Six decades of D&AD awards: the 2010s

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 this decade so far.

D&AD 2010s

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 of the decade so far...

What a wonderful time we live in. Our industry has been liberated from its media strait-jacket, there is no end to the toys that we can play with and we are able, these days, to build much deeper, more meaningful relationships between brands and people than ever before.

Everything is marketing in this decade. Everything is brand; every touch-point and experience, be it physical, digital or communication, from advertising to how someone picks up the phone. Marketers realise this. P&G recently announced the disbanding of their marketing department, with the intention of gathering all its consumer-focussed activities under the banner of 'brand'.

The question for us as an industry is whether we can keep pace with our clients and the amazing, varied work below suggests that, with a fair wind and the right people at the helm, we can.

Old Spice Response

Social is a slippery beast. At the whim of the platform owners, it constantly changes as a space; schizophrenically acting as a canvas for brand behaviours, a space for tactical print campaigns or a broadcast channel for product innovation. Way back in 2011, Old Spice used it as a real-time, responsive broadcast channel to spectacular effect. The production and craft skills that made this happen are mind-blowing. Luckily, for the rest of us and our life/work balances, as a way of connecting people and brands, it didn't really catch on.

  • Year: 2011
  • Award: Yellow Pencil for Digital Advertising & Writing For Advertising
  • Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin, Jason Bagleyxecutive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman
  • Global Interactive Creative Director: Iain Tait
  • Interactive Designer: Matthew Carroll
  • Developers: Trent Johnson, John Cohoon
  • Art Directors: Craig Allen, Eric Kallman
  • Copywriters: Eric Baldwin, Eric Kallman, Craig Allen, Jason Bagley
  • Producer: Ann-Marie Harbour
  • Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Portland
  • Production Company: Don't Act Big
  • Digital Strategist: Josh Millrod
  • Account Handler: Diana Gonzalez
  • Brand Manager: James Moorhead
  • Assistant Brand Manager: Shanan Sabin

Chipotle Back to the Start

Over the last few years, as bandwidths have gone up and streaming has become easier, there has been a palpable, heady rush to content. Done wrong it creates 'digital landfill', a series of meaningless messages that miss the human beings they are meant for by a country mile. Done right, like this film from Chipotle, content can captivate and endure. This is music, animation and message in perfect harmony, all driven along by a clear, motivating brand purpose. Delightful.

  • Year: 2012
  • Award: Yellow Pencil for Film Advertising Craft
  • Character Animator: Gary Cureton
  • Set Animator: Matt Cooper
  • 3D Previs Lead Artist: Mark Davies
  • Compositors: Alasdair Brotherston, John Taylor
  • Director: Johnny Kelly
  • Producer: Liz Chan
  • Executive Producers: Charlotte Bavasso, Cedric Gairard, Chris O'Reilly
  • Production Managers: Alistair Pratten, Claire Thompson
  • Director of Photography: Matt Day
  • Production Designer: Graham Staughton
  • Music Composers: Coldplay
  • Music Performer: Willie Nelson
  • Sound Designer: Barnaby Templer
  • Production Company: Nexus Productions
  • Advertising Agency: ChipotleCreative Artists Agency
  • Music Arrangement & Supervision: Duotone Audio Group New York

Wilderness Downtown

Wilderness Downtown site

Google's HTML5 experience was a breath of fresh air

Google are so unusual as a marketing organization. Rather that create emotion around their product, they use their product innovations to create emotion. This is genius for a company that is considered monopolistic and without emotion.

Occasionally Google's approach throws up something remarkable like this, Wilderness Downtown. It's Streetview, HTML5, a great track, lovely original content and an engagement piece combined. Really it defies categorization but D&AD awarded it a black pencil for Digital Advertising in 2011.

  • Year: 2012
  • Award: Black Pencil, Digital Advertising
  • Director: Chris Milk
  • Art Direction: B-Reel
  • Writer: Chris Milk
  • Lead Developer: Mr.doob
  • Creative Directors: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin
  • Executive Producers: Jennifer Heath, Jon Kamen, Frank Scherma
  • Line Producer: Ari Palitz
  • Colourist: Dave Hussey
  • Visual Effects Designer: Scott Bravo
  • Editor: Livio Sanchez
  • Cinematographers: Shawn Kim, Chris Milk
  • Information Architect: Aaron Koblin
  • Interactive Production: B-Reel
  • Interactive Design: B-Reel
  • Production Company:
  • 3D Design: Magoo 3D Studios
  • Music & Sound: Arcade Fire

Johnny Walker 1910

Johnny Walker bottles

An audacious and effortlessly elegant bottle design from Johnny Walker

The elegance and effortlessness of these whiskey bottles is breathtaking. The audacity of a porcelain bottle, the beauty of the illustration and the connection of a moment in time with a specific geography, is done simply and beautifully. They take us across the world, back to 1910, to produce a reaction from the beholder that is almost visceral. What I would pay to have one of those bottles sitting at home. They make a stunning statement about the power of design.

  • Year: 2012
  • Award: Yellow Pencil for Packaging Design
  • Global Category Director: David Gates
  • Global Brand Director: Gavin Pike
  • Chief Marketing Officer: James Thompson
  • Design Director: Chris Myers
  • Creative Director: Dave Palmer
  • Illustrator: Chris Martin
  • Production Manager: Dani Hawley
  • Creative Agency: LOVE
  • Manufacturer: Wade Ceramics
  • Account Manager: Kat Towers

Almost Extinct Calendar

Almost Extinct Calendar

This calendar educates beautifully

Good to end on a calendar. Calendars are one of the oldest organizational tools known to man. We've had different ones over the years, lunar, Gregorian, Julian etc. but they've never stopped being useful. What I love about this calendar is the way that it takes an existing behavior and uses it so simply to make a point.

Almost Extinct Calendar January

The design makes a point about nature without being heavy-handed

It's not heavy-handed or over-wrought and it educates beautifully, using the passage of time to make it's point about the passage of nature, man's hands reminding us of what happens to nature in man's hands.

  • Year: 2011
  • Award: Yellow Pencil, Graphic Design
  • Designers: Chris Challinor, Rebecca Low, Dulcie Cowling, Adam Cartwright
  • Creative Director: Oliver Maltby
  • Design Company: The Chase

Words: George Prest

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