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Put simply, there's no better way to build your industry profile. Our past winners have cleaned up at other awards. They've appeared in exhibitions around the world. And even featured on the cover of international publications like Time and National Geographic.


Next Creative

For creatives with no more than three years of industry experience. Open to art directors, copywriters and creatives working across digital marketing, experiential, media, PR, outdoor, audio, film and entertainment.

Next Designer

For designers with no more than three years of industry experience. Open to anyone involved with branding, packaging, products, graphics, publications and permanent, temporary or online environments.

Next Director

For directors with no more than three years of industry experience. Open to directors of film, entertainment, TV, VoD, online content, promotional content and music.

Next Illustrator

For illustrators with no more than three years of industry experience. Open to illustrators of posters, press adverts, packaging, publications, street art, installations, signage, moving image and digital work.

Learn more about Next

  • What is it?

    In the loud and lively creative sector, it can be hard to hear over the commotion. Next serves to amplify the industry’s emerging voices.

    Developing professionals and teams with up to 3 years of industry experience are recognised across four diverse categories — Next Creative, Next Designer, Next Illustrator and Next Director — competing for exclusive mentoring, training and a coveted D&AD Pencil.

    A D&AD Next Pencil is awarded to rising stars with extraordinary creative flair whom are shaping the future of creativity and craft. Next is supported by the AOI, Illustrators Ireland, Pitch Magazine and The Smalls.

  • What can I win?
    • D&AD Next Pencil
    • Your name in the D&AD Annual
    • Opportunity to exhibit your work with D&AD
    • 2 hours of mentoring with a D&AD judge 
    • Access to D&AD Campus for 1 year
    • D&AD Awarded Membership for 1 year
  • What are the judges looking for?

    Work that consistently demonstrates remarkable creative flair, great potential and outstanding craft and technique. They are not looking for the finished article.

    The talent's experience should not exceed three years. As a guide, if they have been working consistently then the entry date into the industry should be on or after 11 March 2017. There are exceptions - for example, if you left and re-entered the industry. So long as you have been contributing to project-based work for less than 3 years, you may apply. To check eligibility, please speak to our awards team on +44 (0) 207 840 1111.

  • How to enter

    Entrants into Next Creative, Next Designer and Next Illustrator must submit 4 pieces of work. Entrants into Next Director must submit 2 pieces of work. In all cases, at least one piece must be commercial and it must have been publicly released. If you do not have enough personal work, you are invited to complete a New Blood brief. 

    Download the new entry kit for eligibility criteria, information on what to submit and your step-by-step guide to entering.

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