certifyD : establishing values through professional certification
A graduate thesis by Esteban Pérez-Hemminger
(The audio quality isn’t the best in the world.)

Problem statement 
Today, the term “graphic designer,” rather than understood and respected, has become devalued and insignificant. The tools we use, not the knowledge or expertise we possess, have unfavorably defined our profession. Design's focus on problem-solving, creative-thinking and its obligation to society has been displaced as a needless expendability by commercialism and the prevalent notion that “anyone can do it.” As a profession, graphic design needs to establish achievable standards that objectively measure educational experience, business competency and ethics within all practicing members. These parameters would provide a platform for redefining our profession's purpose, delineating the basic qualifications necessary for professional practice, and reinforcing our relationship with society. Such principles would become a guideline for young designers, a measure of excellence among practitioners and a facilitating tool for clients to identify designers of parallel vision, beliefs and thorough expertise. Communications Design not as computer dexterity or a tool for propaganda, but as a validated responsible profession, would then become a viable instrument for solving the communication, social and environmental problems we face today. 

 Within the 5 major design fields (industrial, engineering, architecture, graphic, interior), graphic design remains as the only field in the USA with no system of requirements, standards or benchmarks to follow.

Be forewarned, this is 2:09:36 — not a brief video. From :00 to 6:30 sets the stage with a thesis on certification. Jump to 9:30 for dialogue with panelists.

Here is a PDF of the thesis paper.