Graphic design industry veteran, David Hyde, publicly questionned the use of his Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) membership — prompting insightful debate through his blog post comments.

David went on to document his subsequent resignation from the CSD after 30+ years as a member:

"...my concern was that my subscription over the past few years was simply allowing the Society to exist: nothing more, nor less, than that.

"...fast forward to yesterday evening, when I attended the 33rd Annual General Meeting. I thought this might be the opportunity to re-engage, and to raise my concern in an open debate with those members who govern and take an active interest. And, do you know what? I might just as well have stood up and announced 'the King is in the altogether.' This isn't what the Society wants to hear, apparently, and I was called to be 'out of order' several times.

"...now I must resign, not because I'm getting nothing in return for my subscription, but because the governing Council has made crystal clear that it doesn't want dissent. And it doesn't want to hear uncomfortable truths. As such, I represent an impediment to the aims and aspirations for its hoped-for flourishing future. In short, it doesn't need members like me."
— David Hyde

Cat, from Designers who Blog, advises that you get out of it what you put in, so if you don't go to meetings, or become involved with other members, paying the fee is pretty much useless.

I'm not as familiar as I should be with design associations, so I'm hoping this post creates some chat around their qualities and shortcomings.

Why are there so many different design organisations catering to the same regions? Can't they pool their resources for the greater design good? If I was to join one, how do I choose?