News & Views

D&AD Professional Award Winners


Last night, London’s Battersea Evolution venue played host to the D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony, which turned out to be the most awarded year in the organisation’s history.

A record 847 Pencils were handed out, with five Black Pencils (rewarding 'creative perfection') and a record four White Pencils (rewarding 'creativity for good') going out to the most innovative and ethical advertising and design projects of the past 12 months. This year also saw the introduction of the Wood Pencil (meaning the work will be included in the D&AD Annual) and the Graphite Pencil (signifying that it received a nomination).

Leo Burnett picked up a coveted Black Pencil for its work on Procter & Gamble-owned feminine hygiene brand Always. The #LikeAGirl spot (below) aims to dismantle gender stereotypes by showing boys and girls of various ages being asked to do different activities ‘like a girl’. As younger children run and fight furiously with no inhibitions, the older participants flap their limbs around pathetically. It was the most awarded work of the night, raking in two Yellow Pencils, three Graphite Pencils and two Wood Pencils on top of the all–important Black. Read our exclusive interview with Leo Burnett Canada’s CEO/CCO to find out more about the campaign.

Colenso BBDO in Auckland scooped a Black Pencil for K9FM, a radio station created especially for dogs by pet care brand Pedigree. Dog-owners often leave the radio on to sooth pooches who hate being left alone at home. The 24 hour radio station airs classical music, as research shows it is effective at relieving a dog’s anxiety. Other programmes include meditation with Vet Joanna, and a chat show called Talkies, which covers thought-provoking topics such as ‘When is a stick not a stick?’

Another prestigious Black Pencil went to French supermarket Intermarché’s retaliation against supermarkets' tendency to stock perfectly proportioned fresh fruit and vegetables. Paris-based Marcel Worldwide’s Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables put rejected produce at the front and centre of the supermarket aisle, making them 30% cheaper to shoppers. The supermarket also distributed soups and juices made from the inglorious vegetables in its stores.

Black Pencils were also awarded to 4creative’s Film4 brand idents, and Made Thought’s website and branding work for G. F. Smith. A total of 44 Yellow Pencils were awarded, with winners including the Apple Watch, Forsman & Bodenfors’ 805 Million Names, and Kolle Rebbe’s Social Swipe campaign.

White Pencils, awarded to creativity for social good, were handed out to Don’t Panic London for LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome; This Is Wholesome by Droga5, Nazis Against Nazis - Germany's Most Involuntary Charity Walk by GGH Lowe and Grabarz & Partner and Lowe China’s Human Traffic Sign.

R/GA was crowned Most Awarded Advertising Agency with two Yellow Pencils and a string of Graphite and Wood Pencils for its work with clients including Beats By Dre and Google. Procter & Gamble was recognised as the Most Awarded Client.


The night concluded with the President's Award, presented by current president Mark Bonner to South African-born typographer and graphic designer Margaret Calvert who, with colleague Jock Kinner, revolutionised public signage in the UK by designing simple and easy-to-understand pictograms. She has also taught at London’s Royal College of Art. Alumni who studied under her include founders of some of Britain’s best-known design studios - Graphic Thought Facility, Why Not Associates, GBH, Jonathan Barnbrook and Daniel Eatock.

 See the full list of winners here