Members share experiences in Municipal Designers' Virtual Community
Ruth Farrugia RGD, Graphic Designer for the City of Côte Saint-Luc in Quebec, shares notes from the latest Designers for Municipalities gathering!
RGD Virtual Communities bring together Members from across Canada who work in similar areas and/or who face a particular set of challenges to share knowledge, discuss experiences, propose solutions and support each other. The RGD Designers for Municipalities Community is comprised of Members who work within design, marketing or communications departments in a municipality somewhere in the country. Ruth Farrugia RGD leads this Community, which meets virtually once every two months and also connects via a special channel in RGD's Slack Workspace.
A few topics we’ve discussed at previous meetings include creative briefs, job intake and management, social media, citizen engagement and accessibility. We’ve commiserated, consoled each other and given advice to Members looking for solutions to challenges particular to our niche of design.
Here are Ruth's notes from the group's January meeting.
Municipal Designer Meeting Notes
This meeting was attended by 11 of our Members. The topic of discussion was career progression options at municipalities, but we also discussed animation tools and the challenges that have been brought on by the Pandemic.
Unionized environments are very particular and some of us already occupy the only available positions for graphic designers. Our municipalities each have their own organizational set-ups. Some of us work within marketing departments, some within communications departments and a few work in particular sections of municipal government, like recreation and culture or branding. Some find moving into management is the only way to progress within the organization, but that can lead to being more hands-off design-wise. Many of us feel we would benefit from having another designer or more designers in our teams. Many of us find ways to inspire ourselves and improve our skills through supplementary training, educational and networking opportunities like DesignThinkers.
There is an increased need for video and animation when communicating on social media. One of our Members works almost solely on animation projects for her municipality. Adobe After Effects and Animate came up, but web-based tools like Powtoon and Toonly have become alternatives, but not as bespoke a solution.
Signage, signage and signage! Much of our work has gone online (web and social media), but citizens on-site still need to be guided by various wayfinding and safety measure signs. Realities are changing all the time as provincial governments provide new guidelines and measures and our communications change with them. Most of us have moved to working from home, with mostly positive results, though not so much for the parents among us who definitely have a different set of challenges.
Virtual Communities are open to Certified RGDs, Provisional RGDs and Affiliate Members who meet the criteria for the specific group. To express your interest in this Program, identify preferences and/or volunteer to be a Community Leader, fill out this form.