D&AD has revealed the winners of its 2021 Awards

Libresse’s #wombstories campaign and a Mastercard credit card that allows non-binary people to use their chosen names are among the Black Pencil winners, in another year with a big focus on purpose-driven creativity

In what has been an all-round difficult year for awards in the wake of the pandemic, D&AD has announced the winners of the 59th edition of its annual awards scheme.

The winners, which were announced in two digital ceremonies over two nights, saw three Black Pencils – the award scheme’s highest accolade – given out, alongside 19 Yellow, 58 Graphite, 149 Wood and 5 Future Pencils.

This year’s Black Pencils have a clear focus on addressing social issues, with Libresse taking home the award in the art direction category for its #wombstories campaign, which saw animators from across the world break taboos around the experiences of people with wombs.

Other projects awarded Black Pencils include McCann’s True Name collaboration with Mastercard, which supports the rights of transgender and non-binary people to use their chosen names on credit cards, and FCB Chicago’s Boards of Change, which saw it turn plywood boards used to barricade storefronts during the Black Lives Matter protests into polling booths, empowering Black Americans to use their right to vote.

Mastercard and McCann’s True Name campaign

Brand purpose also featured heavily in this year’s crop of Yellow Pencil winners, which include the campaign Our House is on Fire from Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future organisation, the Royal Australian Mint’s Donation Dollar initiative, and Vanity Fair’s Breonna Taylor cover by Amy Sherald.

Meanwhile, this year’s President’s Award went to Kim Gehrig, the director behind powerful ads including This Girl Can and Viva La Vulva.

FCB Chicago’s Boards of Change campaign

D&AD also named its top ranking ad agency, design studio, production company and client of 2021, which went to AMV BBDO, Collins, Division and Apple respectively.

See all of this year’s winners here