New D&AD President Mark Bonner has pledged to celebrate the new breed of 21st century creatives as he begins his term, intending to commemorate the profession’s heritage, champion its present and safeguard its future.
Mark Bonner is a true D&AD success story, having begun his career with a D&AD New Blood Yellow Pencil, earned as a Kingston University student in 1991. Alongside fellow designers Jason Gregory and Peter Hale, whom he met at the Royal College of Art, Mark co-founded GBH in 1999. With four Yellow Pencils to its name, GBH has since consistently ranked as one of the UK’s top creative design agencies.
Now, Bonner’s career has come full-circle. After being elected as a D&AD trustee in 2011, he follows in the footsteps of design legends such as Michael Johnson, Michael Wolff and Rodney Fitch in taking the reins as President of the global not-for-profit creative association.
As a designer, the Yellow Pencil has always been the ultimate aspiration… but having won some, now it’s winning a Black Pencil that keeps me awake at night. D&AD has been a big inspiration in my career, so to take on the role of President of this great association is a real honour.
As President, I’m interested in exploring the space beyond the disciplines, the ‘white space’ in-between. Creatives have always instinctively defined themselves by a category or a skill, but we’re in an era where convergence within communications is all encompassing. Our industry is thriving thanks to a generation of creatives and clients that collide the disciplines in order to cut through. Today, the only creative discipline that really matters is excellence.
It’s a mind-set we need to encourage amongst our young, emerging creatives too. It’s a ‘No Fear’ approach to creativity without boundaries, which I think is tremendously motivating to young creatives. To that point, I’m keen to continue the growth of the D&AD Foundation and help realise the ambitions we set out two years ago to help to find new ways to amplify talent with education, regardless of privilege.
Local authority grant funding, initiatives like the D&AD New Blood Awards and bursaries from organisations such as the RSA enabled me to ignite a career in design. Today, many of these opportunities are being gradually taken away, so D&AD has a very important role to play in protecting our industry’s future, both here and abroad.
Co-founder of GBH
Work Club Creative Partner Andy Sandoz has been announced as incoming Deputy President of D&AD. Serving as deputy for the next 12 months, Sandoz will take over as President in September 2015. Meanwhile, outgoing President Laura Jordan-Bambach will remain on the D&AD Board of Trustees for one final year.
In addition, there are seven new creatives elected to sit on the D&AD Board of Trustees, which are:
- Rosie Bardales, Executive Creative Director and Partner, BETC London
- Harriet Devoy, Creative Director of Design, Marketing Communications, Apple EMEA
- Thomas Fitzmaurice, Junior Designer, Interbrand [New Blood Trustee]
- Dan Germain, Global Head of Brand and Creative, Innocent
- Andrew Lawrence, Creative Director, Elmwood
- Nils Leonard, Chief Creative Officer, Grey London
- Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Google Creative Lab
The D&AD Board of Trustees represent the full breadth of the advertising, design and digital industries. As a member-run organisation, the elected board are responsible for the overall direction of D&AD, its programmes and where its money is spent. Any Awarded member of D&AD is eligible to stand for election to the Board of Trustees, which is voted on by D&AD Awarded and Full members. Each elected trustee serves a term of three years, with between seven-to-eight new trustees elected each year.
This is always a refreshing time of year; full of optimism as we raise the curtain on a new year at D&AD and welcome in a fresh, supremely talented collection of creative leaders to the fold. I’ve no doubt they’re raring to go and full of ideas for the future.
I wish to say thank you to Laura, who has worked tirelessly and brilliantly for D&AD and been a great ambassador for the creative industries as a whole; and also to welcome in Mark Bonner, whose infectious passion and drive to take D&AD to even greater heights I’m sure will inspire us all.
With an international calendar of events, a new home for our famous D&AD Judging, plans for the most ambitious New Blood programme yet and some great new developments with the D&AD Foundation, it’s shaping up to be an exciting year ahead.
Chief Executive D&AD
Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. A D&AD Award is recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best creative decision makers from around the world. Set to reward, promote and enable creative brilliance in all areas of creative communication, a Yellow – or Black – Pencil remains the pinnacle in many careers.