GDC Launches New Identity

GDC Launches a new identity, first in nearly 50 years.

By Design:
a new GDC identity

Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC®) is pleased to unveil this new visual identity. It is the result of a highly consultative process, involving an exceptional design team, representatives from across the country, several years of planning, exploration, research, adaptation and iteration. We are very proud of the work done, and of the dedication and passion each person involved brought to this massive undertaking.

With a stronger and more clearly articulated national brand and a revitalized identity, GDC is well positioned to further its work as the voice of graphic and communication designers in Canada. GDC has the foundation to continue to be the primary hub for Canada’s creative industry leaders, as well as this country’s new and emerging talent.

the new GDC identity

In October 2012 GDC began a process to replace a mark that had served as a symbol for Canada’s professional creative community for nearly 50 years

Vancouver-based design team of Dennis Boyle CGD and John Ngan CGD focused on three key creative elements to guide the development process and serve as founding principles in the creation and evaluation of solutions.

Leadership & Innovation

GDC has always taken a leadership role in promoting professional practice to designers. Over the years, GDC has refined the methods employed for certifying the services of graphic and communications designers and developed the unique CGD certification mark, the first of its kind in north america. The next logical step was to invest in increasing awareness and value of that certification to the end user – the design buyer.

This increased consciousness of including design buyers into the core communication strategy led Boyle/Ngan to develop a mark that would enable GDC to promote the association to designers and CGD certification to the business community.

The mark’s implied geometric shapes speak to forward motion (arrows) in negative space, and strategic direction (triangles) forming a “C” shape which doubles as a stamp-mark for “certification”. The 'C' character is also present in the acronym “GDC” and in the CGD certification mark. Thus, it made sense to pivot from this character.

Community & Engagement

GDC is, of course, about people. A repeating set of semi-circles was incorporated to represent the many diverse “faces” that make up the national community. Each rounded shape forms a portion of a letter in the logomark, suggesting that people are truly at the core of every aspect of the organization.


The Canadian flag is globally recognized as the symbol for Canada. In order for international audiences to recognize a new GDC mark as affiliated with Canada, it seemed appropriate to interpret the considered proportions and geometry in our national emblem, and apply an inspired approach.

The rectangles in the flag are bold and geometric — they are also naturally typographic. In other words, there is happenstance between the rectilinear qualities of the Canadian flag and the vertical shapes of a font. This added to the visual vocabulary employed by the designers.

A New GDC Identity

Boyle/Ngan found in Braggadocio a wealth of geometric shapes linking to the key creative elements that made up the foundation of a new GDC mark. Those elements were redesigned using Braggadocio’s letterforms as a departure point. The mark’s descender and ascender compare to the divergence and exploration of the design process and creative problem solving. As a three-letter acronym for “Graphic Designers of Canada”, the logomark is quite unique as a graphic statement (going beyond just typography).

The lowercase approach lends vertical movement to the mark with the descender of the ‘g’ and ascender of the ‘d.’ The mark retains a sense of presence — like a confident stamp — while maintaining familiarity and approachability.

The mark is designed to set a bold new trajectory for GDC, the membership and Canadian designers from coast to coast to coast.


The design team of Boyle/Ngan developed the following presentation for GDC to illustrate the life and potential ecosystem of the new GDC identity. Download a PDF version here.