Fancy a new Pencil? D&AD to introduce 2 new ones in 2015

Creativity, Festivals & Awards

D&AD will replace its In Book and Nomination Awards with two newly designed Pencils as part of an Awards-wide refresh, bringing better clarity and coherence to the existing levels.

Coming into effect from the 2015 Professional Awards onwards, D&AD will award Wood and Graphite Pencils (equivalent of bronze and silver levels), bringing them into line with the Yellow, White and Black Pencil structure. The new Pencils are designed by Turner Duckworth and will be incorporated across all of D&AD’s Award programs, including the New Blood Awards and the new Next series of Awards, launched earlier this year.

D&AD New Pencil Line-up 2015


The new line-up is as follows:

  • Wood Pencil (formerly In Book) – equivalent to a bronze award. The best in advertising and design from the year, worthy of a place in the D&AD Annual.
  • Graphite Pencil (formerly Nomination) – equivalent to a silver award. Standout work, beautifully executed with an original and inspiring idea at its core.
  • Yellow Pencil – The iconic D&AD Yellow Pencil, awarded only to the most outstanding work that achieves true creative excellence.
  • White Pencil – awarded to Yellow Pencil-worthy work that demonstrates the power to affect real and positive change in the world through creative thinking.
  • Black Pencil – The ultimate creative accolade, reserved for work that is ground- breaking in its field. Only a handful of Black Pencils are awarded each year, if any.

In addition to the two existing special Awards:

  • Most Awarded: Presented to the top advertising agencies, design studios, production companies and clients of the year. This award is calculated using a weighted system with points awarded for each Pencil won.
  • President’s Award: A golden Pencil awarded for an outstanding contribution to the creative industries, as selected by the D&AD President.


The D&AD Pencil is a universal icon that resonates across our industry as the pinnacle of creative achievement. D&AD is renowned for being the toughest, most rigorous show around, yet In Book and Nomination, as awards, are often undervalued or simply misunderstood. So we set out to rectify this, but without handing out more awards and without compromising our existing Pencils.

We wanted to make things clearer, but stubbornly, not by adopting the same system as everyone else, for the very good reason that we’re D&AD. We like to be a bit different. It wouldn’t feel right to revert to convention, with our twin icons, Yellow and Black, already sitting outside of it.

Admittedly, finding a satisfactory solution hasn’t been easy. But our new Wood and Graphite Pencils strike the perfect balance of being instantly recognisable and achieving that degree of clarity, but with a D&AD twist.

Tim Lindsay,

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 recognized globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best from around the world.


As a non-profit, all of D&AD’s surpluses go straight into programs such as New Blood, that inspire the next generation of creative talent and stimulate the creative industry to work towards a fairer, more sustainable future.