Jennifer Shadbolt RGD: Writing the Exam
The written test consists of multiple choice questions. There are four choices per multiple choice question, one of which is the correct answer. You will have approximately 45 seconds to answer each question.
There are four sections:
- Design History and Research (open book)
- Business and Design Principles (closed book)
- Technology (closed book)
- Rules of Professional Conduct (closed book)*
* Seniority applicants are only required to complete this section.
1. Design History and Research
1.a Design History
Meggs, Philip. A History of Graphic Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
1.b Design Research
Visocky O’Grady, Jen and Ken. A Designer’s Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need. Rockport Publishers, 2006.
2. Business and Design Principles
The purpose of the business section is to assess the ability of the candidate to function as an independent business person in the design field. This section tests the applicant’s skill in making sound, legal and ethical judgments in areas of studio management and business practices. It also tests comprehension and communication skills.
Ashworth, Hilary, ed. The Business of Graphic Design: A Professional’s Handbook. Toronto: The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, 2004. Available for purchase through RGD.
2.b Design Principls
This section looks at how allied disciplines such as systems analysis, communication models, research and theories of perception and learning contribute to the practice of design.
Lupton, Ellen and Cole Phillips, Jennifer, Graphic Design: The New Basics.Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
Samara, Timothy. Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual. Rockport, 2007. ONLY Chapter 3: Choosing and Using Type.
Designers use technologies which change very rapidly. Therefore, the topical outlines here do not cover the minutiae of current use. The examination aims to test the applicant’s knowledge and ability both to communicate with specialists and suppliers, and to use technology for design and production.
Because the field is so broad, the Technology section is divided into:
- a Basic Technology section to be answered by all candidates
- five specialty subsections of which candidates must complete one
The five specialty sub-section options (choose one only) are:
Option 1: Print Technology
Option 2: Electronic Media
Option 3: Environmental Graphics
Option 4: Packaging Graphics
Option 5: Studio Management
4. Rules of Professional Conduct
This section tests comprehension of the Rules of Professional Conduct (By-Law #3) of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario.
By-law #3: The Rules of Professional Conduct.
Further details on the written test, including sample questions, suggested texts, a sample timetable and further content details are included in the Exam Handbook. Download it here.
Written Test Sittings
Sessions for taking the written portion of the examination are held throughout the year. Dates and locations can be viewed here. Special administrations of the written test may be arranged across Ontario. For more info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 888 274 3668 x 22.