How the D&AD Foundation helps support up-and-coming talent

The D&AD Foundation fuels the future of the industry, by supporting up-and-coming talent, promoting diversity, and pushing for a fairer, more sustainable future.


A key part of this is the D&AD New Blood Awards, which challenge young creatives to tackle briefs set by some of the best brands in the business, and judged by leading industry names. In 2017, the D&AD New Blood Awards gave 173 Pencils to young talent from more than 23 countries, and saw 48 people from 17 countries put through their creative paces on the D&AD New Blood Academy 2017 with WPP.

However, New Blood is much more than an award – it pushes students to learn and do the things that education can find difficult to instil: collaborate, be brave, work across disciplines, see the possibilities of new technology, evoke emotion, and more.

D&AD also believes in broadening the paths into a creative career and challenging the perception that traditional education is the only route into the industry. We want to remove the obstacles that prevent people from flourishing in design and advertising, and as part of this we launched D&AD New Blood Shift in 2016 – a night school programme for aspiring creatives without a degree.

Young talent faces more challenges now than ever before. For many without higher education, there’s a lack of access to creative careers, and for others the gap between education and industry can loom large.

Creators of the winning Army adverts

2018 will be a time for looking back as well as forward, as we plan ahead for the 40th anniversary of the first D&AD New Blood Awards in 2020, and expand and reinvent our existing programmes to better reflect the demands of the changing industry, and the wider cultural landscape.

The future of the industry very much depends on the next generation of creative talent, and it’s essential we continue to support and encourage it

This will include an extensive learning platform, sharing wisdom from the best in the business to help everyone, everywhere, develop the skills required to succeed in the world of commercial creativity.

Student work at Plymouth’s graduate stand at the New Blood Festival 2017

The future of the industry very much depends on the next generation of creative talent, and it’s essential we continue to support and encourage it. Our programmes wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of you that have shared your time and expertise. Thanks to all of you, and particularly WPP for its four consecutive years of support.

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