CGD Certification Case Study Review Criteria

Please review this criteria before submitting your application for CGD Certification.

Case study reviews for CGD certification are generally done quarterly in each Chapter. Reviews are handled anonymously and confidentially by a rotating team of standards officers, made up of members who are CGD certified in each Chapter. Be sure your material is presented with attention to detail, as professional presentation is a judging criteria.

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See the certification information page.


For Designers

Note that only work which has been commercially prepared, with the constraints which that implies, are suitable for submissions. Web site/multimedia samples should include the internet address and colour printouts of screen grabs.

Portfolio pieces are judged on five main areas: strategy, typography, use of imagery, implementation, and presentation; and must achieve a passing score in each area. If a portfolio does not receive a passing score, the applicant is contacted by the GDC membership chair who discusses how to improve the work or application. Applicants are able to re-submit for a future review. The chair is the only person who knows the identity of the applicant in this process.

  • Strategy
    Appropriateness of concept: meets objectives, client’s & audience's needs, perceived goals and objectives, and desired outcome; skill ability to define the concept and objectives.
  • Typography
    Appropriateness font: weight, size, emotion; skill hierarchy: readability and legibility, interpretation; craftsmanship: kerning, leading, use of grid, etc.
  • Use of imagery
    Appropriateness: supports the concept; choice of illustration, photography or typographic approach; skill: placement, colour, size, technical ability; craftsmanship: high level of execution.
  • Implementation
    Appropriateness: size, format, paper, inks, varnishes, die-cuts, embossing, bindery, etc; skill: marriage of materials to concept; craftsmanship: spelling, layout, format, print quality. Web submissions are judged on intuitiveness of navigation, speed of downloading, use of animation and effects, hierarchy, etc.
  • Presentation
    Appropriateness: materials used, labeling;  skill: diversity of work, etc; craftsmanship: cleanliness of presentation; readability of writing and language used, etc.

Most chapters provide portfolio preparation sessions or you may contact the Chapter Membership Chair for a consultation prior to submission.

For Educators

Educators must meet the same qualifications as an applicant for CGD certification, but are not required to submit a portfolio.