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 and provide an economic profile of the field.
The report provides insights into financial trends in the creative communications sector in Canada and offers a summary of the current status of communication design professionals – who they are, the services they offer, how they define their profession, and where they think the industry is headed.
When we were approached by the RGD to partner up for the design of the CreativeEarners 2016 website, we were delighted. Since its inception in 2001, the survey has drawn ever-increasing numbers of participants; however, while the survey is open to all creative professionals, historically the response has been heavily skewed toward the graphic design community, with limited representation of the larger creative community.
To date, the survey has been largely distributed via professional and local graphic design networks, with ads appearing in industry publications, and through professional and regional associations. While many creatives of different stripes engage with all three presenting organizations, as the mandate of both RGD and GDC is to support the graphic design profession, there is an (erroneous) assumption that the survey is not designed for all.
When you work with the representative graphic design body, a design agency’s natural inclination is to focus the visual solution on pure design. But, we were approached for a reason: to embed functional strategy within the work we would produce. So, we chose to begin developing our strategy with the problem itself: audience targeting.
We reviewed the creative industry en masse, and sought to simplify the design communications sector into four areas of professional concentration: art, copy, digital, and management. The final four target groups were inclusive, worked well with different work environments, from agency to freelance to in-house, and anyone working within the agency could relate to at least one grouping.
To develop work profiles for each group—which were deliberately a mix of stereotype and experience—we didn’t have to look much further than our own studio and work with other agencies.
The concept was to develop a mixed digital media desktop collage derived from familiar or extreme (but accurate by psychographic profile) work tools specific to each group.
As the entire concept was an exercise in gross generalization, we deployed a simple CMYK colour palette, applying one colour to each professional group. Working with RGD and development partner The Pixel Shop, we put together the site PSDs, deploying a light parallax effect to each collage to increase interest and because, well, it was kind of cool.
Included in the art grouping are graphic designers, illustrators, and all who produce commercial art and design. The web feature for the Art group (Magenta) shows an Apple computer with an Adobe design program open on screen, a Helvetica mug, a motivational poster with had-drawn typography, and a copy of The Business of Graphic Design: The RGD Professional Handbook.
For copywriters, editors, and content developers, the Copy banner (Key or Black), shows a web page from Thesaurus.com, and features a shirtless photo of Mark Twain, a vintage copy of Hey Whipple, Squeeze This and Kerouac’s On The Road, a pen, scotch on the rocks, and the requisite crumpled paper.
The banner for digital (Cyan) is meant for developers, UI/UX and motion designers, and shows a PC screen filled with code, a copy of Douglas Coupland’s JPod, a photo of a cat, and the must-have headphones.
The Management group includes agency visionaries, account folk, agency owners, and planners. Their banner design (Yellow) features a screen showing an Excel spreadsheet, a cup of coffee, a stack of file folders, an award submission notice, and a copy of Ogilvy on Advertising.
RGD elicited the largest number of survey submissions to date and the results of CreativeEarners 2016 are currently being processed. Keep your eyes peeled for CreativeEarners 2017!