D&AD Festival hits Truman Brewery 24-26 April 2018, and this year is going to be the biggest yet. Not only will it span four stages of talks, include multiple exhibitions of Pencil-winning work, and a Fringe Festival that sees local agencies open their doors to the masses – it’s also taking place against the backdrop of D&AD Professional Awards Judging.
So, with all that going on, you’re probably wondering what to go to. No matter what you’re into, we have the industry’s best bits covered. From typography and design to film, advertising and music videos, read on for some tailor-made festival recommendations.
The Culture Vulture
This year’s events all focus on one theme, ‘How Creativity is Shaping Culture’. That’s good news if you’re a trend-hunter, so here are a couple of highlights to send you on your way. Leila Fataar takes to the stage to explore the emerging new world order, and how being culturally relevant has never been so, well, relevant [24 April]. And Trevor Eld, CCO of Fader Magazine has an important question to pose in his talk – do we really want to be the ‘do it for the ‘gram’ generation? Find out how we can create a more meaningful contribution to culture through creative [25 April].
The Design Buff
Know your Eames from your Enzo Mari? D&AD Festival is bursting at the seams with talks from some of the biggest players in the design world. If type gets you going then don’t miss Bruno Maag’s letter-drawing masterclass [April 25]. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to hear insights from this year’s hottest design winners either, straight from the panel of heavyweights who deemed them Pencil-worthy [26 April]. And if those don’t itch your design scratch, how about getting down to the nitty gritty yourself? The ME&EU exhibition not only shows designer’s responses to Brexit, in postcard form, it also gives you the chance to respond and add to the collection [24-26 April]. Plus Adobe's MAKE IT space in the playground gives you the chance to collaborate with renowned creatives from photography, animation, UX/UI, graphic design, and art direction [24-26 April].
The Idea Worshipper
Where would we be without those big, groundbreaking, game-changing ideas? D&AD Festival will be celebrating the best envy-inducing work, and the people behind them. One such person is Jeff Goodby, who happens to have won every award going. Join him to hear his hard-won stories of success and the stories behind the killer ideas he’s left in his wake [25 April]. Now, we can’t forget that to get brave ideas off the ground, you need brave clients. The ‘Creative Collaborations’ panel will discuss how to build trust, and sell in bigger, bolder work [TBC]. To get practical tips on how to ideate better, give Nick Eagleton’s training session, ‘Ideas ideas ideas’ a go [24 April].
The Film Fanatic
Forget the Oscars, D&AD has all the hollywood gossip and behind the scenes magic you could ask for. After the monumental second installment of Blade Runner, hear from David Sheldon-Hicks and the film’s art director, Paul Inglis, on what it took to bring the extraordinary vision to life [25 April]. Eliza Williams, from Creative Review, interviews Adam Smith on his defining work with The Chemical Brothers [26 April]. And if you’re an aspiring filmmaker (or just curious), then check out the Super 8 camera workshop, run by music creators Leland Originals and Cinelab. You’ll have the chance to make a film, get it developed, create a soundtrack and have your masterpiece screened, all over just two mornings [25/26 April].
The Early Adopter
The tech-savvy amongst you won’t be disappointed by the array of innovations and ‘next big things’ on display. Your best bet is to head to the playground. Here, Sky will give you the chance to box with Anthony Joshua in their latest digital experience [24-26 April]. Sightsavers are set to inject fresh perspectives into your own creative outlook with their visual, physical and audio installations [24-26 April]. And the showstopper? Slide off the top of The Shard, London's 95 story tower, and see unparalleled views with Happy Finish’s VR experience.
The Content Lover
Here are a few hot tips for the news junkies and content bingers out there. magCulture have intriguing insights to divulge about the growing independent magazine scene in their playground shop [24-26 April]. The Guardian tells you how to make a successful podcast in their unmissable masterclass [25 April]. And to get really stuck into the art of digital storytelling, we recommend LA Ronayne’s crash course in making skip-proof branded content [25 April].
The Odd Ball
If you’re looking for left-field inspiration, then you won’t get it much more left-field than these three events. Artists and filmmakers Lernert & Sander, believe it or not, will be seeking insight on the future of their careers from a clairvoyant [25 April]. Dave Trott shares his guide to doing what you’re not allowed to do, and rocking the boat [24 April]. And if you want a complete curve-ball, how about taking part in miniature zen garden-making workshop [24-26 April]?