Cover: Commemorative Stamp celebrating GDC's 50th anniversary (1956-2006), Designed by David Coates CGD, FGDC and Rod Roodenburg CGD

About GDC®

GDC is Canada’s National Certification Body for Graphic and Communication Designers.

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 composed of elected representatives who are charged with the responsibility of executing strategic initiatives and directions developed at the annual general meetings.

GDC National Executive:

Position   E-mail
President Mark Rutlege CGD
Past President Johnathon Strebly CGD
Executive Director Melanie MacDonald
Treasurer Vacant
Secretary Steven Rosenberg CGD, FGDC
VP Certification Michael Cober CGD
VP Education Aidan Rowe CGD
VP Membership Craig Cullimore CGD
VP Communications Dennis Boyle CGD

National Executive Committees

Committee Chair E-mail
Ethics Matt Warburton CGD, FGDC
GDC Foundation Peggy Cady CGD, FGDC
Sustainability Steven Cretney CGD
Website Adrian Jean CGD

Our Constitution

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.

Our History

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 10 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).

GDC Presidents

Year President
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) 
1974 Founding meeting of the Council of Regional Representatives.
Carl Brett, First National Interim President.
1972-74 Burton Kramer CGD, FGDC
1970-71 George Rolfe
1969-70 William Newton
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
1966-67 Hugh Michaelson
1965-66 Harold Kurschenska
1963-65 Gerry Moses
1960-62 William Toye
1959-60 Frank Newfeld CGD, FGDC
1958-59 Frank Davies CGD, FGDC
1957-58 First President Leslie (Sam) Smart CGD, FGDC