Why are there so few D&AD Pencils in Design?

Whether you work in design or advertising, chances are you’ll know of D&AD. Founded as British Design & Art Direction in 1962 by luminaries Alan Fletcher, David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Colin Forbes, the not-for-profit has been nurturing, inspiring and rewarding creative excellence for almost 60 years — and it’s now truly global in its scope.

It all culminates in the annual D&AD Awards – set for 23 May this year. For many bigger agencies, it’s their main, sometimes only, contact with the organisation. Taking home a Yellow Pencil would be the highlight of most designers’ careers, but the elusive Black Pencil is the ultimate achievement.

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.