GDC Gibson Fund

In support of Canadian design education.


Launched in March of 2011, the Gibson Font family is a humanist sans serif typeface designed by eminent Canadian type designer Rod McDonald CGD, FGDC, and produced by Patrick Griffin and Kevin King of Canada Type. The project was created to honour John Gibson FGDC, one of the original founders of the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and a life-long friend of Rod McDonald.

As a tribute to John Gibson’s highly productive life and love of the creative arts, all proceeds from the sale of the the Gibson typeface family from 2011-2014 were donated to build a fund that could help support Canadian design education and innovation. The GDC Gibson Fund Committee was created at the 2012 AGM in Moncton, New Brunswick, with the mandate of stewarding the donated funds.

During this time, many Canadian schools and institutions made the typeface part of their larger typeface anti-piracy education programs. The eight-font family was priced modestly to make it affordable for design students. With this typeface a student can own a sturdy and contemporary humanist sans serif family that fits numerous design applications and will remain useful long after academic studies and well into a professional career in design.

About John Gibson FGDC

Rod McDonald CGD, FGDC wanted to create a typeface that would honour John Gibson FGDC, one of the original GDC founders. John was a highly respected typographer who in his long career worked in many areas of the graphic arts, from book design to advertising. He was also largely responsible for elevating the field of advertising print production to the level of a profession in Canada. At one time the highest award you could receive was the annual John Gibson Print Production award. 

Fund Principles

The overarching goals of the GDC Gibson Fund are outlined below:

Support Design Education
The Fund supports the sharing, learning, and development of design practice, principles and proficiency.

Be Active
The Fund should strive to be active. Actively seek applicants. Actively develop programs that promote, grow and enrich the fund. Actively communicate with the design community. Actively participate in cultivating and promoting Canadian Design education and ingenuity. The Fund should strive to build a reputation of being a cultivator of Canadian creative talent.

Be Sustainable
The Fund should balance fiscal responsibility against its ability to be active. The Fund should strive to be self-sustaining if possible. Capital funds should never be permanently depleted and funded projects should strive to reimburse the Fund in some measure (reimbursement requirement subject to application tier requirements as set out in this document).

Benefit the Canadian Design Community
The Fund will strive to assist  projects and activities that benefit Canadian design, education and enrich Canadian design culture.

Be A Exemplary Creative Community Citizen
The Fund will strive to be an exemplary  creative community citizen through partnership, co-operation, and leadership.

General Application Requirements

General Eligibility:
  1. Applicants must be Canadian citizens.
  2. Proposals should demonstrate project activities will be primarily (70% or more) conducted in Canada.
Additional Considerations:
  1. Proposals by GDC members in good standing, or that involve, contract or employ GDC members in good standing may be given additional consideration.
  2. Proposals that intend to match funds from other sources or demonstrate that they will become self-sustaining as a result of funding will also be given additional consideration.
  3. Projects that align with the GDC’s overall strategic goals will be given additional consideration.
Application Basics:
  1. Proposals should demonstrate how the artifacts or results from the project will support communication/graphic design and/or design education in Canada.
  2. Projects must align with GDC’s sustainable and ethical principles.


  1. All projects must plan to recognize GDC and the GDC Gibson Fund as contributors to the project in their communications materials. Specific recognition will be determined by the amount of investment by the GDC Gibson Fund, at time of funding:
  • Up to 19%: “Funded with assistance from the GDC Gibson Fund”
  • 20% – 49%: “Funded by the GDC Gibson Fund”
  • 50% or greater: “A GDC Gibson Funded Initiative”
  1. In addition the project may be required to display logos for both GDC and the GDC Gibson Fund, or a badge denoting the GDC Gibson Fund’s level of involvement.

Application Process

  1. Prepare a proposal. This will include the following sections:
    1. General Application Requirements. One page outlining the how the proposal satisfies each of the General Application Requirements, including any items for additional consideration.
    2. Purpose. Project rationale and objective(s) — (max 300 words).
    3. Relevance. Reasons why it is important to pursue the project at this time.
    4. Methodology. How the project will be developed including best practices, research, approaches, activities, and strategies as applicable.
    5. Schedule. A project schedule listing tasks, media plan, review process and dissemination.
    6. Success. Define specifically how the project’s success will be measured or evaluated.
    7. Budget. An itemized budget listing all requested funding items. Proposals must also include an operational costs component to cover the costs of implementing the project, including expenses incurred by the GDC in the revision and monitoring of the project such as mailing and courier costs.
    8. Additional Investment. An itemized list of any additional or outside funding or personal investments.
    9. Planned Revenue. A plan of the revenue generating proposition (if applicable). Other options for funding and/or donors (if any).
    10. Exposure. Provide a media plan for exposure and/or promotion of the project outcomes. Media plans must be submitted as part of the proposal, and should demonstrate minimal cost; however, the funding request may include costs for traditional media if required for the project. GDC will also use its own appropriate media channels to promote the project during and upon completion.
  2. Provide complete contact information for the project. Include complete information for all team members; associated businesses, organizations or institutions; donors; and supporters.
  3. Read and acknowledge the copyright and publication rights agreements.

Once you are ready with all of your materials visit the link below to submit an application. Review and response from the funding application review committee varies based on the number of received applications, and the completeness of the application.