D&AD 50: 50 Years of Design and Advertising and the People that Made it Happen
Taschen have published our latest book. An insider’s account of the best of the last 50 years in commercial creativity, curated and discussed by the people in the thick of it.
Creativity is a slippery thing. Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, someone comes along and does something so extraordinary that the goalposts are moved forever. For five decades, D&AD has continued its quest to find not just the best work each year, but to celebrate those people whose work genuinely pushes creativity into new territories.
D&AD 50 is the very best of the best, but it’s also 50 individual perspectives on the evolution of British and international creativity from 1962 onwards. Across 50 chapters, one for each year, the D&AD President or a key creative figure selects five pieces of work from the Annual. Not necessarily the big hitters and the award-winners, but their own personal favourites. Each contributor justifies their selections and reflects on key developments in the industry at that time. Anecdotes and insights abound, including a few juicy ones from D&AD’s occasionally turbulent history.
“To borrow Churchill’s famous quote on democracy, D&AD is the worst form of award scheme, apart from all the others that have been tried.”
Sir John Hegarty
Was advertising in 1982 simply “all about flair, arrogance, larking about”, as Steve Henry asserts? Why would Lord Snowdon think that anyone framing photographs is “pretentious”? And could anyone disagree with Alan Parker’s assertion that in 1976, while the UK was going cap in hand to the IMF, advertising’s idea of ‘domestic liquidity’ was “a couple of bottles of very good red at dinner”?
On a more serious note, how did Tim Delaney’s “explosive 1992 putsch” lead to the subsequent reinvention of D&AD into today’s global educational powerhouse at the forefront of contemporary creativity? And why does 2013 President Neville Brody think that in the next 50 years, if design and art direction “are not aware of their political consequences, then there is no future for them.”
“It seems, going into the future, that not only is D&AD stronger than ever, but it is setting new standards of behavioural excellence too."
2012 President Rosie Arnold
Not just a definitive visual reference of the very best of design and commercial creativity for generations to come, this is a personal, provocative and not always entirely on-message exploration of the very best of 50 years of design and art direction, told by those people who made it happen.
Published by Taschen, designed by Planning Unit and edited by Dazed & Confused’s Rod Stanley, D&AD 50 is available from Taschen.