This year the D&AD celebrates its 50 anniversary. It remains the show in which every creative person wants to gain recognition. The focus of this show remains on creative excellence. To win a Yellow Pencil or for your work to be selected for the annual means envy from your peers and probably a phone call soon from a headhunter. It is not an easy award to win especially now when entries pour in from around the world. The judges are seeking the very best of creative work and will not accept anything less. They themselves represent the cream of professional talent. Having spent several days at the Olympia Exhibition Hall with this elite band of men and women whilst they patiently studied the entries, I can tell you that each one of them remains modest about their own achievements and enthusiastic about the work of others. I am amazed at how many of the judges display a talent beyond just writing or art directing.
D&AD has expanded beyond simply a show to display creative excellence. Most of its income is spent on education, encouraging students and helping young professionals upgrade. Those lucky to live in London get the opportunity to attend the President’s lectures and other talks as well as attend workshops. For those of us who live in Asia, these opportunities may soon come to us. D&AD are having serious talks with governments and professional bodies to expand their footprint in Asia beyond entries to the show. Singapore has, I believe, a good chance being selected having caught sight of representatives from Design Singapore chatting to Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD a few days ago.