Six decades of D&AD awards: the 2000s

D&AD has been handing out awards for over half a century. R/GA's George Prest looks back at some of the winners from 2000-2009.

George Prest

Design and Art Direction (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). The group was dedicated to celebrating creative communication, rewarding its practitioners, and raising standards across the industry.

Today D&AD has evolved into a major global organisation that exists to promote excellence in design and advertising everywhere through educational programmes and rewarding great work through its annual Yellow Pencil awards. Here D&AD's George Prest (above) recalls some of the most memorable winners in the first decade of the 21st century...

In the 2000s, the lid was blown clean off the various industries that make up the entrants to D&AD. The rise of digital, and the use of technology that came with it, fundamentally altered advertising and design for ever.

Advertising was forced to concede that notions of the mute consumer were no longer viable. And design had to come to terms with a radically enlarged playing field, with different disciplines added to its mix and richer environments to bring to bear than ever before.

This is reflected in the work below. It’s all over the place - a bridge, a TV ad, an online platform, a piece of responsive content and a personal, digital music player. To some this has been alarming, a loosening of the moorings and an overturning of a well-established and well-renumerated model. I think it’s been brilliant.

The Millau Viaduct

The Millau Viaduct won a Black Pencil for Environmental Design & Architecture in 2005

Where do you start? One of the most astonishing marriages of form and function I’ve ever seen. It hovers ethereally above the Midi, floating holiday-makers effortlessly across its span as they speed on down to their summer holidays in the South. It’s amazing that this was built. It’s equally amazing, and a fitting tribute to the power of the show, that it was entered in D&AD.

  • Year: 2005
  • Award: Black Pencil for the most outstanding Design for Industry, Transport and the Workplace
  • Architect: Foster and Partners
  • Engineering Concept: Michel Virlogeux
  • Design/Build/Operate Concessionaire: CEVM (Compagnie Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau)
  • Structural Engineers: SERF Sogelerg EEG (Europe Etudes Gecti)
  • Landscape Architects: Agence TER
  • Associated Architects: Chapelet-Defol-Mousseigne
  • Photographer: Daniel Jamme
  • Client: French Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Housing, Tourism and Sea

Guinness Surfer

When I was a kid, growing up on the tough streets of the BBH Creative Department, no-one ever won a black pencil. Then, to everyone’s astonishment, Surfer came along and won two.

The industry twitched, as if remembering how to flex a long-lost muscle and those of us at the coal-face marveled at this beautiful film with its metaphor, so gloriously realised and its best, longest, most glorious pack shot ever.

  • Year: 2001
  • Award: Black Pencil for the most outstanding Television Commercial over 60 seconds
  • Director: Jonathan Glazer
  • Art Director: Walter Campbell
  • Copywriter: Tom Carty
  • Creative Director: Peter Souter
  • Producer: Nick Morris
  • Production Company: Academy
  • Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO
  • Agency Producer: Yvonne Chalkley
  • Editor: Sam Sneade
  • Lighting Camera: Ivan Bird
  • Music Compsers/Arrangers: Paul Daley, Neil Barnes
  • Music Consultant: Peter Raeburn
  • Sound Designer: Johnny Burns
  • Post Production: The Computer Film Company
  • Special Effects: Rachael Penfold, Paddy Eason, Dominic Parker, Dan Glass, Adrian De Wet, Richard Clarke, Gavin Toomey, Alex Payman, Joe Pavlo, Tom Debenham
  • Account Handler: Gavin Thompson
  • Marketing Executive: Gary Haigh
  • Client: Guinness

Nike+ website

The Nike+ website won a Black Pencil in 2007

This is the reason that I hunted down a job at R/GA. If we’re in the business of engineering relationships between brands and people, and we are in my humble opinion, then this is the single piece of work that most clearly redefined the possibilities of that.

Passion plus technology in an ongoing engagement that makes life better for the people that use it. Seven million people are still on the platform all these years later. Amazing. And I haven’t even mentioned that is was a collaboration between two super-brands, Nike and Apple.

  • Year: 2007
  • Award: Black Pencil Websites
  • Creative Director: Nick Law, Kris Kiger, Gui Borchert, Natalie Lam, Richard Ting, Jill Nussbaum, Michael Spiegel
  • Agency Producer: Matt Howell, Brock Busby, Daniel Jurow, James Kuo, David Ross
  • Designer: Jeff Baxter, Gary Van Dzura, Ed Kim, Michael Reger
  • Interactive Designer Claudia Bernett, Joe Tobens
  • Animator Mark Voelpel, Kiril Yeretsky
  • Advertising Agency: R/GA
  • Technical Director: Nick Coronges, Sean Lyons
  • Copywriter: Josh Bletterman, Alison Hess
  • Programmer Aaron Ambrose, Noel Billig, Matthias Hader, Asako Kohno, William Lee, Michael Mosley, Michael Piccuirro, Geoffrey Roth, Ben Sosinski, Stan Wiechners
  • Quality Assurance Nauman Hafiz, Michele Roman, August Yang

Subservient Chicken

The Subservient Chicken website won a Yellow Pencil in 2005

This is a timeless and classic reminder that digital stuff doesn’t have to be useful all the time. The new technology has opened up fresh and brilliant ways for us to entertain the people that we serve as well.

This was a jaw-dropper when it came out, so simple and so pointy in its strategy. The case study is a beautiful thing as well, incredibly concise and direct, a breath of fresh air given the bloated submissions these days.

  • Year: 2005
  • Award: Yellow Pencil Interactive & Digital Media / Consumer Websites
  • Creative Director: Andrew Keller
  • Associate Creative Director: Rob Reilly
  • Interactive Creative Director: Jeff Benjamin
  • Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
  • Art Director: Mark Taylor
  • Copywriter: Bob Cianfrone
  • Illustrator: Pres Rodriguez
  • Production Company: The Barbarian Group
  • Advertising Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
  • Agency Producer: Terry Stavoe
  • Senior Director of Advertising and Multicultural Marketing: Andy Bonaparte
  • Client: Burger King

Apple iPod

The iPod won a Black Pencil for the most outstanding Product for Leisure in 2004

I don’t need to write about this. In Apple’s own words, it has ‘changed everything’. The epitome of the Jobs years, Jonny Ive’s lasting legacy, the iPod and the attendant other parts of the ecosystem, especially iTunes absolutely transformed the music industry. This is peerless design, meeting a human need, in a magical, game-changing way. Unbelievable stuff.

  • Year: 2004
  • Award: Black Pencil for the most outstanding Product for Leisure
  • Designers: Bart Andre, Danny Coster, Daniele de luliis, Richard Howarth, Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs, Duncan Kerr, Matthew Rohrback, Doug Satzger. Ca; Seid, Christopher Stringer, Eugene Whang
  • Manufacturer: Apple Computer
  • Design Group: Apple Design Group
  • Client: Apple Computer

Words: George Prest

George Prest is executive creative director at R/GA London and a member of the Board of Trustees at D&AD.