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Glenn Tutssel and D&AD

by Bruce Duckworth

Glenn Tutssel, who passed away on September 24, was a true fan of D&AD, he had a passion for creative excellence and a commitment to nurturing young talent to realise their potential. Values that are right at the heart of D&AD.

Glenn Tutssel photographed by his son, Leon Tutssel

Glenn was a trustee of D&AD from 1999 to 2001, with a particular focus on education. It was an important role on the Executive Committee, as it was known then, bridging the gap between Design Education and a rewarding career in the creative business. It’s why D&AD exists. Glenn was the right person, committed to education and the nurturing of young talent and a belief that his experience as a creative practitioner could help young people. He was active with many universities and helped many young designers enter the business, sometimes they’d even end up working for him. There are designers all over the world who have gone through Glenn’s ‘tuition’ at some time.

Glenn was also hugely committed to creative excellence and put importance on winning awards – D&AD Pencils in particular. He judged D&AD many times and he won many D&AD Pencils. He was my boss at Michael Peters and partners, for my six months there, right at the beginning of my career straight from college. Glenn’s ambition to win awards and especially the ultimate, a D&AD Yellow Pencil, was thinly veiled. He was never happy until he saw a potential award-winner on a layout pad. A tough person to please to put it mildly!

He believed that winning awards was good for many things, rewarding craft and ideas, which built creative reputation and admiration of his peers, as well as inspiration for the next generation. It helped recruit ambitious students and designers to work for him. It was also great marketing, to get clients who wanted the very best creative work. A kind of virtuous circle for a successful career and business. That’s what he believed. And he continued to win, which is hard, it takes huge talent and a lot of effort and hard work. And Glenn was no stranger to hard work. Seldom was there an awards judging that didn’t have a piece of work entered by Glenn or some of the many designers that had learnt their skill from him.  

D&AD was a big part of his world. He saw that stubby Yellow Pencil as his ultimate beacon of creative success.

Bruce Duckworth FRSA is Founder and Co-Chairman of design consultancy Turner Duckworth and was D&AD President from 2016-17 

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