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NewsDec 28, 2023

RGD’s Year in Review: 2023

Photo of confetti Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

We had one of our best years ever in 2023 with our highest ever attendance at DesignThinkers and highest number of entries ever in our Student and professional awards programs.

RGD’s 2023 in numbers



Professional Development

  • 49 webinars with 1,900 attendees (including 152 guest passes used)
  • 2,760 attendees at our DesignThinkers Conferences
  • $7,500 in cash scholarships for Members to attend RGD conferences


  • 70 Branding Awards given
  • 2 Design Educator Award Winners and 1 Honourable Mention
  • 35 Student Award Winners and 112 Honourable Mentions ($15,000 in cash prizes)
  • 5 Trailblazer Award Winners ($5,000 in cash prizes)


  • 74 emerging designers paired with 65 Mentors
  • 260 virtual and in-person portfolio reviews

RGD’s 2023 achievements

Perhaps more importantly, the RGD continued to advocate on behalf of the profession and raise the profile of graphic design across Canada. In 2023, the RGD:

  • Launched our new Branding Awards Program with the most entries the RGD has ever received for a professional awards program.
  • Launched a new event featuring virtual tours of creative studios across Canada with participation from more than 20 participating studios.
  • Published results of the 2022/2023 Creative Earners survey, receiving 3,343 responses (over 1,000 downloads of the results in less than one month) and media coverage of the results in Strategy, The Message and Applied Arts.
  • Presented DesignThinkers as an in-person conference in Vancouver and Toronto, with Toronto having the highest attendance ever with over 2,100 delegates.
  • Presented a new two-day Certification Sprint to help prepare candidates for the RGD Certification Online Test.
  • Launched a new Design Systems Webinar Series, in addition to continuing our other webinar series for In-House Design, UX Design, Culture Shock, Accessible Design, Signage & Wayfinding and Freshly Certified.
  • Held our second in-person Design Educators Conference in Vancouver (in partnership with Capilano University and Vancouver Community College).
  • Launched a new RGD Book Club, now with over 120 Members.
  • Further developed our social media presence, with 14% growth on LinkedIn in 2023 and 17% growth on Instagram over the same time.
  • Received design/branding support from Sid Lee (DesignThinkers 2023), Forge Media (DesignThinkers website), Clear Space (Creative Earners), Rethink (Branding Awards), Elyssa Schmid RGD (Educators Conference), Raj Grainger RGD (2023 Certification Sticker), Becoming Design Office Ltd. (Student Awards)

RGD’s 2024: What’s next

Stay tuned for more information on the exciting new initiatives and returning programs coming up in 2024.

Initiatives planned

  • Launch our new RGD website, in partnership with Context Creative.
  • Launch an updated DesignThinkers website, in partnership with Forge Media.
  • Launch another annual Creative Earners Survey
  • Celebrate 25 years of DesignThinkers with special programming TBA.
  • Launch a new Project-based Mentorship Program.
  • Resume local in-person events, with plans for a special workshop series presented by Eleni Beveratou.
  • Ratify a new section for the Code of Ethics focused on cultural appropriation.
  • Track and share RGD's progress as part of POCAM's Call for Equity.
  • Develop a new Career Plan template to help Members meet their career goals and incorporate RGD initiatives as part of their planning.

2024 In-person events 

  • DesignThinkers Vancouver Conference, May 28–29
  • Design Educators Conference (in Vancouver), May 30
  • DesignThinkers Toronto Conference, November 8–9 

2024 virtual events (sign up to receive weekly updates)

  • Weekly webinars, beginning January 11
  • Virtual Career Weeks, February 5–10, June 17–22 & September 23–28
  • Great Canadian Studio Crawl, March 22

2024 awards programs

  • Student Awards (Entry deadline: May 10)
  • Trailblazer Awards (Entry deadline: May 10)
  • In-House Design Awards (Final entry deadline: February 16)

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