Association of Registered Graphic Designers: Creative Earners Guide
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), Creative Niche and the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) collaborate on a national survey of salaries and billing practices in the Canadian communication design industry. The results of the survey, which are published and made freely available to all, help raise awareness about Canada’s thriving creative industry.
When we were approached by RGD to provide design services for the Creative Earners 2017 Guide, we were thrilled at the opportunity. Since its inception in 2001, the survey has drawn ever-increasing participation and become an integral source of information to those who work and are affiliated with the creative industry. The core function of the design was to weave research results into a compelling narrative illuminating the creative landscape and to make mass amounts of data easily digestible for a broad and diverse audience. The challenge we faced was how to make data of billing practices in our industry compelling – oh, and to create a design that could stand up to the scrutiny of our peers from coast to coast.
The report provides insights into financial trends in the creative communications sector in Canada and presents demographic information of design professionals – who they are, the services they offer, how they define their profession, and where they think the industry is headed, for example. While creatives of different stripes engage with the material, there is a gap of simply showcasing data analytics and painting a holistic picture of the landscape.
When you work with the representative graphic design body, a design agency’s natural inclination is to focus the solution on pure design. In this case however, the task is more complex. The report covers billing practices and salaries throughout the industry so to our audience the content is already inherently personal. When they read the report, they will see how they stack up next to their peers nationwide. As such, we knew the subject matter was sensitive and delicate so it needed to be presented clearly, concisely and without any chance of misinterpretation. An enormous task, right? But RGD approached us for a reason: our work is intentional, deliberate and seeks to achieve clear objectives. To that end knew we needed to embed functional strategy within the work we would produce. So, to connect with our audience, we made them the focus of our design.
We reviewed the target audience and sought to simplify the design communications into a functional strategic document that would be relatable, imaginative and provide a visual solution to complex data processing. Equipped with a massive Excel sheet of numbers, percentages and some algebraic symbols we had never seen before, we set out to find a way to connect with our audience on an emotional level.
We defined common objects used by the audience such as a notepad or a camera and assigned them to suitable sections of the survey in order to more closely connect with our target. We configured the content to be relevant to each of these sections and drew attention to the metrics by interchanging a heavy and a more discreet font type and by applying a bright colour scheme against gray scale. We incorporated items that characterize (and perhaps playfully stereotype…) our contemporaries in the creative field such as thick glasses frames to add a touch of personality and playfulness.
Electronic copies of the document were distributed across the entire industry while responsive design allowed for digital downloads from the RGD website. The piece has gained media attention and inquiries for future participation amongst graphic designers, art and creative directors, illustrators, UX designers and photographers. The report was so well received that RGD has reached out to us to develop a French version in order to reach a broader audience. Soon the report will be printed and distributed to even more creatives across the industry.
Creative Earners 2017 Front Cover
Creative Earners 2017 Inside Front Cover
Creative Earners 2017 Example of Data Visualization
Creative Earners 2017 Example of Content Pages