GDC® is Canadaʼs national certification body for graphic and communication design and, since 1956, has established standards for design professionals, educators, and leaders. Through our certification program, GDC licenses the unique CGD™ certification mark to members whose services meet rigorous, standardized criteria. The CGD certification mark is recognized across Canada as the mark of professional services and ethical business 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 via nine chapters across Canada to advocate for the advancement of the design profession.
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||Mark Rutlege CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Past President||Johnathon Strebly CGDemail@example.com|
|Executive Director||Melanie MacDonaldfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Treasurer||Valerie Elliott CGD, FGDCemail@example.com|
|Secretary||Dave Nagy CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|VP Certification||Michael Cober CGDemail@example.com|
|VP Education||Aidan Rowe CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|VP Membership||Nicole Bolton, CGDemail@example.com|
|VP Communications||Bryan Kulba, CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
National Executive Committees
|Ethics||Matt Warburton CGD, FGDCemail@example.com|
|GDC Foundation||Peggy Cady CGD, FGDCfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sustainability||Steven Cretney CGDemail@example.com|
|Website||Adrian Jean CGDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
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 Constitution 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).
|2018-||Mark Rutledge CGD|
|2016-2018||Johnathon Strebly CGD|
|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, FGDC|
|1998-2000||David Coates CGD, FGDC|
|1996-98||Steven Rosenberg CGD, FGDC|
|1994-96||Mary Ann Maruska CGD, FGDC|
|1992-94||Paul-Michael Brunelle CGD, FGDC|
|1990-92||Michael Maynard CGD, FGDC|
|1987-90||Don Dickson CGD, FGDC|
|1985-87||Judith Gregory CGD, FGDC|
|1983-85||Gregory Silver CGD, FGDC|
|1981-83||Jan van Kampen CGD, FGDC|
|1978-81||Walter Jungkind CGD, FGDC|
|1978||Peter Dorn CGD, FGDC (Acting President)|
|1976-78||First National elections, John Gibson CGD, FGDC, President|
|1976||National Charter of Incorporation granted.|
|1975||Peter Dorn CGD, FGDC (Acting President)|
Founding meeting of the Council of Regional Representatives.
Carl Brett, First National Interim President.
|1972-74||Burton Kramer CGD, FGDC|
|1968-69||Carl Brett CGD, FGDC|
|1968||TDC name changed to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC).|
|1967-68||John Gibson CGD, FGDC|
|1959-60||Frank Newfeld CGD, FGDC|
|1958-59||Frank Davies CGD, FGDC|
|1957-58||First President Leslie (Sam) Smart CGD, FGDC|