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What Happens When You Win a D&AD Pencil?

2020 D&AD Award pencil winners tell us how winning impacted their teams and careers

71% said that winning a D&AD award elevated their profile with exposure

We surveyed our 2020 D&AD Award winners to find out what happened after they won a D&AD pencil. For some it was a significant help in raising the profile of their team, business, and even country within the creative industry, helping to win new work and attract new talent. 

Of the 70 survey respondents, 71% said that winning a D&AD award elevated their profile with exposure. This rose to 100% for the top winners who scored a Yellow Pencil. Many survey respondents noted how the award boosted not only their individual careers but helped to motivate and grow their teams. 63% said that winning a D&AD Award was good for their career. This rose to 75% of Yellow Pencil winners. And 64% said that winning a D&AD Award helped to motivate their team, rising to 83% for Yellow Pencil Winners. 

Having a D&AD pencil in your cabinet proves useful for adding the best talent to your team, with 32% reporting that it helped them to attract new talent. See what winners had to say about the specific ways winning a pencil has impacted them and their work below.

63% said that winning a D&AD Award was good for their career

“It opened doors to get more resources in projects to follow. There is more trust in our creative team whenever we talk about ideas that might be risky and daring for various clients and colleagues. Awards are important in stepping out of this safety zone and into the unknown, all with more confidence. If the mission is to be more creative then I consider a pencil not the end of a project but important/positive influence into creative missions that follow after.” – Marlon von Franquemont, Associate Creative Director, INNOCEAN Berlin

“D&AD is regarded as the 'creatives' award'. It's the best of the best. Winning one validated the blood, sweat and tears it takes to get great ideas produced.”Sarah Liebowitz, VP, Creative Director, Area23

“It was the stepping stone to creating my own studio.”Chloé Legret, Graphic Designer, StudioLegret

 32% of D&AD award winners reported that it helped them to attract new talent

“It means our work was recognized as some of the best, by some of the best.”Larry Kirschner, VP Creative Director, AREA 23

“Winning a pencil has been a very motivating and inspiring experience for the agency and the team members.”Linda Li Bergh, Senior Graphic Designer, Grid branding

“Winning a D&AD Black pencil is like winning the Nobel Prize of advertising. This is the ultimate accolade for a creative.”Gaëtan du Peloux, Executive Creative Director, Marcel

“The win establishes a certain level of internal benchmark for your next projects.”Andrii Mishchenko, Creative Head, isdgroup

 64% said that winning a D&AD Award helped to motivate their team

"It meant a lot to us. We started our business with the goal of making Egypt recognised globally in design and having a competitive opportunity with international giants. Winning a D&AD Pencil was a milestone and a crowning pinnacle in our journey towards that." – Islam Hassan - Creative Director - Matter (Egypt)

“It's a proof of being among the top in the industry.”Lucas Sfair, Music Creative Director, CANJA Audio Culture

“It changed what we thought we could do with our work.” – Andy Lane, Managing Partner Wunderman Thompson

“Winning a D&AD Pencil helps you get out of bed, walk 2 short meters to your desk - and actually feel motivated to kick some advertising ass.” – Shannon McCarroll, Senior Copywriter, FCB Canada

Feeling inspired to enter the 2021 D&AD Awards? We're looking for examples of creative excellence across the breadth of design and advertising so if you have work that you think is worthy of a Pencil enter it into D&AD Awards now.

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