D&AD Awards Tally: 652 Pencils, 4 Of Which Are Black
D&AD Awards judging
  • LONDON
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Out of 652 Pencils awarded in the D&AD competition this year, four received the highest honor--the coveted Black Pencil, which is reserved truly groundbreaking work. Making up the Black Pencil quartet were:

  • Dentsu Tokyo claimed one Black Pencil in the Art Direction category for My Japan Railway, a campaign built around the idea to restore a sense of human connection with railways in Japan.
  • Marcel (France) won a Black Pencil in the Digital & Social category for WoMen’s Football, a VFX led campaign highlighting gender bias in football, that went truly viral and became an educational tool.
  • Apple won a Black Pencil in the Digital Design category for VisionOS, the design of its groundbreaking operating system.
  • McCann Poland won a Black Pencil in the Experiential category for WhereToSettle for Mastercard, a smart-data platform aggregating multiple data points to help Ukrainian refugees map out opportunities for shelter and work across Poland.

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The 62nd D&AD Awards ceremony took place in London’s Southbank Centre today (5/22). A total of 652 Pencils were awarded.

Two of the Black Pencils were rooted in ideas aiming to have a positive impact on society. Both entries used data and technology in novel ways, with WhereToSettle by McCann Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees find work and housing, while WoMen’s Football by Marcel set out to challenge bias in sport.

The same socially conscious bent was evidenced in winners of D&AD’s Yellow Pencils too, for example Transparency Card by AKQA São Paulo for Congresso em Foco, was created to help Brazilians identify potential corruption in public spending.

Commenting on this year’s winners, D&AD trustee Kwame Taylor-Hayford said: “The awarded work for me reflects our industry’s resilience and bravery. In the face of so much change, the creativity awarded at the show demonstrates beautifully how we are expanding our remit far beyond communication, creating products, services, initiatives that drive brand growth, societal change and human connection.” 
 

The Return Of Fun To Craft 
But that wasn’t the only theme from this year’s D&AD award winners. Humor won big too, with many of the judges celebrating the return of playfulness and fun to the advertising and design industries, which came through in Yellow Pencil winners Michael Cerave by Ogilvy PR and Sammakorn by Choojai And Friends, Thailand.  

 
Standout Agencies Named 
VML New York continued its recent winning streak and was named D&AD’s “Advertising Agency of the Year” while AB InBev won “Client of the Year” for the second year running. 
 
Ogilvy and Serviceplan won Network Agency of the Year and Independent Network Agency of the year, respectively, while Raw Materials received “Design Agency of the Year” after only launching in 2023. 

 
A Global Awards Show  
This year saw a near-record level of entries to the D&AD Awards, with the highest number of submissions since 2007. There were entries from 78 countries, and 30,000 individual pieces of work making up 12,387 total entries.  
 
“D&AD is all about championing the universal language of creativity and elevating industry talent, irrespective of geography,” said Jo Jackson, CEO of D&AD. “The fact that this year’s Black Pencil winners are spread across three continents, from Asia, to Europe and North America, shows that our Awards really do embody global excellence in creative craft. It’s an honor to celebrate truly international work.” 
 

The President’s Award 
Chosen by this year’s D&AD president Jack Renwick, founder of the Jack Renwick Studio, the 2024 D&AD President’s Award went to Jessica Walsh CEO, founder and creative director at &Walsh. Walsh said: “I’m deeply honored to receive the D&AD President’s Award. It’s humbling to join such a prestigious group of past award recipients--many who have inspired my path and continue to inspire me today. I’m grateful for this opportunity to reflect on the work that has brought me to where I am. The greatest joy for me is creating work that touches people, that is relatable, gives back, and that starts a dialogue. Design has the unique ability to shape perspectives and drive change, and I’m passionate about continuing to push boundaries and inspire others in our field. Thank you to D&AD for this prestigious honor and for supporting the transformative power of design.”

Renwick assessed, “Jessica Walsh epitomizes what a modern female creative leader can be. Her award winning work forms new conversations and pushes design and branding into new exciting places. With Jess as a role model, I hope to see more Bold, Unapologetic, Formidable women coming into the industry.” 

 
2024 Overall Results  
The total number of Pencils awarded for the D&AD Awards 2024 by level: 

  • Black: 4 Pencils awarded
  • White: 4 Pencils awarded
  • Yellow: 66 Pencils awarded
  • Graphite: 180 Pencils awarded 
  • Wood: 391 Pencils awarded
  • Future Impact: 7 Pencils 

 
Companies of the Year

 

  • VML New York: Advertising Agency of the Year
  • Raw Materials: Design Agency of the Year
  • DIVISION: Production Company of the Year
  • AB InBev: Client of the Year
  • Serviceplan: Independent Network of the Year
  • Ogilvy: Network of the Year
  • Jessica Walsh: Recipient of the President’s Award 

 

All the Pencil-winning work and shortlisted entries are showcased on the D&AD website.

 

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