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NewsNov 11, 2023

Raj Grainger RGD designs a typographic 2023 Certification Sticker

Written by raj grainger RGD, r/grainger studio

A new year means a new Certification Sticker for Certified RGDs. Raj Grainger RGD shares the concept and process behind his design for the 2023 Sticker.

I was honoured to be invited to design the 2023 RGD Certification Sticker. My first point of reference were my parents — they were both pharmacists and I was always fascinated by their Ontario College of Pharmacists certificates. Traditionally, they were displayed at every dispensary and each year pharmacists would receive a green certification sticker which would be applied to the glass around the matte. The design didn’t change much from year to year, but the consistency was interesting.

My process started by looking at designs for small spaces and this naturally led me to postage stamp design. I also knew I wanted something typographic and — for whatever reason — I decided to start sketching with an unwieldy paint marker with a comically large chisel tip. Instead of using an out-of-the-box type, I wanted something custom … and something a little weird. Why not use a marker (obviously) designed for tagging and other graffiti work? The result was a ream of paper with mostly useless doodles. (See messy desk photo.) I was going nowhere and wasting a lot of paper. I put these away for over a month before revisiting. 

Upon re-evaluating my work, I noticed a particular “two-three” combination that had a nice feel to it. I took this concept and redrew it on the computer. This allowed me to refine the letterforms and experiment in minute detail. While adjusting for optical sizes (these are very small, 12 × 12 mm stickers), it struck me that the entire certification sticker sheet was giant sticker. What if we added a third, larger sticker? This multi-use sticker had unlimited possibilities: laptops, water bottles, car bumpers, bikes, skateboards, anywhere! No longer relegated to the Membership Certificate, the RGD sticker is ready for the world — for proud RGD members to display wherever they want.

This initiative has welcomed designs from RGD Members across Canada over the past nine years, including:

2013: Phil Mondor RGD in Kitchener

2015: Design de Plume in Sudbury

2016: Goodall Integrated Design in Toronto

2017: Michael Zavacky RGD in Ottawa

2018: Kyle Greenwood RGD in Toronto

2019: Jennifer Weaymouth RGD in Toronto

2020: Rod McDonald RGD in Halifax

2021: Xandr Sutjiadi RGD in Calgary

2022: Matthew Clark RGD in Vancouver


Find out more about RGD Certification

raj grainger RGD

r/grainger studio

raj grainger is a UK-born multidisciplinary graphic designer and creative director who lives and works in Tkaronto (Toronto). He studied conceptual art and media design and currently focuses on editorial, print- and identity-based projects. He likes to collaborate with cultural and educational institutions, non-profits and other creatives. His work has been recognized by Communications Arts, Applied Arts magazine, the Registered Graphic Designers of Canada (RGD), The Advertising & Design Club of Canada and has been nominated for three National Magazine Awards. In 2019 he started his own studio and teaches at the SCHOOLOFDESIGN at George Brown College.

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