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New Blood: get deadline-ready

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your work finessed and finished on time.

Keep it simple.

It might sound like a cliche, but you can never (ever) hear this enough. The simple ideas, that say a lot, always turn heads and make an impact. Have you complicated things too much? Take a step back, look at what you’ve done and be really honest about what’s working and what’s not.

Get to the idea - explain it in a sentence.

The Judges’ will see a lot of work. To grab their attention, you need to hit them with your idea straight away. If you can explain it in one, powerful sentence, you’ll have them hooked. Think of it as your catchy chorus, you want it to stick in their heads.

Don't explain the brief.

The Judges know the brief. Inside out. Getting them up to speed on the challenge is one job you don’t need to do, so use your time to show how you’ve solved it instead.

Present your insight.

Your insight is the hard-won truth that’s got you to this point. It’s research, the motivation or the angle that means what you’ve done answers the brief. So sing about it. You don’t need to go on and on, but without this vital component in your rationale, the Judges’ might be left missing something.

Show the journey you’ve gone on, but keep it exciting.

It’s good to show your process, sharing any cool things you did or discovered along the way. But make sure the story you’re telling is relevant and interesting. How does it support the creative work you’re presenting? Don’t tell the Judges what you did for the sake of telling them.

Make it readable.

When you’re ready to share your project, make sure the Judges will actually be able to read and view it properly. Adjust the font size. Does the type contrast enough with the background? Check, and double check the file specs. (Over here if you need it).

Spell check.

Don’t let a silly spelling mistake take all the attention. If you’re not too hot on words and grammar, get someone who is to have a quick skim. Or failing that, use a trusty spell-check.

Sense check.

It’s easy to lose perspective when you’ve been close to a project. Before you submit, make sure the work is hitting the mark or you’ve not missed anything blindingly obvious. Show it to someone who’s never seen it before. Their fresh eyes could bring something to light that’s worth exploring. Getting feedback might be annoying if it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s better to know any holes in time to fix them than miss out on a D&AD Pencil, right?

Don't wait. If it's ready, enter now.

If you’ve done all of the above and you think your work is ready to enter, chances are you’re ready. Don’t overthink it, or keep working just because it’s not 2 minutes before the deadline. Enter it, hit the button, avoid unnecessary submission stress.

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