D&AD announced that the 58th D&AD Annual will be published exclusively in a digital format, in a move to make the Annual a widely accessible source of inspiration, education and celebration following a year of unprecedented challenge for the creative industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The digital Annual will continue to showcase the best creative work from across the design and advertising industry, and heralds a more accessible and sustainable future for D&AD.
Since 1962, the D&AD Annual has brought together the most outstanding creative work and served as a bible of inspiring projects from the global design and advertising industry. This year, D&AD President Kate Stanners has collaborated with Studio Dumbar to create a digital Annual that continues the iconic publication’s legacy of inspiring both established and emerging creatives. As a charitable organisation, D&AD’s primary mission is to channel their resources into stimulating creative excellence and nurturing the next generation of creative thinkers. A digital Annual will enable the organisation to fulfil this commitment and continue acting as a motivational resource for the global creative community.
Free of charge, the digital Annual will be available via the D&AD website in November and will include the same content as previous years, alongside additional features for the creative community to enjoy. This includes more editorial content to create a deeper, more insightful understanding of Pencil winning work through a suite of insight interviews with judges, behind the scenes sessions with winners and thematic reports. To replicate the serendipity of flicking through a physical book, the Annual will feature a randomise tool to surface creative work randomly and democratically, facilitating the discovery of new work. The digital platform will also allow for video on the winning project pages, which will better showcase the work submitted in digital and video formats.
At a time when environmental responsibility is more important than ever, the digital Annual will support a significant reduction in carbon footprint both through production and shipping of the publication. D&AD are committed to contributing to a more sustainable future and are reviewing the environmental impact of their programmes and services to improve the sustainability of the organisation as a leader in the global creative community. The digital Annual is one significant and important step in this mission.
While the pandemic has created incredible challenges across the global creative industries and societies at large, it has also been an opportunity to reevaluate, adapt and innovate. Owing to the pandemic, D&AD has already made a seismic shift towards digital, hosting their annual awards programme and New Blood online, alongside a series of virtual discussions, debates and Q&A sessions. As these programmes highlighted the increased accessibility that digital can offer, D&AD are continuing this through the digitisation of the 2020 Annual. The digital Annual will be more universally available to encourage more emerging creatives from all backgrounds to participate in the creative industries. The publication will serve as a global vehicle to share industry best practice, helping the creative community to exchange ideas, continue to grow and engage more diverse and inclusive audiences through increased accessibility.
Kate Stanners, D&AD President, commented: “This year, D&AD produces its first ever digital Annual, allowing us to reach a wider audience than has previously been possible, to celebrate creative excellence, and be an inspiration to creatives globally. Having been our creative partner throughout the 2020 programme, I can think of no one better to design this year’s digital Annual than Studio Dumbar, who are the epitome of creative excellence: bold, daring and iconic. They are never afraid to push the boundaries and embody everything that D&AD represents. It feels like the perfect fit.”
Dara Lynch, Chief Operating Officer at D&AD, commented: “As the creative industries undergo immeasurable change, it is only right that D&AD changes with it. The pandemic has taught us that the future is undeniably digital and accessibility is the top priority. A digital Annual is the natural next step in diversifying our audiences and will engage emerging talent in fresh and exciting ways. This, coupled with the sustainability advantages of digital content, marks a new direction for our industry which prioritises the planet and reaching a broader and more diverse global creative community.”