AIGA Design Leader Certification

AIGA Design Leader Certification (AIGA DL)

The AIGA Professional Design Certification program represents a commitment to the design profession and to lifelong learning. This certification is geared towards professionals with at least seven years of professional design experience, who are currently in—or aspire to enter—management or leadership positions.

AIGA progressional development professional certification DL

About the AIGA Design Leader Certificate

The AIGA-DL Certification pathway is recommended if you:
  • Have 7+ years of design experience

  • Currently occupy or aspire to enter a management or leadership position

  • Seek to differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace

  • Wish to create accountability and professional standards for design

  • Are committed to your craft and professional practice

  • Desire the distinction of AIGA-DL to elevate your value with peers and clients

When clicking “Apply Now” you will be directed to the conference registration login page. The certification is a related item you must select before you check out if you wish to pursue the AIGA DL.

Deadline to Apply

October Assessment: September 29, 2023

This certification allows me to showcase my skills while inspiring those behind me to lead with creativity."

Gus Salazar

Director of Graphics and Marketing for Associated Students at California State University, Los Angeles



AIGA Professional Foundations Certificate (step 1 only)
AIGA member: $579
Non member: $799 


AIGA Design Conference (a registration is required for step 2)
AIGA member: $799+
Non member: $1299+


AIGA Professional Foundations Certificate + Portfolio Assessment (includes 3 nights of hotel accommodation)
AIGA member: $1945
Non member: $2145


Explore the AIGA-DL Certification

    Eligibility Criteria:

    At least seven years of professional experience in design

    Application Deadlines

    AIGA Design Leader (AIGA-DL) Professional Portfolio Assessments happen twice annually. In 2023, our pilot year, the assessments (AIGA-DL) will be conducted in-person at the AIGA Executive Leadership Summit March 12-14, 2023 and the AIGA Design Conference October 12-14, 2023.

    March Portfolio Assessment: In-Person 

    February 24, 2023: Payment Due
    March 3, 2023: Portfolio Due 

    October Portfolio Assessment: In-Person

    September 29, 2023: Payment Due
    October 6, 2023: Portfolio Due

    When committing to the AIGA-DL Certification, you are committing to an in-person portfolio assessment which takes place at one of the two events above in front of a panel of assessors. You may select which dates are better suited to your schedule at the time of enrollment. 

      To earn the AIGA Professional Design Certification, there are three steps:

      Step 1
      Completion of the AIGA Professional Design Foundations Certificate. This includes both a learning and assessment component.

      Step 2
      Professional practice assessment via AIGA Professional Portfolio Assessment, which is conducted in-person twice annually.

       Step 3
      An ongoing commitment to learning and to AIGA standards of professional practice and code of conduct demonstrated through continuing professional development.

        AIGA's Professional Foundations is a required component of becoming and AIGA-PD certified designer. It is made up of four components: 

        • AIGA Business Fundamentals for Designers (11 Hours)

        • AIGA Design Foundations (12 Hours)

        • AIGA Law for Designers (3 Hours)

        • AIGA Standards of Professional Practice (4 Hours)

        For more information, please see the detailed descriptions

          For the portfolio assessment, you will be required to submit your best work from three (3) professional projects. 

          You will be asked to supply the following project information: 

          Project Title
          Project Highlight
          Project team
          Role in the project
          The project budget
          Duration of the project
          Project brief
          Project impact statement
          Challenges encountered in project with solutions provided
          Approach when working with creative team
          Explanation of research, design process, creative choices, and strategy

          Our assessors review candidate work according to the competencies outlined within our rubric. A successful application requires 70% or higher marks.

            • AIGA Professional Design Foundations Certificate
            • Portfolio Assessment
            • Registration to the 2023 AIGA Design Conference
            • 3 nights of accommodation at the event location 
            • AIGA Certified Design Leader distinction and badge upon passing the AIGA Professional Portfolio Assessment

            Apply Now (Requires AIGA Account Login)


            When clicking “Apply Now” you will be directed to the conference registration login page. The certification is a related item you must select before you check out if you wish to pursue the AIGA DL.

            Commit to your practice

            Apply for the AIGA Design Leader Certification today!