Design Thinkers 2013 RGD Event


This week I wanted to talk about the Design Thinkers 2013 RGD conference. This past november I had the opportunity of attending and I think it was an experience every designer should take advantage of. The conference took place in Toronto and featured speakers all from various areas of design. It is known as Canada’s largest graphic design event and I think all student designers should attend at least once. Not only is it great to hear from all the speakers but it’s an opportunity to interact with all the different vendors, professionals, and other students at the event.

For the 2013 conference they had over 1,500 participants and around 25-30 speakers for the two day event. I only attended the second day but even with that I got to hear a lot of interesting perspectives on design. Out of the many speakers that we listened to some of my favorite and most memorable ones were; Karin Fong, Morag Myerscough, Ricardo Crespo, and Michael Gough. For a full list of the speakers you can visit the Design Thinkers page on it here. In between the speakers we got to go around and interact with other students, teachers, and the vendors. It was really interesting to hear different things from the vendors, about what their company does and to know that they’re there for when we work in the field. Being a student we don’t really talk about those things yet, but it’s nice to see all the different options that are out there. One of my favorite things was all the different booths on paper and the variety out there, I find it fascinating to see all different things we can work with.

I think the most important thing I learned; isn’t something thats focused, but a generalized conception, that looks into all the aspects of design. When we start pursuing design in school, we weren’t aware of all the different things that design can branch off into. I loved hearing from all the different speakers, what they do and I found it great to see all the different areas we could pursue. One of the most memorable things I took from the event, was hearing from Karin Fong of Imaginary Forces. She showed examples of her work with title design, which was something I never really even thought of before. One thing that I will never forget is when she showed us the live action trailer that she worked on for, God of War: Ascension. She went through the process of how they designed the trailer and the different things they had to consider. We always see commercials and advertisements for things like this on the television. We never really put much thought to how they were created, or the depth behind the concept of the various components. I thought it was great perspective of possible opportunities that graphic design has to offer. I never conecptualized the many possibilities of the various jobs and how much depth they have to their work.

Overall, I thought the Design Thinkers event was indefinitely worthwhile and I can’t wait for next years, so that I can attend the entire two day event. I recommend to anyone that is interested in graphic design, should attend the event next year or look at other events that RGD host.


My lanyard from the event  Ricardo Crespo starting off day two.


Designer Interview


For our post this week we were to contact and interview a designer whose work we respect. The information received from doing so was very intriguing and opens up a new perspective that we as students don’t get to experience yet. I chose to talk to a local illustrator named Christian Wolf who designs comics and does caricatures. I chose to talk to someone who works locally to see what their experiences are like working while living here in Kingston.

The process of contacting and talking to a designer was new to me. Being a student I haven’t done much networking in the design world as of yet. It is intimidating at first to go out and contact others but it’s a great learning experience for us to put ourselves out there and expand our horizons.

The most important thing I took from the interview was really staying true to where you are most passionate in design. From a young age, Christian was highly influenced by comic books and Mad Magazine. This area of design captivated him and that’s what he stuck too while developing his skills for the past 20 years. I think when you learn new things in design it’s important to take all of that in and explore it, but I also think it’s important to really be passionate about the field that you choose in design.

Another helpful discovery I made was that when you’re in a creative rut, the best way to get out of it is to take a break. You need to clear your head and come back to it, go online and look at new things in design to keep your ideas flowing. Another big thing is to push yourself with things that motivate you like music. I find it easy to relate to Christian because we both have heavy influences from music and when I’m in a creative rut, I turn to music to help me think creatively.

The best advice I gathered from the interview was that you really have to put yourself out there in the design world, and be versatile. Don’t wait until after you are done to start doing things in design, start designing for people and making a name for yourself as soon as you can. Make sure you know your skills and your best strengths and if you work from that you can start to build a customer base. The internet is full of helpful things for designers and you can improve on the things you aren’t good at from watching tutorials online. The more skills you have, the more diverse your portfolio will be which will help you significantly in your design career.

Overall this interview process was a great experience for me. It’s really great to talk to other designers and get new ideas and hear their experiences. I think the advice and information I learned from talking to Christian is helpful to anyone in the design field, especially to students like myself. I will definitely keep these things in mind for my future career as a designer.


Some of Christian’s Work:

Desert TrekWolf GuardDancing Angels

Christian’s Blog

Christian’s Deviant Art Page