• Transform magazine
  • May 21, 2018

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D&AD Awards announces 2018 winners

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Held 24-26 April at the iconic Old Truman Brewery in east London’s equally iconic Brick Lane, the 56th annual Design and Art Direction (D&AD) festival and awards provided a platform for the world’s design and advertising industries.

Celebrating the best in commercial creativity, pencils were awarded to those organisations taking innovative approaches to design work.

From typography to marketing to brand design to audio creativity, agencies of all expertise arrived last week for three days of celebration, collaboration and learning. This year’s award ceremony, held on 26 April, saw three Black Pencil, 74 Yellow Pencil, 156 Graphite Pencil and 488 Wood Pencil awards presented to what judges deemed to be the most successful, innovative and inspiring design and advertising work yet.

And, while two fewer prestigious Black Pencils were awarded than in 2017, a meticulous judging process and global standard of creativity meant the competition was fiercer than ever before. The entries also signalled a change in priority and direction for design inspiration. CEO of D&AD, Tim Lindsay, says, “This has been an outstanding year for creativity. We received entries from 50 countries across all continents, attesting to the truly global nature of our programme and the impact of D&AD in stimulating and celebrating talent from around the world.”

Speaking about the ceremony, Lindsay says, “Three Black Pencils have been awarded, two of which use creativity as a means to create a better world. But we’ve also seen a marked focus on humour and playfulness. Design and advertising can be used to encourage debate and engender social discourse, but it can and should also entertain. Also, sell stuff. In the current social and economic climate, we need all of the above.”

Sydney, Australia-based Havas Group branch agency Host/Havas claimed a Black Pencil for its Palau Pledge campaign for the Palau Legacy Project, where visitors to the western Pacific Ocean island country of Palau sign a passport pledge to be ecologically responsible around the archipelago. Creative and advertising behemoth Saatchi & Saatchi NY was awarded a Black Pencil for its ‘It’s a Tide’ advertising campaign, aired during the 2018 Super Bowl, and the final Black Pencil went to McCann New York for the bronze statue ‘Fearless Girl,' a defiant young girl facing the iconic charging bull on Wall Street.

Commissioned to highlight State Street Global Advisors’ gender diversity index fund, 'Fearless Girl' is a poignant project developed during an era characterised by gender equality campaigns. The Black Pencil awarded to McCann highlights how fearless creativity has come to define the awards’ recipients.

On an individual level, this year’s President’s Award went to Colleen DeCourcy and Susan Hoffman from US-based independent advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. Following the successful launch of a new brand identity and campaign for global motorsport Formula One (F1), the President’s Award recognises the achievements of DeCourcy and Hoffman in directing a leading global firm while pushing for continued innovation of established brands.

D&AD president Steve Vranakis comments, “Together [DeCourcy and Hoffman] co-chief and creative-direct one of the world’s finest creative agencies, Wieden + Kennedy, an agency we all know, love and respect. I am hugely honoured to recognise their achievement and their outstanding contribution to creative excellence.”

The most awarded design agency was global firm Jones Knowles Ritchie (jkr) with five pencils. The country awarded the most pencils overall was the USA, followed by the UK and Japan, with 194, 165 and 49 pencils respectively.

For a full list of D&AD winners, visit the D&AD website.

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