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Design and Art Direction

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Design and Art Direction
Legal statusCharity
HeadquartersSpitalfields, London
Region served
UK and worldwide
Key people
Tim Lindsay
Dara Lynch
Rebecca Wright

Design and Art Direction (D&AD), formerly known as British Design and Art Direction, is a British educational organisation that was created in 1962 to promote excellence in design and advertising. Its main offices are in Spitalfields in London. It is most famous for its annual awards, the D&AD Pencils. The highest award given by D&AD, the Black Pencil, is not necessarily awarded every year.[1]


Origins (1962–1977)[edit]

D&AD was founded in 1962 by a group of London-based designers and art directors including David Bailey, Terence Donovan, 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. Early 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. In 1966 it was replaced by a more durable award. Its education programmes in their infancy, D&AD launched graphic workshops in association with the Royal College of Art in the mid-1960s. They ran until the mid-1970s. Designer Michael Wolff became the first elected president of D&AD 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.

Introduction of Student Awards (1978–1990)[edit]

D&AD education programmes continued to grow in 1978 when Dave Trott set up the D&AD Advertising Workshops. In 1979, initiated by Sir John Hegarty of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Student Awards were launched.[2] Bridging the gap between college and work, the awards present students with real world briefs to tackle. The awards had already started to recognise a wider range of categories through the 1960s and 1970s and photography, retail design (now environmental design), music videos, and product design became part of the awards in the 1980s. 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.[citation needed] Afterward, the ceremony did come back under one roof, where it has remained.

Move to Graphite Square, Vauxhall (1990–2012)[edit]

D&AD moved to Graphite Square, in Vauxhall in the 1990s. The first Student Expo (now New Blood) and the University Network, the D&AD membership programme for university and college courses, launched in 1993. The first session of "Xchange" took place in 1996. It was described as a ‘summer school’ for college lecturers and creative practitioners updated participants on the latest industry trends. D&AD launched its website in 1996 and introduced its first digital categories to the awards in 1997. 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 the AMV.BBDO ‘Surfer’ for Guinness for its visuals.[3] This was matched five years later by ‘Grrr’, Wieden + Kennedy London's work for Honda UK. In 2006 another milestone was set as leoburnett.com 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.[4]

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 more than 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.

50th year and beyond (2012–present)[edit]

In 2012, D&AD moved to a location on Hanbury Street. It celebrated its 50th anniversary by honouring the most successful award-winners in its history with a special edition Taschen D&AD Annual featuring 50 different covers.[5]

D&AD Awards[edit]

The following are the D&AD Pencil award levels:[6]

D&AD Wood Pencil

Represents the best in advertising and design from the year.

D&AD Graphite Pencil

Awarded to stand-out work, well executed with an original idea at its core.

D&AD Yellow Pencil

Awarded only to the most outstanding work that achieves true creative excellence.

D&AD Black Pencil

The ultimate creative accolade, reserved for work that is ground-breaking in its field. Only a handful are awarded each year.

D&AD White Pencil

Reserved for exceptional and game-changing projects that have resulted in significant impact.

D&AD presidents[edit]

Each year the D&AD elects a president from the creative community. They are always D&AD Award winners.

Name[7][8] Category Year
Edward Booth-Clibborn Advertising 1963
Bob Gill Design 1964
Derek Birdsall Design 1965
Terence Conran Design 1966
David Puttnam Advertising 1967
Bob Brooks Advertising 1968
Michael Peters Design 1969
Brian Byfield Advertising 1970
Michael Wolff Design 1971
David Hillman Design 1972
Chris Wilkins Advertising 1973
Alfredo Marcantonio Advertising 1974
David Abbott Advertising 1975
Alan Parker Advertising 1976
John Salmon Advertising 1977
Gerry Moira Advertising 1978
Andrew Cracknell Advertising 1979
Lord Snowdon Advertising 1980
Martin Boase Advertising 1981
Marcello Minale Design 1982
Tony Brignull Advertising 1983
Rodney Fitch Design 1984
Jeremy Myerson Design 1985
John McConnell Design 1986
Jeremy Sinclair Advertising 1987
Gert Dumbar Design 1988
John Hegarty Advertising 1989
Ron Brown Advertising 1990
Martin Lambie-Nairn Design 1991
Tim Delaney Advertising 1992
Aziz Cami Design 1993
Adrian Holmes Advertising 1994
Mary Lewis Design 1995
Graham Fink Advertising 1996
Mike Dempsey Advertising 1997
Tim Mellors Advertising 1998
Richard Seymour Design 1999
Larry Barker Advertising 2000
David Stuart Design 2001
Peter Souter Advertising 2002
Michael Johnson Design 2003
Nick Bell Design 2004
Dick Powell Design 2005
Dave Trott Advertising 2006
Tony Davidson Advertising 2007
Simon Waterfall Design 2008
Garrick Hamm Design 2009
Paul Brazier Advertising 2010
Simon Sankarayya Design 2011
Rosie Arnold Advertising 2012
Neville Brody Design 2013
Laura Jordan-Bambach Advertising 2014
Andy Sandoz Advertising 2015
Bruce Duckworth Design 2016
Steve Vranakis Advertising 2017
Harriet Devoy Design 2018
Kate Stanners Advertising 2019
Naresh Ramchandani Design 2020
Rebecca Wright Education 2021

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the D&AD Pencils". Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  2. ^ D&AD (2012). 50 years. Köln: Taschen. p. 23. ISBN 9783836539364.
  3. ^ "Copy makes headlines". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  4. ^ The New York Times (2008-06-02). "People and Accounts of Note". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. ^ "D&AD 50th Annual: original cover artwork by 50 design legends up for sale". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  6. ^ "D&AD Pencils". dandad.org. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  7. ^ "What is D&AD?".
  8. ^ D&AD (2012). D&AD 50. ISBN 9783836539364 (Taschen GmbH, December 2012)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]