Association of Registered Graphic Designers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Association of Registered Graphic Designers
The RGD Logo.jpg
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers logo
Founded 1996 (1996)
Founder Pauline Jarworski, Michael Large, Ivy Li, Helen Mah, Rod Nash, Albert Kai-Wing Ng, Rene Schoepflin, Robert Smith, Philip Sung
Type Professional Association
Area served
Official languages
Affiliations Icograda

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD Ontario[1]:7,9,52[2] or simply RGD;[3] formerly ARGD/ON[4]) is a non-profit, self-regulatory[1]:52[4] professional design association with over 3,000 members. It serves graphic design professionals, managers, educators and students. Created in 1996 by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Bill Pr56),[5] the Association is Canada’s only accredited body of graphic designers with a legislated title[6] and the second such accredited body of graphic designers in the world.[7][8] RGD certifies graphic designers and promotes knowledge sharing, continuous learning, research, advocacy and mentorship.


RGD works to establish professional standards and innovative thinking within the graphic design industry. The association assumes an advocacy role for best practices for both graphic designers and the clients they work with. They focus on issues such as spec work and crowdsourcing, accessibility, sustainability, salaries and billing practices, pro bono work and internship guidelines.

RGD advocacy initiatives include:

  • Supporting, defending and maintaining policies
  • Promoting measures that broadly benefit members and the industry
  • Increasing public awareness and disseminating information about industry best practices and the value of working with a Registered Graphic Designer (RGD)
  • Arguing in favour of a new idea
  • Speaking out on issues of concern
  • Mediating, coordinating, clarifying and advancing a particular point of view
  • Intervening with others on behalf of the profession


In 1956, Toronto based designers Frank Davies, John Gibson, Frank Newfeld and Sam Smart formed the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (TDC).[6][9] The TDC was later renamed the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) to reflect the wider interests of its members.[10][11]:17, note 7 By 1974 GDC was re-establishing itself as a national association[7]:10 and in 1976 GDC was granted a Federal Charter to incorporate.[7]:11[12]

By 1984 many other design disciplines such as Architecture and Interior Design had been given Acts in Provincial Legislatures so that their respective associations could govern and grant their members exclusive professional designations. RGD's founders and founding contributors recognized the need to align Graphic Design with other design professionals. To ensure Graphic Design could also advance as an acknowledged profession the GDC decided to incorporate the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD).

On April 25, 1996 Bill Pr56[5] was passed and Royal Assent was given to an Act Respecting The Association of Registered Graphic Designers by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Marland, Member of Provincial Parliament and signed by the Honourable Hal Jackman C.M., O.Ont., O.ST.J., B.A., L.L.B., L.L.D., Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario.

In 1998, RGD and GDC approved an agreement to work together to see progress in the Graphic Design industry continue across Canada and in 1999 a separate RGD Examination Board was established. The RGD exam board continues to administer the Registered Graphic Designers Qualification Examination.


Outstanding Founding Contributors[edit]

Examination Board[edit]

The Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers administers the Registered Graphic Designers Qualification Examination. The site includes a schedule of upcoming exam dates, application forms and guidelines for all segments of the examination. The Examination Board, derived from the Standard Committee of the Acccreditation for Professional Graphic Designers Committee, was established in 1999.


In order to obtain the Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) designation, designers must complete the Qualification Examination, which includes an application to determine eligibility, a written test, and a portfolio interview. The RGD designation signifies knowledge, experience and ethical practice, guaranteeing that a designer is professionally competent in the areas of business, design principles, research and ethics.

RGD offers various forms of membership for professional practitioners, managers, educators and students in graphic design, and for persons in allied professions.


RGD organizes three annual conferences: a two- or three-day design conference called DesignThinkers,[13] a one-day career development conference for students and emerging designers called HeadStart,[14] and a one-day Design Educators Conference.[15]


RGD has published The business of graphic design: a professional’s handbook for graphic designers in Ontario.[16][17] It has also published AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook on Accessible Graphic Design[18] and publishes the biennial National survey of graphic design salaries & billing practices.[16]

Related organizations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Design Industry Advisory Committee (December 2004). "Design Matters: DIAC Design Industry Study Final Report" (PDF). ISBN 0-9736885-2-1. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. "CGD Certification". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Association of Registered Graphic Designers. "Why RGD?". 
  4. ^ a b Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. "Albert Ng, FGDC". Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Bill Pr56, An Act respecting the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (25 April 1996). "Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:1523 ROYAL ASSENT / SANCTION ROYALE". online.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Bill_Pr56" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b Association of Registered Graphic Designers. "Founders". Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "50 years of Canadian design" (PDF). Design Edge Canada: 10–14. Jul–Aug 2006. ISSN 1718-0643. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Living life by design". Newmarket Era. Feb 17, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  9. ^ Duncan. "Graphic Art and Design / Robert Stacey". Modern Canada (Weblog post). Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. "About GDC". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ Speller, Randall (2012) [2006]. "Hidden Collections: The Invisible World of English Canadian Book Illustration and Design." (PDF). Essays in the History of Art Librarianship in Canada. ARLIS/NA Canada. pp. 13–28. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Federal Corporation Information - 0994952". Corporations Canada. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ Curcio, Tony (September 23, 2013). "DesignThinkers Conference set for November 6-7 in Toronto". Graphic Arts Magazine. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  14. ^ Association of Registered Graphic Designers. "HeadStart Conference 2014". Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ Association of Registered Graphic Designers (December 2, 2013). "First annual Design Educators Conference a success". Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Works by or about Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  17. ^ Stone, Terry Lee (September 1, 2010). Managing the Design Process-Implementing Design: An Essential Manual for the Working Designer. Rockport Publishers. p. 206 (Bibliography). 
  18. ^ Matorin, Guy (December 22, 2010). "Graphic Design Goes Accessible!". Retrieved July 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]