RGD Webinar: Freshly Certified — Creating Effective Case Studies from RGD on Vimeo.


Projects/Case Studies

As part of your application, you must submit Case Studies for Projects that you will present in your Portfolio Presentation

  • Practitioner/Manager applicants must submit 6 Case Studies for the 6 projects
  • Educator applicants must submit 3 Case Studies for the 3 projects

Please note all work submitted will remain completely confidential and shared only with selected members of RGD's Eligibility Review Committee and RGD's Evaluation Committee who observe strict confidentiality and conflict of interest guidelines.


Specific Criteria for Portfolio Projects

  • All projects must have been completed as a professional (not as a student) and cannot include work created for academic credit.
  • All projects should demonstrate your highest level of professional work.
  • All projects must align with the RGD Code of Ethics. In particular, no projects can have been created as spec work.
  • At least 1 project must have been produced in the last 12 months; 2 other projects must have been produced in the last 5 years.
  • No more than 2 projects can be pro bono projects (design process must be the same as for paid work)
  • No more than 1 project can be self-published design (such as your own business identity, portfolio website or self-published book)

General Considerations for Selecting Projects 

  • Practitioners should demonstrate an ability to develop and implement solutions to complex problems encountered in all phases of the design process.
  • Managers should demonstrate an ability to develop and implement effective design management strategies.
  • Educators should focus on teaching and research, demonstrating an ability to develop and implement effective teaching strategies.

Case Study Preparation

Candidates are asked to outline the following information for each project:

  1. Context
  2. Method
  3. Design Process
  4. Solution
  5. Results
  6. Supporting Materials: URL or PDF upload (final pieces are preferred)

Check out real-life examples of Case Studies submitted by now-Certified RGDs.


Thinks to Keep in Mind

Presenting your portfolio in a slide deck is strongly encouraged
  • Carefully review and edit your case studies before submission
  • Be concise, removing any unnecessary words and phrases
  • Check spelling
  • Check grammar
  • Get someone else to proofread
  • Like your portfolio, consistency is important. All case studies should have a consistent writing style
Accessing Portfolio
  • Portfolios should be easy to access from the application and consistent (i.e., direct links or clearly labelled PDFs i.e.: CaseStudy 1, CaseStudy 2 etc.) 
  • If the project was a collaborative effort, clearly explain your role and responsibility
  • While the certification reviewers are all designers, they are looking for you to demonstrate your knowledge, approach and workflow of the project
Design Principles
  • Ensure design principles are exemplified throughout the case studies and referenced in the portfolio review
  • Use quantitative and/or qualitative metrics to demonstrate how the project successfully solved the design problem ultimately meeting the client's goals (ie. client growth, website analytics, client quotes, and/or any details that help explain)  
  • When possible, demonstrate and discuss how the design solved the business need In-House Candidates
  • If working with brand guidelines, when possible please include them with your submission and reference how they were used during your presentation.