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NewsMay 28, 2024

Volunteer of the month : Gordon McLean RGD

Written by Gordon McLean RGD, Cadre Creative Agency

This June, the RGD thanks Gordon McLean RGD for his contributions to the RGD community.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with the RGD, and in what capacity? 

I’ve been a member of the Certification Committee since January 2020 but have volunteered on many smaller things throughout

Q: What contribution are you most proud of / What experience/memory stands out for you?

While there isn’t one specific moment, contributing to elevating the design profession in Canada continues to be appealing. I’ve particularly enjoyed connecting with younger designers and learning about them, their interests and their passions.

Q: What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?

The sense of community. Design in the broad sense isn’t as simple as it appears. As designers, we produce an extensive array of work that supports diverse organizations operating across various sectors worldwide. Exposure to the wider design community can be eye-opening and inspiring. Volunteering ensures I carve out time to broaden my perspectives on the industry while creating reciprocal connections to share knowledge and enthusiasm for design and the other things that bring passion.

Q: What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?

Likely not new, three observations for the industry would be: Designers have difficulty moving between design language and business language. The industry is much smaller than it may appear. Not all designers are properly prepared to solve business problems—Education and experience are the two biggest elements that influence and shape a designer’s knowledge. With much of the design education and early experience focused on the practical skills of design, some designers aren’t receiving adequate exposure to design theory and strategy.

Q: Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?

I’ve always been a proponent of the RGD. Good for designers and good for business, the ongoing support, inspiration, and education provided through the RGD not only helps cultivate skills and knowledge but also supports and protects the interests of the companies we support.

Q: What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer, and why would you recommend it to other members who might be thinking of getting involved?

Creative people are an interesting bunch. They share some common tendencies of being highly sensitive, curious and passionate while possessing a fair share of insecurities—these characteristics that make them successful. Finding your niche in life isn’t easy, but once you do, connecting with others who share a common bond is empowering. My involvement with the RGD reminds me of the gifts that I received from all the great teachers and mentors who shaped and influenced me.


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