About the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)

RGD is a non-profit professional Association that works to establish and promote standards and ethical best practices in the graphic design industry. Representing over 3,100 members, RGD is a hub for the community, promoting advocacy, knowledge sharing, continuous learning, research and mentorship. 

To become an RGD, a designer must be professionally competent in areas of business, design principles, research and ethics and must be able to demonstrate the successful application of this knowledge to design problems. Registered Graphic Designers (RGDs) have successfully completed the Registered Graphic Designers Qualification Exam and are able to use the designations Registered Graphic Designer and RGD after their names.


What is an RGD?


A qualified, experienced professional

Registered Graphic Designers are professionals who have been granted the right to use the RGD designation, signifying their education, training and experience in graphic design and their ability to practice in the profession and perform to the standard of competence specified by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) and the Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers.

Connected to a network of industry suppliers

Registered Graphic Designers have access to a network of suppliers, services and allied professions often needed in assembling their team to execute simple or complex projects in the practice of graphic design: illustrators, photographers and other image resources, printers and paper suppliers, web programmers and product manufacturers, to name a few, in addition to professionals in other design disciplines such as industrial and interior design.

A problem-solver

Registered Graphic Designers have the knowledge, experience and skills to assess and solve problems and to provide strategies and solutions that help organizations and people to further their goals and objectives.


Registered Graphic Designers enter into professional, con-tractual agreements with clients. They fulfill their commitments in a responsible manner and work to the best of their ability to match or exceed expected outcomes.


Registered Graphic Designers are subject to and governed by the Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct, a guide for an ethical, professional practice of graphic design that details their professional responsibilities to clients, the profession, the government and the community.


Registered Graphic Designers constantly augment their knowledge by staying current with and integrating into their work best practices and tools, including new information on sustainability, consumer trends, demographics, research methodologies, printing processes, advanced technologies and efficiencies.

Passionate and serious about design

Registered Graphic Designers are committed professional members of the Association who understand the importance of a strong voice to advance the practice of graphic design and enhance awareness of the important role and value that design brings to business, society and culture.

Why ask for an RGD?

It is not necessary to be registered in order to practice graphic design. However, it is illegal to take or use the designation “Registered Graphic Designer” or “RGD” or to imply, suggest or hold out to be a Registered Graphic Designer if not entitled to do so.

There are many highly qualified designers who are not yet registered. Unfortunately there are also many untrained, unskilled individuals who claim to offer “design services”. Often such persons may know how to use software and computers, but have no or inadequate education, training or knowledge of the principles of design and the design process. They may provide artwork that cannot be commercially printed, or fail to understand the complexities of a client’s needs and misrepresent their true abilities.

Before hiring any designer, check to see if that designer has done other work similar to your project and request references and work samples. And for greater assurance, ask for the RGD designation.