D&AD Awards will once again be judged in-person this year by creative practitioners from around the world. We caught up with our Jury Presidents — the industry professionals who will be leading the discussions — to find out what's exciting them in their categories, including Direction, Illustration and Design. From the use of emerging technologies to work that is culturally relevant and includes diverse voices, here's what they're hoping to see in the year's best creative work.
Emotional and culturally relevant work
D&AD Jury Presidents want to see work that feels of the moment. “I hope to see illustrations that are not only beautifully crafted but also infused with meaning and emotions; illustrations that tell a powerful story and act as a mirror to society,” says Malika Favre, Illustrator and Illustration Jury President.
Similarly, Qanta Shimizu, BASSDRUM Founder and Digital Design Jury President says, “Whether on a small scale or a large one, I anticipate that creations that are firmly connected to our reality (will capture the judges’ attention).”
For Luiz Sanches, Chairman and Partner at AlmapBBDO and Integrated Jury President, work should also seamlessly be able to become a part of culture. Sanches says, “Work needs to be bold, impactful, simple, beautifully crafted and generate conversation. The most important thing is it needs to have a human truth at the centre of the story as the heartbeat of the whole narrative. This is what makes advertising a powerful tool in the multi-channel world we are living in today. By having this we create value and desire for brands. This is what makes people select our content and share it with their friends and families, and how it becomes a part of culture.”
Sustainability in packaging and product design
This year, our judges are once again looking for work that demonstrates consideration for the planet, especially in categories like Packaging and Product Design, where entrants will now be asked to demonstrate that the ecological and climate impact of your design has been considered. “I want to see products that challenge traditional production and consumption, that catalyse behaviour change and inspire us to do more to address the needs of our planet,” says Jo Barnard, Morrama Creative Director and Product Design Jury President. “We are in the midst of a climate emergency, facing unpredictability in supply chains and resource shortages. Yet it's in moments of adversity that we see the greatest innovation. We have no choice now but to adapt our approach to designing products and I'm really excited to see how brands have taken on this challenge.”
Chris Lee, Asylum Founder and Spatial Design Jury President also says, “(Creatively excellent work will be) work that is sensitive to its environment and the current climate of the world.”
The use of new technology
How AI will impact and evolve creative practices is currently at the forefront of a lot of discussions, and D&AD Jury Presidents are especially excited to see how the use of emerging technology is applied in the year’s best creative work. “The use of AI and understanding how it can assist in creating new worlds for designers plus its use in early research,” is something Lee Flude, Set Designer and Production Design Jury President is excited to see. And Deepshikha Dharmaraj, the CEO of BCW India and PR Jury President, who wants to see “the craft of public relations use the power of storytelling to address multiple stakeholders using a mix of mediums” says, “with new technologies there is always something exciting to explore and learn.” This year, we're also asking entrants to state if and how they've used AI when they enter D&AD Awards.
Championing of diverse voices
Our judges also want to see diversity of voices, perspective and talent, with Kharmel Cochrane, Casting Director and Casting Jury President saying, “Elevating and going above and beyond to champion diversity in all its forms (will be an important consideration). Be innovative, diverse and leave us questioning, ‘Who are those people? How did they cast that? How did they find that subgroup and capture it so perfectly?’” Similarly, Flude also says he would love to see, “designs and ideas from people of diverse backgrounds.”
Make them wish they had done it
Lastly, in our judges’ opinion, a marker of great creativity is when work makes them wish they had made it themselves. Sanches says, “(Make) something that makes us keep talking in the jury and have that feeling of ‘I wish I have done that.’” Similarly, Manuel Borde, the Global CCO of VMLY&R and Commerce Jury President says, “Put very simply, work that makes you jealous in a good way and work that’s clever, brand-building and conversion-led (will capture our attention).”
Meanwhile Patrice de Villiers, Photographer and Photography Jury President also says, “‘I wish I'd done that’ (work will capture attention). Beyond that it's difficult to put into words, but bold, dynamic, intriguing, and original, yet sometimes the most unassuming images shout the loudest.” And Gabriel Mattar, Innocean’s European Chief Creative Officer and Press & Outdoor Jury President says, “Answer a problem we all faced, but couldn't think of a solution just as clever.”