linda Nakanishi, Associate Partner at Nascent Digital, User Experience, in Toronto

    - Laura Stein RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Bruce Mau Design 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


    - JD Beltran, Founder and Director of the Center for Creative Sustainability

    - Andrew Gibbs, Founder & CEO at Dieline in Los Angeles and Partner of A Plastic Planet

    Michelle Hopgood RGD, Information Design Specialist at Hopgood Creative in Toronto

    - Jay Wall RGD, Principal & Creative Director at RallyRally – Design for Social Change in Toronto


    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory

    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

    Robin Honey RGD, Brand Consultant in London (ON)

    - Wilson Wong, VP of Creative Services, Creative Director at Everbrave Branding Group in Calgary


  • 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.


    - Eleni Alpous, Manager, Design & Insights at Doblin in Toronto

    - Chris Govias, Chief of Design at The Canadian Digital Service in Ottawa

    Berkeley Poole, Creative Director at Whitman Emorson in Toronto

    Dave Watson, VP, Executive Creative Director of Design Mosaic North America in Toronto


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

    Real Life 1010: 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


    - Jeff Close, Associate Partner at Pentagram in NY

    - Hans Thiessen RGD, Partner, Partner & Creative Director of Design at Rethink in Vancouver

    - Paul Twa Prov. RGD, Designer + Illustrator in Edmonton

    - Sara Wong Prov. RGD, Designer at The Office of Gilbert Li in Toronto


    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory

    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

    - Lin Oosterhoff Prov. RGD, Senior Designer at Critical Mass in Calgary

    - Ellen Tham, Manager, UX Design, at GALE Partners in Toronto

  • 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.


    Nick Richards, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Will in Vancouver

    Vanessa Eckstein RGD, Founder & Creative Director of Blok Design in Toronto

    Geoff Lee, Director, Design and Brand at Bell Media Agency in Toronto


    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


    Tanya Duffy, Creative Director / Owner at The Details Design and Branding in Fredericton

    Jordan Jackson Prov. RGD, Designer at Puncture Design in Toronto

    Dzung Tran RGD, Designer + Branding Consultant in Toronto


    2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT: Trajectory

    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

    Marta Ryczko, Freelance Designer in Toronto

    Cai Sepulis RGD, Freelance Illustrator/designer/art director at Ballyhoo Media in Guelph

    Carson Ting, Creative & Partner at Chairman Ting Industries in Vancouver

  • Portfolio reviews offer the opportunity to get professional feedback on your work and advice on how to improve your portfolio and presentation skills.
    Registration for one-day of programming includes one 1/2 hour virtual portfolio review. Sign up for an all-access pass consisting of all three days of programming, and you'll receive three 1/2 hour reviews. 
    Reviews will take place over April 28 to May 8. 
    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.
    A full list of reviewers will be posted shortly.
  • 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.