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D&AD Rankings

Calculations and Method for 2021 D&AD Awards Rankings

Each year D&AD publishes their official table of the most successful companies, networks, countries and clients. Companies include advertising, design and production agencies.

Rankings are based on the results of the D&AD Awards. This page offers an overview of the methodology we used to determine these rankings.

Pencils = Points

When a company or client is credited on a piece of winning work, this win translates into points. The points depend on the award level, outlined below:

Black Pencil = 12 Points
White Pencil = 9 Points
Yellow Pencil = 9 Points
Graphite Pencil = 6 Points
Wood Pencil = 3 Points
The Shortlist = 1 Point

Credits are provided by the entrant on the D&AD entry site under Companies of the Year Information. All results are calculated based on this information.

The company, network, country or client with the highest number of points wins, subject to our additional criteria below.

Additional Criteria

If two companies are ranked equally, then:

  1. In the first instance, we prioritise the entrant that received the higher level of awards
  2. If they are still equal, we prioritise the entrant with the higher number of total awards
  3. If they are still equal, we prioritise the entrant with the more unique entries

If multiple agencies are credited for a piece of work, or in instances of collaboration, each agency will receive the full points due.

Some categories and some company types, which are not deemed appropriate for the rankings, are excluded. A particular methodology therefore applies to each ranking.

In all cases, points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

Methodology: Design Agency of the Year

Design agency rankings are calculated using design agency credits in the following Awards categories only:

Book Design; Branding; Design Transformation; Digital Design; Graphic Design; Illustration; Magazine & Newspaper Design; Packaging Design; Photography; Product Design; Spatial Design; Type Design; Typography; Writing for Design and Impact subcategories 6004 Design/Brands; 6005 Design/Nonprofits; 6006 Design/Other Enterprises.

Methodology: Production Company of the Year

Production company rankings are calculated using production agency credits in the following Awards categories only. These categories are where the execution is being judged as a priority. 

Categories included:
Animation; Casting; Cinematography; Direction; Editing; Production Design; Music Videos; Sound Design & Use of Music; Visual Effects.

Methodology: Advertising Agency of the Year

Ad agency rankings are calculated using advertising agency credits across all Awards categories.

Please note that points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

Methodology: Independent Agency of the Year

There are three tables for independent rankings. These are:

  • Independent Design Agency
  • Independent Advertising Agency 
  • Independent Production Company

Independent agency rankings are calculated based on the companies of the year credits for design, advertising and production agencies across all Awards categories.

Please note that points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

Methodology: Network of the Year

Network rankings are calculated based on the companies of the year credits for design, advertising and production agencies across all Awards categories.

For each piece of work:

  • If the agencies are from the same network, the points are only counted once. 
  • If the same agency is credited multiple times, the points are only counted once.

Please note that points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

Methodology: Country of the Year

Country rankings are calculated based on the location of the lead company that’s credited for a piece of work. This information is provided by the entrant via the D&AD entry site.

For each piece of work:

  • If the agencies are from the same country, the points are only counted once. 
  • If multiple agencies are credited for a piece of work, or in instances of collaboration, each country will receive the full points due.

Please note that points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

Methodology: Client of the Year

Client rankings are calculated using client credits across all Awards categories.

Only credits submitted at the point of entry via the D&AD entry site are used and can not be changed retrospectively.

Please note that points are not attributed to special awards and competitions. These include the D&AD President’s Award winner, Collaborative award winners, Side Hustle award winners and Next award winners.

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