Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
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|Founder||Frank Davies, John Gibson, Frank Newfeld, Leslie Smart|
|President Adrian Jean CGD|
|Society of Typographic Designers of Canada|
The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) is Canada's national professional graphic design society. The GDC is a member-based organization of design professionals, educators, administrators, students, and associates in communications, marketing, media and design-related fields.
GDC was Canada’s first distinct group to professionalize graphic design as a distinct field.
The GDC was founded in 1956 as the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada,:14 with a statement mission “to build up a professional status by accepting professional responsibilities”, “to encourage printers, publishers and others to help them in their efforts towards higher standards in printed communications“, and “to increase public awareness of the benefits which we all derive from good design and craftsmanship”.:57 In 1968 it changed its name to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada:17, note 7 and created the MGDC (Professional Member) certification.:57
By the early 1970s, several other design associations had been founded and the GDC was no longer truly national. In 1974, with the help of Design Canada, GDC in Ontario called a meeting in Ottawa to meet with the other associations to discuss establishing a single national presence,:10 and the Council of Regional Representatives was formed. It joined Icograda in the same year, then in 1976 it was incorporated by federal charter.:57:11
In September 2010 the GDC adopted membership changes to replace the then-current MGDC and LGDC (Licentiate Member) certifications with a new CGD (Certified Graphic Designer) certification in order to reduce confusion over the meaning of the MGDC designation. The CGD certification mark was registered in 2011.
The GDC has been an advocate and resource for Canada's graphic and communication design profession since 1956. The GDC maintains a national certified body of graphic designers and promotes high standards of graphic design and ethical business practices, for the benefit of Canadian industry, commerce, public service and education.
Through the media, publications, seminars, events, conferences and exhibits, the GDC builds awareness of graphic and communication design and its essential role in business and society.
Since 1960, the GDC has been recognizing as Fellows those designers who make major contributions to Canadian graphic design. Designers who have received the honour include Allan Fleming (1960), Burton Kramer (1975), Chris Yaneff (1983), Paul Arthur (1996), Jim Rimmer (2007), and Mark Busse (2014).
As of July 2014, GDC consists of nine chapters across Canada, facilitating a national, ongoing exchange of ideas and information for designers and students:
- Alberta North — Amanda Schutz CGD, President
- Alberta South
- Arctic — Mark Rutledge CGD, President
- Atlantic — Larry Burke CGD, President
- BC Mainland — Johnathon Strebly, President
- BC Vancouver Island — Aaron Heppell CGD, President
- Manitoba — Adrian Shum CGD, President
- Saskatchewan North
- Saskatchewan South
- Members At Large (including Ontario and Quebec)
GDC is a professional member of Icograda (International Council of Communication Design), the worldwide non-governmental body representing the graphic design profession. This provides GDC members with the opportunity for international recognition, professional development and a global perspective on graphic design.
The portfolio review portion of the certification process, called a “case study review” by the GDC, is carried out quarterly in each chapter with a rotating team of CGD-certified examiners called standards officers. The review process is a single-blind setup where only the GDC membership chair has knowledge of the candidate’s identity. In addition to the case study review, candidates are required to be members with a minimum of 7 years of combined work experience and post-secondary design education, and are required to abide by a strict code of ethics and also respect the GDC’s sustainable design principles. The goal of these certification process and requirements is to enable a designer with CGD certification to be recognized across Canada as a highly qualified professional with an excellent standard of work and ethical business conduct.
- Association of Registered Graphic Designers
- Salazar Awards
- Société des designers graphiques du Québec (French)
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