D&AD announces all-time top award winners

As part of its upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, D&AD has identified the designers, studios, ad agencies, creatives, directors and brands who have won the most pencils in its history

Above, clockwise from top left, D&AD-winning work from John Webster (Smash), Marcello Minale (Heal’s), Wieden + Kennedy (Honda), Mark Farrow (Pet Shop Boys)

As part of its upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, D&AD has identified the designers, studios, ad agencies, creatives, directors and brands who have won the most pencils in its history

On 18 September 2012, D&AD celebrates its 50th Birthday. The organisation is staging a party and awards ceremony, at which the top ranked agencies, studios and people of the last 50 years of D&AD will be recognised with a one-off award.

Ahead of the event, D&AD has worked out the top ten most awarded people and companies in each of the following categories: Ad Agency, Design Studio, Production Company, Brand, Art Director, Copywriter, Designer and Director.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

The Economist ad by AMV.BBDO


Advertising agency:

Bartle Bogle Hegarty London
Collett Dickenson Pearce
DDB London (including BMP pre 1989 merger)
DDB London (pre 1989 merger)
Saatchi & Saatchi London
Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Wieden + Kennedy UK


Winsor & Newton packaging by Michael Peters & Partners


Design Studio

Carroll Dempsey & Thirkell (including Carroll & Dempsey)
Casson Mann
Crosby/Fletcher/Forbes (including Fletcher/Forbes/Gill)
Michael Peters & Partners
Minale Tattersfield & Partners
Pentagram Design
Studio Dumbar
The Partners

Production Company

Alan Parker Film Company
Gorgeous Enterprises
Park Village Productions
Paul Weiland Film Company
Ridley Scott Associates
The Mill
Tony Kaye Films


London Weekend Television ad by Axel Chaldecott

Art Director

Axel Chaldecott
Bob Isherwood
Craig Allen
David Horry
John Gorse
John Hegarty
John Webster
Neil Godfrey
Tony McTear
Walter Campbell


Sunday Times Magazine cover by Gilvrie Misstear



Brian Tattersfield
David Hillman
David King
Gilvrie Misstear
John McConnell
Marcello Minale
Michael Johnson
Michel De Boer
Mike Dempsey
Tony Meeuwissen


Alan Parker
Chris Cunningham
Chris Palmer
Frank Budgen
Hugh Hudson
Jonathan Glazer
Michel Gondry
Roger Woodburn
Tom Kuntz
Tony Kaye


Birds Eye ad by Tony Brignull



David Abbott
Eric Kallman
John Salmon
John Webster
Mike Cozens
Nick Gill
Nick Worthington
Steve Henry
Tom Carty
Tony Brignull


BBC Television
Benson & Hedges
Channel 4
Levi Strauss


Looking down the lists, the first thing that strikes is that, in the individual lists, there is just one woman (the Sunday Times magazine’s Gilvrie Misstear) – a reflection on the industries themselves more than D&AD but we can only hope that if D&AD conducts a similar exercise in 50 years’ time the balance will have been redressed. It’s also a very British list – again, this would probably look very different in 50 years as D&AD has become far more international in scope in recent times.

Elsewhere it’s a mix of the usual suspects with a few names who will be unfamiliar to younger readers. The ad agency list is confused by all the mergers and reorganisations that have taken place over the last 50 years while the design studios tend toward the heavy-hitters of the 80s. Both can be skewed by the dominance of one or two multi-award-winning pieces of work.

And of course we have to recognise that this is not just a list of those who have won, but also of those who have entered. While the ad lists are a pretty fair reflection of the great and the good of the UK advertising industry, there are a lot of great names missing on the design side – either because they failed to find favour with the judges or because they never entered D&AD in the first place.

But nevertheless, it is an intriguing snapshot of the creative industries since 1962 even though it more accurately mirrors the history of D&AD than the history of the creative industries in the wider sense. Furthermore, the list of the most-awarded brands will provide ammunition to agencies and designers attempting to persuade clients of the worth of what they do. Save for Benson & Hedges, it’s a list of some of the most successful brands in the world.


During its 50th year, D&AD has also launched a new award, the White Pencil, for “a creative idea with the potential to effect real and positive change in the world”. Each time the competition runs, D&AD “will set a brief challenging the creative community to solve a communications problem for a non-profit organisation or established cause. The winning idea will demonstrate the capacity to raise awareness and change behaviour around that cause.”

For its first year, the White Pencil brief  is to “grow awareness of and engagement with Peace Day, establishing September 21 as a global, self-sustaining, annual day of peace, when everyone can take action to end conflict in their own lives and in the lives of others.” The deadline is October 24. Full details are here.

Entering agencies and design studios are being encouraged to post a White Pencil Kitemark on their website to show their support and encourage others to enter.

The D&AD/50 Birthday Dinner is on September 18, 2012 at Battersea Evolution, Chelsea Bridge Entrance, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ. For infomration and tickets email celebrate@dandad.org or call 0800 054 6266



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  • Rob

    Some great work/agencies/people on that list.

    On a lighter not, I stumbled across this the other day by D8:
    No Awards: A Dozen Reasons Why Design Awards Are Ridiculous

    Makes interesting reading.