02 November 2005
Vancouver (Canada) - On 18 November 2005, five of the world's most respected authorities on communication design will arrive in Vancouver to launch the GDC Graphex'06 National Design Awards Competition.
Vancouver (Canada) - On 18 November 2005, five of the world's most respected authorities on communication design will arrive in Vancouver to launch the GDC Graphex'06 National Design Awards Competition. They will lecture and share their thoughts on discussion topics including 'Canadianess' and the question of unique identifiable Canadian design on the world stage.

This November 18th kick-off event will be in the form of a moderated panel discussion, with audience participation, followed by an informal 'meet & greet'. This will be a major opportunity for students and professionals in the graphic design community to interact with the very best in their field.

The five experts, who will be flying in from points as far away as Beijing, New York and London, will also serve as judges in Graphex'06 to pick the winners from the hundreds of Competition submissions from across Canada. The event will be hosted by the BC Chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC/BC) and will showcase the best in cultural, social and business communications design from all across the country.

Graphex'06 is open to everyone involved in the Canadian graphic design industry including designers, art directors, design firms, ad agencies, marketing and communications firms, etc. Projects must have been produced in or for use in Canada between April 2003 and November 2005.

Graphex'06 is one of many activities taking place across Canada in 2006 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in 1956.

Deadline for entries is November 10th, 2005. Entry forms are available at

Event details:
Friday, November 18th, 2005, 6 pm.
The Mambo Room, Pacific Palisades Hotel
1277 Robson St. Vancouver.

Please see attached addendum of biographies of the five judges.

For further information please contact:
Matt Warburton, FGDC
T: 604-224-3124

Bios for five judges participating in the launch

Rick Poynor, London, UK - Writer and design critic of international reknown, Poynor founded Eye magazine in London in 1990, edited it for seven years and is now its resident columnist. He writes the 'Observer' column for Print magazine and he has written about design, media and visual culture for Blueprint, Icon, Frieze, Domus, I.D., Metropolis, Harvard Design Magazine, Adbusters, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and many other publications. His books include More Dark Than Shark (1986), Typography Now: The Next Wave (1991); Typographica (2001); No More Rules (2003), a critical study of graphic design and postmodernism; and two collections of essays, Design Without Boundaries (1998) and Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World

Min Wang, Beijing, China - Professor of Graphic Design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Min serves as the Dean of School of Design and Director of Art Research Centre for Olympic Games at CAFA. He also serves as a Standing Expert on Image and Identity for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Committee (MOCOG). Min Wang received his B.A. (1982) in Graphic Art from China National Academy of Fine Arts and M.F.A. (1988) from Yale University School of Art. He is the Design Director at Square Two Design which he joined in 1998 after serving eight years as Design Manager, Senior Art Director, Senior Graphic Designer at Adobe Systems. He has been a visiting fellow in Germany at Akademe der Bildenden Kunste, Munich and Hochschule der Kunste, Berlin. In 1989, he began lecturing in graphic design at Yale University School of Art, teaching graduate students until 1997.

Debbie Millman, New York, USA - Managing Partner and President of the Design division at Sterling Brands in New York, working with clients such as Gillette, Unilever, Kraft, MTV, Star Wars, the NBA, Nestle, Pepsi and
Campbell s. Debbie keeps her finger on the pulse of design culture through her online radio show 'Design Matters', and as someone who thinks about design and talks to designers daily, we expect she will provoke lively discussion around the entries. She is a board member of the New York Chapter of the AIGA and a mentor at the High School of Art & Design. She is an author on the design Blog Speak Up, writes for Print magazine, and frequently lectures and teaches on the virtues of brands and authenticity.

Tan Le, Seattle, USA - Creative Director of design and brand development at Wongdoody, Tan has gone on record saying he can spot Canadian design, so we ll see if he can put his money where his mouth is. Tan has more than 15 years experience in the communications design industry. His background includes corporate identity design, brand development, packaging development, corporate communications, annual report design, and interactive design. He has worked with clients that include Microsoft, T-Mobile, General Mills, 3M, AOL, Nintendo and Washington Mutual. Prior to joining Wongdoody as the Creative Director of design and brand development, Tan was a Creative Director at Young and Rubicam Brands, a Senior Design Director at Landor Associates, a Partner at Pop Interactive Agency, and a cofounder of Grip Design Studio. Tan and his work have been recognized in Communication Arts, Print, AR100, HOW and numerous other design publications and awards shows. Tan is a former President and current advisory board member of the Seattle Chapter of the AIGA, and an author on the design Blog Speak Up.

Robert Sarner, Toronto, Canada - Director of Communication and Public Affairs at Roots Canada, Robert previously lived in Israel where he was the Editor of the Jerusalem Post s weekly magazine and did several contract publishing projects involving magazines and newspapers for companies and organizations in Israel, England and Canada. Prior to that, Robert lived in France where he co-founded Paris Passion, an English-language city magazine of which he was the Editor-in-Chief until 1990. Throughout his career, Robert has worked closely with graphic designers, reflecting his keen interest and affinity for the field of visual communication and its vital role in contemporary society. In regards to Roots Canada, Robert says, "Canada and being Canadian are an intrinsic part of Roots, starting with its enduring, near iconic logo featuring the hallowed Canadian beaver. Canada figures prominently both in the products themselves and in Roots stores where they are sold. A deep affinity and respect for Canadian nature and wilderness are also strongly linked to the core values of Roots and the two cofounders of the company who are still very much at the helm of Roots."