GDC has been Canada’s national certification body for graphic and communication designers since 1956, establishing professional standards and actively regulating professional conduct. GDC is a member-based organization of design professionals, educators, administrators, students and affiliates in communications, marketing, media and design-related fields. Our members come together to advance the profession, grow professionally, mentor each other, show off their work, and enjoy the camaraderie.
What do we do?
As Canada’s national certification body for graphic and communication designers, GDC licenses the unique CGD™ certification mark only to designers, educators and administrators whose services meet rigorous, standardized criteria. The CGD certification mark is recognized across Canada.
Structure and Governance
GDC is a not-for-profit, adaptive and vibrant organization fueled by member participation. Members are encouraged to become involved with and access GDC through their local Chapter.
The National Council is essentially the united nations of GDC chapters, consisting of representatives from all over the country. The National Executive is the organizing and governing board of GDC. It is comprised of elected representatives who are charged with the responsibility of executing strategic initiatives and directions developed at the annual general meetings.
GDC National Executive:
|President||Adrian Jean CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Executive Director||Melanie MacDonaldemail@example.com|
|Treasurer||Ana Herrera CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|VP Membership||Marga Lopez CGDemail@example.com|
|VP Website||Phil Kneer CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Partnerships||Andy Maier CGDemail@example.com|
|CGD Certification Board||Mike Cober CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sustainability||Valerie Elliott CGDemail@example.com|
|GDC Foundation||Peggy Cady CGD, FGDCfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ethics||David Berman CGD, FGDCemail@example.com|
|Ethics Co-Chair||Johnathon Vaughn Strebly CGD|
GDC governs itself and conducts business activities using an official Constitution. Our Constitution is a living document that guides the Society and its members in a fair and balanced way. Modifications to the Constitution are considered at National AGMs or during extraordinary meetings. More detail on this and all other aspects of governance can be found in the gdc_constitution.pdf itself.
In 1956 a visionary group of designers [Frank Davies, John Gibson, Frank Newfeld, and Leslie (Sam) Smart] met in Toronto to form the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (TDC).
Due to the rapid evolution of the profession, in 1968 the organization changed its name to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC). Thanks to the efforts of a number of dedicated designers and design educators, negotiations between members of the original society, the federal government, and designers from every region of the country culminated in the granting of a Federal Charter in 1976, unifying the country under one national association. It was then that GDC truly became the national organization it is today.
In 1996 GDC’s five Ontario Chapters amalgamated to form the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, and received provincial legislation granting them authority to use the title of Registered Graphic Designer and the R.G.D. designation within the province of Ontario.
GDC celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2006 with a commemorative stamp from Canada Post (seen above).
Today GDC has chapters throughout Canada and proudly boasts representation in every province and territory as well as many international members.
Friends and Affiliates of GDC
GDC is well-respected internationally. Our organization is a member of the International Council of Design (ico-D), the worldwide non-governmental body representing graphic and communication designers. This allows our members to attain international recognition, professional development, and a global perspective on graphic design. GDC is one of the ten largest association members in ico-D and has been a member since 1974.
GDC is also allied with the Societe des Designers Graphiques du Quebec (SDGQ), representing graphic designers in Quebec, the University and College Designers Association (UCDA), the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA).
|2012-2016||Adrian Jean CGD|
|2010-2012||Jim Hudson CGD|
|2008-2010||Rod Roodenburg CGD|
|2006-2008||Dean McNeill CGD|
|2004-2006||Peggy Cady CGD, FGDC|
|2002-2004||Matthew Warburton CGD, FGDC|
|2000-2002||Cynthia Hoffos CGD|
|1998-2000||David Coates CGD, FGDC|
|1994-96||Mary Ann Maruska|
|1981-83||Jan van Kampen|
|1978-81||Walter Jungkind FGDC|
|1978||Peter Dorn (Acting President)|
|1976-78||First National elections, John Gibson, President|
|1976||National Charter of Incorporation granted.|
|1975||Peter Dorn (Acting President)|
|1974||Founding meeting of the Council of Regional Representatives.
Carl Brett, First National Interim President.
|1968||TDC name changed to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC).|
|1957-58||First President Leslie (Sam) Smart|