Three Black Pencil winners at this year’s D&AD New Blood awards

Submissions dealing with how creativity can improve cancer care and help diversify literature landed the 2021 New Blood entrants six White and three Black Pencils

This year’s awards included briefs from Disney, Burger King, Duolingo and Spotify, and was open to ad, design, digital and marketing students, recent grads and emerging creatives from around the world.

Challenges ranged from how to get listeners to “soundtrack and share their life” through the music listening platform, to getting the language learning app into the hands of more 16-22 year-olds.

D&AD awarded 104 Wood, 45 Graphite, 28 Yellow, six White and three Black Pencils – with the last two categories being the organisation’s highest creative accolades.

Aware in Prayer, created by Conor Hamill and India Penny in response to the 21Grams brief to improve skin cancer care, looked at how Muslims at prayer could help identify melanoma on soles of the feet. It was awarded a White Pencil alongside a Yellow.

Two other responses to the 21Grams challenge also received White Pencils – Ingrid Mullis and Jakob Steinmo’s Nail Check Cancer Check, which suggested training nail techs to spot the signs of skin cancer, and Aitana Vallejo and Vic Sintes’ Dap Check, which proposed a new, ten-step version of the dap greeting.

Other White Pencil wins went to Alasdair Munro, James Nicholls and Karnn Bhullar’s Find Your Character – which set out to help indifferent students enjoy reading again by letting them create the characters they’d want to see in novels – and Gareth C E, Jack Walsh and Osagie Samuel’s Black List, which suggested lobbying the government for change to the UK’s curriculum by spotlighting marginalised voices in writing.

Lastly, Cajetan Srebot, Erwan Elmayan, Justine Senee, Mirela Spasova and Twan Wiertz’s White Pencil-winning Happy Meno-Day was created in response to the The Case for Her and Refinery29’s brief to reposition menopause.

This year’s Black Pencils went to Jonathan Fjord and Pernille Lund’s The You Tour project, which reframed people’s bodies as a landscape of must-see places to raise awareness of the signs of melanoma; Selina Smyllie’s Lit on Beat, a project that explored the links between poetry and rap; and the aforementioned Black List – which was the only project to claim a Black, White and Yellow Pencil. Black Pencil winners will share a £2,000 prize fund between them.

A full list of all Pencil winners can be seen on the D&AD site;