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D&AD Empowers Creative Conversation through 2021 Annual



The 2021 Annual will continue to be a free-to-access digital resource

D&AD Empowers Creative Conversation through 2021 Annual

D&AD today launches the 59th D&AD Annual, published in a free-to-access digital format. Building on the success of the organisation’s first all-digital Annual in 2020, D&AD this year are facilitating conversations around the future of the sector by inviting esteemed voices to offer insights on the 2021 Award-winning work, and providing additional interactive features including a new curate function which enables users to collate and share their favourite works. 

Following an exceptionally challenging period for the creative industries, particularly for emerging and young talent, D&AD last year published the 58th Annual in an exclusively digital format, transforming the publication into a more widely accessible resource for the global creative community. Reaching over 75,000 users to-date, 12,000 of whom are in the 18-24 age category, the 2020 Annual has enabled the organisation to fulfil a core mission by reaching as wide an audience as possible, and inspiring and supporting emerging talent in new ways. 

The D&AD Annual has always served as a source of inspiration, education and celebration, and this year’s free digital publication goes a step further with new features and a content series that promotes two-way conversation between D&AD and the global industry. The new ‘My Curations’ feature enables users to save their favourite projects and articles which are shareable via email and social media and serve to stimulate dialogue around inspirational creative work. The feature sits alongside D&AD Judges’ own curations which highlight work that stood out to them. 

The most notable addition to the Annual is a series of editorial pieces which feature a variety of perspectives on this year’s winning work. D&AD has invited creative thinkers with diverse expertise to offer insights and context to themes in the 2021 Award-winning work, providing opinion from a variety of professional perspectives and lived experiences. Across 10 editorial pieces, expert voices have addressed topics ranging from the cultural production of the Black diaspora, exploration of Gen Z's relationship to media and branding, rise of gaming and the role of typographical craft in cultural inheritance, all told through the lens of this year’s Pencil winners. Pieces featured in the publication include: 

- Emma Hope Allwood, former Head of Fashion at Dazed, on defining Gen Z

- Jess Crombie, NGO consultant and former Global Content Director at Save The Children, on empathy and the contributor-led approach

- Shon Faye, writer, podcaster and author of The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice, on how creativity can meaningfully support trans people and other minorities

- Jeff Ihaza, Senior Editor at Rolling Stone, on power and poignancy of Beats by Dr. Dre’s film You Love Me 

- Sulaiman Khan, Co-Founder of Disability-led justice business ThisAbility, on worldbuilding and joyful Disabled creativity

- Jeremy Leslie, Founder of magCulture on print as a document of time

- Keza MacDonald, Video Games Editor at The Guardian, on the year that gaming came into its own

- Debbie Milman, branding expert and Design Matters podcast host, on branding and the climate emergency

- Madoka Nishi, Editor-in-chief of Japan’s IDEA Magazine, on non-Latin typography and cultural inheritance

- Raven Smith author and columnist at Vogue UK on coping through the pandemic with humour

To find insights and learnings in winning work from the 2021 D&AD Awards, understand how it was made and why it embodies creative excellence, the Annual includes a series of written or video interviews with winners from a broad range of creative disciplines. Highlights include conversations with this year’s Black Pencil winners on what it takes to win the industry’s most coveted award; interviews with the Collaborative Award winners on the success of creative collaboration; and insights from D&AD’s first student winner of the Side Hustle Award on designing a system for prisoners to communicate meaningfully with their families. 

Building on their design of the 2020 Annual, Studio Dumbar has collaborated with D&AD again to craft a new and engaging digital experience which continues to capture the evocative quality of the physical Annual, while harnessing the unique possibilities of the digital form. New features and updates include endless scroll to further replicate the serendipity of flicking through a physical book; an enhanced discoverability of New Blood work; and statistics and figures on this year’s awards and Judges. As in previous years, the 2021 Annual still includes much-loved features such as letters from D&AD Chairman, Tim Lindsay and the 2020/21 D&AD President, Naresh Ramchandani. 

The Annual is free to access to all and is now available to view via the D&AD website.

Naresh Ramchandani, D&AD president, commented: “Emphatically digital for a second year, the Annual is the most effective way for D&AD to make its most potent inspiration freely accessible to the widest possible audience. Building on the success of last year’s Annual, I am most excited by the addition of commentary pieces by voices from inside and outside the industry. Featuring views from different disciplines, experiences and identities, this is exactly what creativity should be right now: interested in, and inclusive of, as many different perspectives as possible, with the aim of making our creative work as rich as the society it’s part of.” 

Studio Dumbar commented: “Last year’s Annual proved the unmatched potential of the digital form in providing a source of inspiration and stimulation for creatives across the globe. Our aim was to build on the dynamic qualities of the 2020 Annual and create a more personalised and ultimately engaging platform for 2021. The result is a more bespoke user experience that encourages creative conversation and collaboration, which really embodies everything D&AD stand for.” 

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D&AD, Wed, 22 Sep 2021 07:24:44 GMT