Albert Ng, a Canadian widely regarded as the father of graphic design accreditation in North America, was one of 27 recipients recently invested in the Order of Ontario by the Honourable David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The Order of Ontario, the province’s highest and most prestigious honour, is awarded to Ontarians for outstanding achievement and excellence in any field. The men and women invested in The Order are representative of the best of Ontario’s caring and diverse society and stand as shining examples for us all. Their lives have benefited society in Ontario and elsewhere.
Albert Ng is indeed such a remarkable and outstanding individual. For more than two decades he devoted himself to raising the standards and the profile of Canada’s graphic design profession. What has transpired from his profound commitment to this design discipline, together with his astute leadership and unwavering vision, is a lasting gift of innovative collaboration and outstanding achievement.
Albert’s aspirations for the profession came to fruition only after many years of dedicated work. He saw what the profession lacked and set out to remedy the situation, even when told the challenges would be impossible to overcome. Undeterred, he persisted in his pursuit of professional recognition and convinced other designers to lend their support to his accreditation plan. “Accreditation would be for our next generation of designers and students,” he said (and still says).
Of the many successes stemming from accreditation, Albert counts creating the professional self-governing body for Ontario’s graphic designers, creating the Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers, and elevating Ontario’s professional and graphic design-education standards as his most rewarding achievements. These were milestones indeed and they have forever changed the outlook for Canadian graphic design.
With accreditation Albert has enhanced the reputation of Canadian designers on an international level. He is quick to recall an early comment from one well-known American designer, “I am inspired and impressed by the thoughtful and methodical work that Canadian designers are doing to make professional accreditation a reality. It seems like every time U.S. designers get together to discuss the subject, it deteriorates into a shouting match!” It’s not just the Americans who have been watching the effects of accreditation; several Asian governments and many graphic design organizations, and even the Queensland government of Australia, have taken notice and have approached Albert for advice and information about his accreditation projects.
Accreditation has opened the door for changes in the education of Ontario’s graphic designers too. New post-graduate design degree programs are being established and one and two-year post-secondary design programs have been eliminated, with three or four year applied degrees or honours bachelor degrees becoming the norm.
Albert’s contributions to Canadian graphic design are well-known. He was the founding president of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, a former vice-president of Icograda, and former president of the Ontario chapter of the GDC. He is also the first Canadian designer to be honoured as a Fellow of both the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario). A former Association president recently commented that, “without Mr Ng’s initial vision for graphic design accreditation in Ontario there would be no RGD Ontario.”
Albert Ng has had an illustrious career in graphic design. One of Canada’s best-known designers, he led a ten-year campaign for the professional accreditation of graphic designers in Ontario. The resulting legislation caused him to become known as the “father of graphic design accreditation.” Mr Ng founded the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario. He helped develop clearly defined standards of professional practice, quality post-secondary education programs, and a greater understanding of the important role of graphic design in business and economic success. His accreditation model was a first in North America, second world-wide, and his contributions to design have helped Ontario’s graphic designers be globally competitive.
From the Order of Ontario Citation investiture ceremony, 24 January 2008
You can read Mr Ng's GDC fellowship bio here.