Highlights from five decades of creative excellence at D&AD

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D&AD is founded by a group of 30 London-based designers and art directors, including Bob Gill, David Bailey and Alan Fletcher. Their objectives are to encourage the understanding and commissioning of good design and art direction, to gain recognition for the industry and to define and improve standards. The D&AD logo is designed by Colin Forbes.

The first D&AD Awards are held, attracting approximately 3,500 submissions. The accompanying exhibition is seen by 25,000 people; many regret that no illustrated record is issued. The Committee of 1964 is accordingly charged with not only organising the exhibition, but also preparing the publication of a fully illustrated record of the show.

The first D&AD Annual is published. J Walter Thompson kindly provides facilities for the Association’s offices.

The D&AD Awards exhibition tours the UK for the first time, sponsored by the Victoria & Albert Museum. The first D&AD Workshop of many, which will eventually go round the UK, takes place in London.

D&AD’s exhibition (above)tours all over the world for the first time. The D&AD Yellow Pencil is designed by Lou Klein. “D&AD is not content to exhibit a mere cross-section of work each year. Its aims are more vigorous; to define and improve current graphic standards, to stimulate not to please” – Edward Booth-Clibborn, chairman.

The Association arranges a major exhibition in New York called ‘It’s Great! Britain’, designed by Rodney Fitch.

D&AD moves to Nash House, along with other design industry bodies.

Copywriters are admitted to D&AD membership for the first time.

A D&AD exhibition designed by Rodney Fitch opens in Tokyo. D&AD holds its first ever auction of original advertising artwork (in conjunction with Sotheby’s).

D&AD launches its Student Awards scheme, the brainchild of John Hegarty. The Sunday Times becomes the client with the most Black Pencils, with five of the trophies going to work for its brand.

President Peter Mayle sets about actively promoting young designers to the industry. The Annual exhibition is staged at the Design Centre, the headquarters of the Design Council.

D&AD publishes the first edition of European Illustration. Deadline, D&AD’s newsletter, is available free to members.

D&AD introduces the President’s Award, which recognises outstanding contributions to design and art direction. Colin Millward of Collett Dickenson Pearce is the Award’s inaugural recipient, selected by president Alan Parker (below).

D&AD launches its first video showreel of moving image work. Designed to bridge the gap between college and professional life, the new Student Awards present students with commercially plausible briefs to tackle: 32 years later, the 2012 briefs will be downloaded by over 50,000 people around the world.

Martin Boase is elected as D&AD’s first President with a business background. 1981 is a rich year for Black Pencils, seven are awarded.

At 21, D&AD comes of age. The Annual Show is held at Harvey Nichols to introduce D&AD to the general public, and D&AD presents examples of work from the last 21 years in a small exhibition at the V&A.

The Advertising and Design categories are awarded at separate events, causing much controversy. Yellowhammer’s anti-fur TV work for Greenpeace claims a Black Pencil.

As D&AD celebrates its Silver Jubilee, the D&AD Annual is produced in colour for the first time. D&AD holds the UK/LA Exhibition of British Arts in Los Angeles.

D&AD opens its doors to international entries. The D&AD Awards Ceremony is transmitted simultaneously to New York, Amsterdam and Oslo.

No Black Pencils are awarded. President John Hegarty announces, “Others may scatter Gold Awards as cheaply as confetti. D&AD treats it as a rarity to be cherished and sought after. Its members wouldn’t have it any other way.”

D&AD moves to purpose-designed premises in Vauxhall.

D&AD works with RECLAMA in Moscow to complete a unique student exchange scheme between the UK and the Soviet Union.

Anthony Simonds-Gooding (above) becomes chairman.

D&AD launches the Festival of Excellence and a new education programme that includes Student Expo. The D&AD Annual Show tours South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Australia, Japan and the USA, as well as the UK & Europe.

David Kester (above)becomes CEO.

Mary Lewis becomes D&AD’s first female President. The Graphics Book is launched.

D&AD launches its website: www.dandad.org.

D&AD introduces an interactive section into the Awards and produces a CD-ROM of the D&AD Annual. D&AD becomes secretariat for the Art Directors Club of Europe.

The D&AD Awards Ceremony & Dinner is the biggest “sit down” event of its kind in the UK, with 2,500 guests. D&AD launches a members’ magazine, Ampersand.

Fifty per cent of entries into the D&AD Awards are now international. The Workshop programme is further developed, resulting in over 1,000 registrations.

An unheard of two Black Pencils are awarded for Guinness’s ‘Surfer’, and the D&AD showreel is presented on DVD for the first time. The D&AD College Membership show, Student Expo, is renamed New Blood, and D&AD Bloodbank is launched. In the coming decade D&AD will continue to promote new talent on its website and by 2012 over 90,000 registered users can browse the portfolios of the next creative generation.

Former D&AD President Richard Seymour convenes the Association’s first international creative forum, ‘SuperHumanism’. Speakers include Naomi Klein (above). D&AD is now investing £1.5million in education annually.

D&AD celebrates 40 years of Award-winning work with ‘Rewind: 40 Years of Design and Advertising’, an exhibition at the V&A and a book published by Phaidon.

D&AD formalises its  commitment to Excellence, Education and Enterprise, and holds the 17-day Congress event, which attracts over 10,000 visitors.

Leo Burnett’s website wins the first Black Pencil for a Digital entry.

There are more Awards entries than ever before – 25,000 pieces of work from 58 nations.

Peter Saville oversees the design of the Annual, assisted by student Luke Sanders. A version of the Annual is published by Taschen, making it available to the public all over the world.

Dick Powell of Seymourpowell replaces Anthony Simonds-Gooding as D&AD chairman.

D&AD launches the Graduate Academy, a bridge between education and employment. D&AD moves to Shoreditch. Tim Lindsay becomes CEO.

The first White Pencil, sponsored by Unilever, for a creative idea that changes the world for the better, is launched. D&AD celebrates its 50th year by honouring the most successful award-winners in its history and launches the D&AD Foundation to nurture creative talent.