Back in the day with the GDC

Back in the day with the GDC

Last night I stepped down from my National VP of Communication role with the GDC (Society of Graphic Designers of Canada). I don’t want to make a big deal of things as there are a lot of potential designers in Canada that still have a role to shape the Society for the better. However I was elected to the national board four years too early. Each local chapter in Canada has such a strong roster of leadership that I would have loved the chance to work with them once they move on to National. However like I mentioned my chance came too soon. The GDC is at a critical time for sustainability and I felt that I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to see for that to happen. It is so sad that that the older generation is happy to leave things as they are and hope that things “just” get better.

Through a private e-mail I was asked this deceptively simple question. “What has your experience with GDC been like?” My response “As for my experience with the GDC, it’s not an easy answer. I’ve been involved since I was a student. First as a student rep, Chapter VP of Education, Chapter President and for a short period National VP of Communications. If I hadn’t been involved I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten this far, so how could that be a bad thing? However there were a lot of hard times with putting up with stuff that I probably wouldn’t have time for now. But I had goals of things that I wanted to accomplish which made the road a lot easier. I also met so many amazing people and had the chance to learn from them that I could never turn my back on a shared value system.”

However I do feel at the current time that the National GDC has a serious technological, strategic and philosophical disconnect with the potential of design. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyways, like I said the National board in four years will be stacked with the current leaders at the local chapters that will bring the GDC the legacy it deserves. As for my next steps, it’s not like I can quite being a part of a design community. I’m starting with the AIGA mentorship program where I’ll get the chance to befriend someone that has a lot ahead of them. Aside from that maybe it’s time to start something new with likeminded people.

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  • Michael Surtees

    I tend to kick around design magazines a bit, but a friend passed me on to a pretty good article from CA: Reweaving the Web. Where is graphic design in the new order?

  • Christina

    I missed this when you first posted it Michael. I figured your move to the US probably meant a greatly reduced role in the GDC. I’m glad to hear you’re getting involved with the AIGA though. They are lucky to have you!

  • Jennifer

    Michael, I’m getting caught up on your blog just now after a stretch of long work hours. I’m very sorry to read that you’ve resigned from your post. Your contributions to the GDC at every level you’ve participated have been tremendous and I’m envious of the AIGA that they’ll have your membership and enthusiasm. Your current life and career path in New York City are inspirational to the rest of us younger designers who are working diligently to carve our own niche in the industry. I’m certain that the legacy you’re leaving us with in Canada will continue to inspire the GDC to move forward. Perhaps not at the speed us young’uns are accustomed to but definitely in due time. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks for all the hard work and boundless energy you’ve invested in the GDC. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Often enough, brilliance shines ahead of it’s time. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

  • Mark Busse MGDC

    Michael, the Canadian design scene misses you already. If we get our way, we’ll drag you back up here kicking and screaming one day. Thanks for everything. NOW GO MAKE US PROUD!!!!

    Go Canada Go!

  • Michael Surtees

    Thanks for giving me some BC luv guys – like I said before I’m happy to bounce ideas…

  • Dale Simonson

    Yes, all those much-better-written accolades above, plus, a hope that the “older generation” (that’ll be me!) is not quite as content to “let it be” as we appear!

    BTW, Andy Rutledge’s response to the above CA article carries on with that conversation: Are we, as a profession, really as dumb as it seems sometimes?

  • Dale Simonson