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What is RGD?

Through the RGD, Canadian designers exchange ideas, educate and inspire, set professional standards and build a strong, supportive community dedicated to advocating for the value of design.

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) is Canada’s largest professional association for graphic designers. The association’s membership of more than 4,000 people includes firm owners, freelancers, managers, in-house designers, educators and students.

Members work in the design disciplines engaged in developing effective communications, including editorial design, motion design, brand design, environmental design, UX design and information design.

The RGD runs numerous industry events and initiatives, including DesignThinkers, Canada’s largest annual conference for graphic designers; Creative Earners, Canada’s comprehensive salary report for creatives; awards programs for branding, design educators, emerging designers, in-house design, social good design and students, and much more.

Our vision

Our vision is for a graphic design profession that is broadly valued for its contribution to life, commerce and society.

Our history

The RGD was created by an Act of the Ontario Legislature (Bill Pr 56) and is the only graphic design association in North America to have this type of legislation. Bill Pr 56 “enables the Association to govern and discipline its members,” and also states, “every member of the Association who meets the qualifications and conditions as set out in the by-laws of the Association may use the designations ‘Registered Graphic Designer and ‘RGD.’”

The RGD designation

Registered Graphic Designer and RGD are Official Marks adopted by the Association (advertised in Vol. 48, No. 2460 of the Trade-marks Journal on December 19, 2001) and it is an offence under federal trademarks law to use them without the Association’s written authorization.

The RGD and Registered Graphic Designer designations are signals of quality and competence to the profession, public and government. Successful candidates have met a rigorous set of standards that includes documented levels of relevant, professional education and experience as well as competence in the areas of business, design principles, research and ethics demonstrated through the successful completion of RGD’s certification process, which includes an online multiple choice test and a virtual half hour portfolio presentation.