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The Graphex National Design Awards is a biennial competition in Canada to celebrate and showcase the best examples of visual communication design. It was founded in 1977 by the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. Awards are given to creative professionals from various design disciplines in following categories:

  • Advertising (print, billboards, newspaper, transit shelters, etc.)
  • Annual Reports
  • Editorial/Magazine (editorial magazine and book spreads or total format)
  • Books (cover designs for magazines, books, etc.)
  • Brochures
  • Calendars
  • Catalogues
  • Logos
  • Corporate Identity
  • Stationery
  • Invitations
  • Manuals
  • Multimedia
  • Websites (online interactive sites and applications)
  • Packaging (includes consumer goods, boxes, labels, CDs, etc.)
  • Posters
  • Self Promotion
  • Signage (branding, vehicle graphics, wayfinding, etc. for retail and civic purposes)
  • Environmental - (interiors, trade show booths, banners, kiosks, POS, POP, etc.)
  • Type Design (any original typeface design)
  • Other (style guides, menus, complex promos, gifts, wearables, calendars, 3D promos, etc.)

Graphex 2008[1] is coordinated by the BC Chapter of GDC in Vancouver, BC, and chaired by Canadian Graphic Designers Mark Busse and Cory Ripley. Graphex is also endorsed by Icograda (International Congress of Graphic Design Associations), the world body for professional graphic design and visual communication. Founded in London in 1963, it now bases its secretariat in Montréal, Canada. It is also supported by its sister design associations SDGQ and RGD Ontario.


The theme for Graphex 2008 is the theory, structure, and visual language of the tournament ladder and the concept of zeitgeist. The theme for 2010 is "a celebration of the people who bring ideas to life and the community where they exist in." [2]


The competition has a jury of international judges, selected from experienced designers, writers, marketers, and clients.

Judges for Graphex 2010 are

  • Julia Hoffman, Creative Director of Advertising and Graphic Design at MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Louise Fill, principal of Louise Fili Ltd.
  • Mark Randall, principal of Worldstudio, a New York City marketing and design agency
  • Matt Warburton, founder and co-principle of Emdoubleyu Design, in Vancouver
  • Rolando Diep, creative director at Landor Associates Latin America.

Judges for Graphex 2008 were:

  • Ronald Kapaz, Head Designer and partner, Oz Design, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Jamie Koval, Partner, and Creative Director, VSA Partners, Chicago, USA
  • Sam Carter, design historian and educator, Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver, Canada
  • Peter Steiner, graphic designer and interaction designer, formerly of Gottschalk + Ash Int’l, Montréal, Canada
  • Stanley Hainsworth, VP, Global Brand Director, Starbucks, Seattle, USA
  • Michael Jager, Creative Director, JDK Design, Burlington, USA
  • Marian Bantjes, designer, typographer, writer,, Bowen Island, Canada

Judges for Graphex 2006 were:

  • Rick Poynor, founder of Eye magazine, London, UK
  • Min Wang, Standing Expert on Image and Identity for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Beijing, China
  • Debbie Millman, President of Design at Sterling Brands, New York, USA
  • Tan Le, Creative Director of Design at WongDoody, Seattle, USA
  • Robert Sarner, of Roots Canada, Toronto


At the conclusion of the competition, a traveling exhibit of the winners tours Canada.


Graphex is a national awards program open to all Canadian professional graphic designers, typographers, photographers, illustrators, art directors, ad agencies, printers, writers, or clients. Student work is not permitted. All entries must be accompanied by the design criteria stating the challenges or requirements of the project and the rationale for the design solution.


External links[edit]

  • GDC Society of Graphic Designers of Canada