Ivy Li RGD Emeritus
Rod Nash RGD
Rene Schoepflin RGD Emeritus
Robert Smith RGD
Philip Sung RGD
Outstanding Founding Contributors
Catherine Didulka RGD
Don Newgren RGD Emeritus
Tiit Telmet RGD
Shelley Warsh RGD
In 1956 four Toronto designers – Frank Davies, John Gibson, Frank Newfeld and Sam Smart formed the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (TDC). In 1968, to indicate the wider interests of the members, it was renamed the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC). The GDC became a national association in 1974 and was granted a Federal Charter in 1976.
By 1984 other design professions including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design and Industrial Design had advanced and been given Acts in Provincial Legislatures recognizing the role of the respective Associations in governing and granting members the right to exclusive professional designations.
Graphic Design needed to align itself with these other design professions. RGD's founders and founding contributors put in many years of hard work and sacrifice to make this alignment happen.
By 1996 four chapters of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada had in place the requirements necessary to help ensure Graphic Design could also advance as an acknowledged profession. The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario was incorporated, and on April 25, 1996 the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario passed Bill Pr 56, enabling The Association to govern and grant members the exclusive use of the designation “RGD” and “Registered Graphic Designer”.
In 1998, RGD and GDC jointly approved an agreement on how we would work together to see progress continue across Canada and in 1999 a separate RGD Examination Board was established. The Exam Board was and is not specific to Ontario, as it was envisioned that the formal examination process and professional designation would eventually be extended across Canada. Since 1999, the RGD exam board has administered the Registered Graphic Designers Qualification Examination.
RGD is Canada’s only accredited body of graphic designers with a legislated title.