6 world-class ads by the winner of D&AD's President Award

Recently honoured by D&AD, art director Alexandra Taylor takes a look back at some of the best advertising work of her career.

Acknowledged as one of the UK's most respected and acclaimed art directors, Alexandra Taylor has gained an international reputation for her prolific award-winning work in advertising.

With over 200 entries into the D&AD Annual, Alex was this year presented with the D&AD President's Award. Here she takes a look back at six of her favourite campaigns from her illustrious career...

01. 'Everyday'

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  • Client: Parkinson's UK
  • Agency: The Assembly
  • Year: 2012

  • Art director: Alexandra Taylor
  • Copywriter: Sean Doyle
  • Photographer: Alexandra Taylor
  • Typographer: Stuart Harrington Gill, Alexandra Taylor
  • Executive Creative Director: Steve Dunn
  • Planner: Trevor Hardy
  • Account Handler: Tina Woods
  • Brand Manager: Lily Dwek

"In recent years, I've spent a lot of time working with creatives and agencies through my 'Masterclass in Art Direction' courses, so admittedly it had been some years since I had been involved in a great creative idea, until Steve Dunn and Sean Doyle handed over the art directional problem for this poster campaign, into my 'rusty' hands.

"It was with great relief that I was able to find an art directorial solution that did the campaign idea justice, resulting in a D&AD Yellow Pencil."

02. Trust

  • Client: British Army
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Year: 1995
  • Credits:
  • Production Company: Paul Weiland Co.
  • Art Director: Alexandra Taylor
  • Director: Mike Stephenson
  • Creative Director: Nik Studzinski
  • Copywriters: Gavin Kellett, Jason Fretwell

"The insight in this TV ad did not come from our Saatchi's planner, but actually from the Brigadier's insistence that Saatchi creatives should meet with soldiers of various ranks on a weekly basis.

"Great insights make great ads."

03. Cotton Reel

  • Client: Silk Cut
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Year: 1987
  • Credits:
  • Art Director: Alexandra Taylor
  • Copywriter: Michael Petherick
  • Marketing Manager: Nigel Simon
  • Model Maker: Nancy Fouts
  • Photographer: Graham Ford

"At the time of shooting this image, I was unaware that this simple execution, different to the launch ads, was to become the hallmark art directional 'look', for Silk Cut for years to come."

04. Draw Blood

  • Client: Department of Health/COI (Nursing)
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Year: 1997
  • Credits:
  • Art Director: John Messum, Colin Jones
  • Copywriter: Mike McKenna
  • Photographer: Graham Cornthwaite
  • Typographer: Roger Kennedy
  • Creative Director: Adam Kean, Alexandra Taylor
  • Account Handler: Norma Clarke
  • Marketing Executive: Romola Christopherson, Jan Carver

"They say the real test of great art direction is time. I was so honoured to contribute to this print campaign as joint creative director and viewing this campaign again, 16 years on, still gets a 'thumbs up' from me with no hesitation."

05. Sherry

  • Client: Allied National Brands: Castlemaine XXXX
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Year: 1986
  • Credits:
  • Writer: Mick Petherick
  • Art Director: Alexandra Taylor
  • Director: John Marles
  • Production Company: RSA Films

"This is quite a well known spot, but the greatest accolade this ad won, was on the evening of its first national airing, when my dad rang me to say he had just seen a very funny ad for Castlemaine XXXX. He then proceeded to recite word for word the script. It was my proudest moment, to utter the words: 'Dad, it's my ad!'"

06. Landscape Art

  • Client: Intercity
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Year: 1990
  • Credits:
  • Art Director: Alexandra Taylor
  • Copywriter: James Lowther
  • Photographer: Michael Kenna
  • Typographer: Jeff Merrells
  • Director of Communications: John Cimelli

"For this Intercity campaign, not only did l demand that my copywriter write each individual ad to a 'given' length, but each line of copy had to include a precise amount of characters too. I'm pleased to say, that James Lowther and l remain friends to this day!"

Alex Taylor is founder of Mrs. McGuinty Ltd. and a former Joint Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. As well as working on projects with a number of leading agencies, Alexandra is also currently runs Art Direction Masterclasses through D&AD in London as well as overseas. Find out more about her Art of Art Direction Training course here.