D&AD awards six Black Pencils

Nike’s Dream Crazy, featuring Colin Kaepernick, and the Xbox Adaptive Controller are among the Black Pencil winners at this year’s D&AD Awards

D&AD gave out a total of 720 pencils at a ceremony in London tonight, to projects from around the world – although the US and the UK dominate the list. The organisation’s Black Pencil is notoriously tough to win, with past recipients including Guinness’s Surfer ad, and Bjork’s All Is Full Of Love video.

This year, there’s a decidedly worthy bent to the winners, which include The New York Times campaign The Truth Is Worth It – capturing the hard work that goes into the paper’s investigative features – and BWM Dentsu’s Project Revoice, which helps people with ALS to speak in their own voice. Black Pencils also went to Wieden + Kennedy’s Dream Crazy for Nike, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and Somesuch and AMVBBDO’s Viva La Vulva.

D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay says the winners “attest to the power of creativity to help build a better future”, but also point to the “buoyant and vibrant direction” the creative industry is going in. It’s certainly notable that each Black Pencil winner has some element of purpose, or awareness of wider issues.

As part of the awards, the organisation has also named its top ad agencies, design studios, production companies and clients, with first place going to Droga5, Jones Knowles Ritchie, Academy Films, and Apple, respectively.

The President’s Award this year goes to artist and stage designer Es Devlin – who was recently selected to design the UK’s pavilion at Expo 2020, and has worked with musicians including Kanye West and Beyoncé. “She doesn’t just break the fourth wall, she shatters it in ways no designer has before,” says newly appointed D&AD President Harriet Devoy.

Black Pencil winners:
Droga5, TV Commercial Campaigns, New York Times The Truth is Worth It
Furlined, Writing For Film, New York Times The Truth is Worth It
BWM Dentsu, Digital Design, The ALS Association Project Revoice
Wieden + Kennedy, Integrated, Nike Dream Crazy
Microsoft, Product Design, Xbox Adapative Controller
Somesuch and AMVBBDO, Libress Viva La Vulva

To view all the winners, visit dandad.org/en/d-ad-awards