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D&AD 50th birthday marks biggest names in design and advertising


By The Drum Team | Editorial

September 19, 2012 | 9 min read

D&AD has staged a party and awards ceremony to celebrate its 50th birthday, with the top ranked agencies, studios and people of the last 50 years of D&AD recognised with a one-off award. The 2012 Black Pencil and President’s Awards have also been presented.

D&AD delved into its archive of design and advertising to uncover the businesses and people that have collected the most Pencils. The winning names were honoured with eight special awards: Most Awarded Ad Agency / Design Studio / Production Company / Brand / Art Director / Copywriter / Designer / Director.

D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay said: “The people, companies and brands celebrated tonight are the true visionaries of the past 50 years of commercial creativity. Their work has changed the way we live our lives, the way we communicate and the way we perceive businesses and each other."

The 2012 President’s Award, presented by Rosie Arnold

Dan Wieden

“Dan Wieden is one of the most inspirational advertising brains of our age. His spirit remains restless and free, and he continues to champion independent thinking and behaviour.

His work and that of his now numerous agencies lead the way across all disciplines. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen a piece of work that has surprised and delighted me, and made me run up and down the corridors at work showing it to other creatives, only to discover it came from Wieden+ Kennedy. So when I asked myself if I should give Dan my President’s Award, I told myself, ‘Just Do It’.”

Rosie Arnold, D&AD President

50th Birthday Honourary President’s Award

Derek Birdsall

In its 50th year, D&AD has decided to honour a designer who was not only central to its foundation but who has also been producing consistently outstanding work throughout all five decades of the organisation’s existence.

Typographer Alan Kitching, a former colleague and contemporary of Birdsall, explains what makes Derek so special: “He is a very inventive designer with an exceedingly fertile mind, so therefore he brings to the solution of a design problem his own particular take, which makes him unique. He’s probably the best book designer in the world.”

2012 Black Pencil

Just one Black Pencil has been awarded by the D&AD judges this year, to a remarkable campaign to demobilise guerrillas in Colombia.

FARC Guerrillas don’t use any of the traditional media in Columbia, so rivers have become their most important channels of communication and transportation. Every FARC base camp is built close to a river. The agency decided to use rivers as a means of delivering messages, letters and gifts at Christmas, which were sent inside waterproof capsules which lit up at night.

Terry Hunt, Direct jury foreman, said: ‘Apart from the poignancy of the idea and the simple dignity of the execution, what impressed the judges about Rivers of Light was that these were soundly based on direct response technique. The best direct work is about cause and effect; the deliberate design of a communication to achieve a quantifiable response. Rivers of Light used personalisation, targeting, the most appropriate direct medium and a clear call to action to achieve its aims while creating an event of transcendent significance. Rivers of Light is one of the purest examples of direct response creativity I have seen in 30 years in the business.’


Most Awarded Advertising Agency: Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners (CDP)

Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners (CDP) emerged from the 1960s as Britain's most influential advertising agencies. It was a nursery for the careers of many who were to become internationally famous, including Sir Frank Lowe, Lord David Puttnam and Sir Alan Parker.Under creative Director Colin Millward, CDP flourished in the 70s, winning Pencils for work including Heineken, Harvey's Bristol Cream, Bird's Eye, Hovis, Benson & Hedges and Hamletcigars.

Most Awarded Design Studio: Apple

Most people would argue that Apple’s phenomenal success has been design led. Apple founder Steve Jobs was known to obsess over the detail of product design - and under the inspirational leadership of Sir Jonathan Ive the design team at Apple has produced a seemingly endless stream of beautiful, functional products that have been celebrated at D&AD for decades.

Most Awarded Production Company: Gorgeous Enterprises

Founded by Chris Palmer in 1996 and shortly after joined by partners Frank Budgen and Paul Rothwell in 1997, Gorgeous have collected some 15 'Production Company of the Year' titles and – in no small part due to their numerous D&AD wins - topped the Gunn Report's Consolidated League Table of Most Awarded Production Company in The World every year from 1999-2009.Their work includes Frank Budgen’s classic spots for Guinness and Levi’s and Chris Palmer’s recent work for T-Mobile.

Most Awarded Art Director: Neil Godfrey

Neil Godfrey has been collecting D&AD Awards since 1967, when he worked at DDB. He continued to enjoy success when he moved to CDP with Tony Brignull during the 1970s.Godfrey worked on accounts for Remington, Bird’s Eye, Fiat, Dunn & Co, Albany and B&H. His pioneering print ad style remains hugely influential to this day.

Most Awarded Designer: David Hillman

In the sixties, David Hillman art directed Nova magazine through it’s most successful period. In the early eighties, having become a partner at Pentagram, he executed the re-design of the Guardian that established the newspaper’s position at the forefront of UK publishing design.David’s Studio was formed by the award winning graphic designer in 2006.

Most Awarded Director (Joint 1st Place): Frank Budgen

After leaving Boase Massimi Pollitt advertising agency where he was a copywriter and creative director, Frank Budgen began directing commercials full-time in 1991 through the Paul Weiland Film Co.He soon established himself as one of the foremost commercials directors in the UK and in 1997 became a partner at Gorgeous.

Most Awarded Director (Joint 1st Place): Tony Kaye

Tony Kaye is a director of films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. He's won awards for his work for Dunlop, Volvo and Olympus amongst many others.Kaye made several well-known music videos, including 'Runaway Train' by Soul Asylum, 'Dani California' by Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'What God Wants' by Roger Walters and 'Help Me' and 'God’s Gonna Cut You Down' by Johnny Cash.

Most Awarded Copywriter: Tony Brignull

Tony Brignull began his career as a trainee at JWT but spent the majority of his working life at Collett Dickenson Pearce with interludes at DDB.With Art Director Neil Godfrey, Tony formed probably the most successful creative partnership in the history of British Advertising. Their D&AD pencil count runs well into double figures.Creator of many memorable commercials for the likes of Clarks shoes and Fiat cars, Tony is probably best known for his print and poster work for I00 Pipers, Birds-Eye, Parker pens, Olympus, Whitbread and many others.

Most Awarded Brand: Apple

Apple's success at D&AD reflects the company's ability to sustain itself in our hearts and minds. Design led innovation is at the heart of Apple where making the best products in the world is the ultimate goal. The passion and utmost care that the design team puts into the development process creates a range of award winning products that surprise and delight millions and millions of consumers around the world.


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