Design and Art Direction

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Design and Art Direction
Legal statusCharity
Purpose"to inform, educate and inspire those who work in and around the creative industries."[1]
HeadquartersSpitalfields, London
Region served
UK and worldwide

Design and Art Direction (D&AD, formerly known as British Design & Art Direction) is a British educational charity which exists to promote excellence in design and advertising.

"Widely considered one of the most prestigious and difficult-to-win awards in design and advertising, D&AD celebrates the finest creativity each year across a diverse range of disciplines."[2]

The main offices are in Spitalfields in London.


D&AD was founded in 1962 by a group of London-based designers and art directors including David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Alan Fletcher and Colin Forbes (who designed the original D&AD logo).

A panel of 25 judged the 2500 entries to the first awards in 1963. They awarded one Black Pencil (to Geoffrey Jones Films) and 16 Yellow Pencils. In the early years, winners received an ebony pencil box designed by Marcello Minale, one of the founding partners of Minale Tattersfield, which contained a pencil with silver lettering. It was a thing of beauty but very delicate, so in 1966 Lou Klein designed the more durable Yellow Pencil. Its education programmes in their infancy, D&AD launched Graphic Workshops in association with the Royal College of Art in the mid-60s – they ran until the mid-1970s.

Designer Michael Wolff became D&AD’s first elected president in 1970. Six years later, then-President Alan Parker gave the first D&AD President’s Award for outstanding contribution to creativity to Colin Millward of Collett Dickenson Pearce.

Initiated by Sir John Hegarty of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Student Awards were launched in 1979.[3] Bridging the gap between college and work, the awards present students with real world briefs to tackle. D&AD’s education programmes continued to grow in 1978 when Dave Trott set up the D&AD Advertising Workshops. They aim to inspire and broaden understanding of advertising and help prepare participants for their first jobs. Alex Maranzano, Howard Milton and Brian Webb initiated the first student Design Workshops.

D&AD ushered in the eighties with the first video showreel of moving image work to accompany The D&AD Annual – it would take until 1987 for the book to be produced in full colour. The Awards had already started to recognise a wider range of categories through the 60s and 70s and Photography, Retail Design (now Environmental Design), Music Videos and Product Design became part of the Awards in the 80s. The Awards also opened up to international entries for the first time in 1988.

Controversy surrounded a decision to hold separate advertising and design awards in 1986 and 1987; the separation, made for practical reasons based on the chosen venue, was seen by members as a split between industries. The ceremony did come back under one roof, where it has remained.

D&AD moved to Graphite Square, in Vauxhall in the 1990s. These were busy times for education; the first Student Expo (now New Blood) and the University Network – D&AD's membership programme for university and college courses – launched in 1993. The first session of Xchange took place in 1996 – described as a ‘summer school’ for college lecturers; creative practitioners update participants on the latest industry trends.

D&AD entered the digital age with the launch of in 1996 and introduced its first digital categories to the Awards in 1997. Not only was the media landscape changing, by the end of the decade, 50% of entries to the Awards came from outside the UK.

D&AD celebrated its 40th birthday in 2002 with Rewind, a retrospective exhibition and book of some of the most iconic work since the 1960s at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

A new benchmark was set at the turn of the century when a double Black Pencil was awarded to AMV.BBDO’s ‘Surfer’ for Guinness for its visuals.[4] This was matched 5 years later by ‘Grrr’, Wieden + Kennedy London's work for Honda UK. In 2006 another milestone was set as won the first digital Black Pencil. Developments in the industry meant that two new categories were added in 2008 – Broadcast Innovations and Mobile Marketing, that year Apple Inc. won a Black Pencil for the iMac and the first-generation iPhone.[5]

Design Workshops were relaunched in 2006 and D&AD North, its first regional network, in Manchester the same year. The Student Awards have become an increasingly international event – entries in 2007 came from colleges in over 40 countries. Italian design group Fabrica designed The Annual outside the UK for the first time in 2007 and the showreel moved online that same year.

In 2012 D&AD moved to its current location on Hanbury Street, celebrated its 50th anniversary by honouring the most successful award-winners in its history, and launched the D&AD Foundation to nurture creative talent. Design book publisher Taschen released a limited-run book featuring 50 years of D&AD annual covers.[6]

Further information on the history of D&AD and advertising and design can be found in Rewind: 40 years of Design and Advertising by Jeremy Myerson & Graham Vickers; Publisher: Phaidon Press; ISBN 0-7148-4271-0.

New Directions in Design and Craft Introduction Design began as a craft, with a central focus on creating beautiful objects to powerfully impacting the industry. Today, both design and craft have developed beyond their simple origin to the development of powerful channels through which interaction of people can occur, experiences can be emphasized, and not technology itself (Johnny, 2011). Its evolution has also made it a channel for new ways of thinking, discovering problems, and enabling the enhancement of lives of the individuals (Gero, 1996). What are the new directions for design aside from the old craft traditions? Design as an evidence-based discipline As a skilled process, designing is involved in the creation of useful and beautiful items. In various educational facilities across the world, a wide range of time has been used to master any skill in crafts involved in making drawings, constructions of materials, manufacture, and finishings. Moreover, in these educational facilities, very little time is spent outside these crafts and in subjects including any social, major world event or overall literature. A very small effort is spent on core STEM aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This is strange as designs act as the connection between technology and individuals yet very little research or study of either exists (Cross, 1999). Individuals no longer display an essential understanding of the backbones of technology. With the 21st century's enhancements in how sophisticated technology used for businesses, home, and educational purposes are, designers who insist on remaining craftspeople will only have the ability to add an amount of value, but won't be able to take the lead. Design as a craft is an essential profession but contains limitations in capabilities that artists can possess. The world of technology has undergone fast-paced change supported by advancements in science and technology along with the increasing comprehension of the ways in which modern technology socially and environmentally impacts individuals. There has been a depletion in natural resources, and the environment suffers pollutions, and social unrest affects populations in every country. Educational activities involved in craft are not enough to tackle any of these challenges. Tradition designs and crafts did not need formal designs, as the viewable outcomes acted to prove the efforts of the artist. The intuitions of the designer act as guidance for the designer and appreciations can be made through the discernment of the viewer. This is an approach that was effective concerning simple objects such as watches and furniture. However, enhancements in technology made even the simples objects more complicated. This was followed by confusion and frustration which demanded new forms of designs to deal with an increase in complexity. Hence, the design had to be based on the technical knowledge of technology while also appreciating how limited ordinary individuals were and their capability to master the devices. As individuals cannot observe the underlying operations, designers to increase the level to which a design can be understood or used. Hence design was further developed through outer-designs which included outcomes such as ‘interaction designs,' ‘experience-based designs,' or ‘human-computer interactions.’ All of this development underwent incorporation into current design processes. As shifts in design occurred, there were also changes in its fundamental aspects. The outcome was the structuring on new types of design, with some originating from entities that were external to the design communities. Human-centered design acts as one of the most essential types of enhanced designs. It is a practice which needs an increased comprehension of people and starts with observations and a well-defined procedure to find out the genuine underlying issues and needs. These issues can then be evaluated through an evidence-based process of ideation, prototypes, and carrying out tests and till a solution is found (Yap et al., 2014). The result is increasing innovation with optimal solutions in an increasingly complex environment. The human-centered design has some primary principles. One of these principles is that result is structured for increase the level of efficiency within the lives of the individuals that will utilize the design. Human-centered design also never rushes to solutions and is evidence-based. Lastly, human-centered design is action-oriented as learning is enabled by going through continual processes of creations, tests, and observations. It moves people away from the designer as the only expert and into an essential professional field where systems and methods exist for the discovery of the true needs of individuals in society. Designs used to be entirely based on opinion but are now fully based on evidence. The design society is human-centered. Design-Thinking for added value Designers have been talking about design-thinking, and the concept was revived as a part of the marketing slogan by the company IDEO. It is involved in the designation of the utilization of human-centered principles in the application of design to an entirely undiscovered domain. An essential contribution of the concept of design thinking to individuals who are not considered as designers is the capability to take a step back and carry out a reconceptualization of issues for the formation of new perspectives on existing issues. Designers who can be referred to as design-thinkers place their focus not on developing pretty things but on increasing the value of activities and creating effective frameworks through which major issues can be viewed (Carroll, 2015). In business, this means the replacement of the time-honored focus on issues such as profitability for the maximization of experience the individuals involved. In healthcare, the perspective has had a revolutionary effect. As the application of design thinking is on a varied range of activities starting with city structures to designing healthcare and transport systems, the contribution of traditional craft training is minimal. Design education The existing procedures within education are no longer profitable for future design outcomes. Making a consideration of the complicated issues of healthcare while engaging in optimization of the experiences of all the individuals that plays a part in it, the traditional design courses no longer help. The courses that would be expected to help are those in service design, but traditional service design addresses issues that are simple and not complicated system like healthcare. Around the world, crises in systems such as transportation and education are being addressed. The environment is also an essential aspect, through design for an impact of global change despite the resistance of relevant authorities and entities to make an acknowledgment of how big the issue is. Designs educators can continue with their conformance to traditionally-inclined capabilities and display pride in the results they provide as well as the fine crafts-people they have released into the world. There will always be a need for this skill set in the world, but it will act as a representation of the past. For the transformation of education as a leader for future designers, educators must invest themselves in encouraging students to go on with the exploration and learning more of technology, social sciences, political and environmental issues. For the next couple of years, there will be transformations in design to a field that aims to promote new modes of thinking, human-centered approaches to the solutions of complicated challenges, and approaches to shift from the tyranny of technology to empower individuals (Weimer, 1993). Human-centered design is based off the needs of individuals first when addressing main issues in the society. Modern design is different from a large number of discipline lines in academia by being a field of creators instead of analysts. Each designer is a practitioner. This makes design special within educational facilities, as it constructs upon the data of all the specialization units in the university to result in constructing, developing, building and shaping the world. It enables the combination of technology with human activities. It is the way in which knowledge can be practically applied. Conclusion In the current period, design can be presented as more than a craft with individuals who have technical training investing themselves in the production of aesthetic items. This type of design has an important role in people's lives, through the production of wonderful items that provide emotional satisfaction in the everyday activities of individuals. However, a design is much more than constructing pleasurable items, it is the base for entire educational facilities, teaching systems thinking, bridging across specialization systems, technology, and people. The future of the craft still has a large number of areas for exploration and development. All manners of increased developments will occur, some types of interactions, some completely new dimensions of experiences, and rethinking existent activities and services.

References Carroll, G. R. (2015). Authenticity: Attribution, value, and meaning. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, 1-13. Cross, N. (1999). Design research: A disciplined conversation. Design issues, 15(2), 5-10. Gero, J. S. (1996). Creativity, emergence and evolution in design. Knowledge-Based Systems, 9(7), 435-448. Johnny Ragland, B. A. (2011). Craft and Design. Weimer, D. L. (1993). The current state of design craft: Borrowing, tinkering, and problem-solving. Public Administration Review, 110-120. Yap, Y. L., & Yeong, W. Y. (2014). Additive manufacture of fashion and jewellery products: A mini review: This paper provides an insight into the future of 3D printing industries for fashion and jewellery products. Virtual and Physical Prototyping, 9(3), 195-201.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About D&AD.
  2. ^ "In pictures: The D and AD Awards 2014 celebrating advertising and design". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  3. ^ D&AD (2012). 50 years. Köln: Taschen. p. 23. ISBN 9783836539364.
  4. ^ "Copy makes headlines". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. ^ The New York Times (2008-06-02). "People and Accounts of Note". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  6. ^ "D&AD 50th Annual: original cover artwork by 50 design legends up for sale". Retrieved 2016-10-07.

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