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What winning a D&AD New Blood Pencil means

If you're entering the New Blood Awards, you're probably wondering what all these D&AD Pencils are about. Well, they're not just trophies. The Wood, Graphite, Yellow, White and Black prizes are your fast-track to career kudos. But if you're still not sure exactly what each level means, we've put together a handy cheat sheet below.

D&AD New Blood Pencil

What All Pencil Winners Get

If you win a D&AD Pencil, any Pencil, you get a guaranteed place in the D&AD Annual, an invite to the New Blood Awards Ceremony, a D&AD Pencil per team, and the chance to apply for WPP New Blood Academy. Not bad, right?

New Blood Wood Pencil

Every entry is narrowed down into a shortlist of the best work submitted for each brief. If you make it to the D&AD Wood Pencil winners, then you've fought off some seriously tough competition to walk away with this bad boy. You'll be miles ahead of the game already.

New Blood Graphite Pencil

Now, if you make it past that first shortlist, then you're doing something seriously right. That's because to win Graphite you have to hit the three judging criteria – a good idea, well executed, and relevant to the brief. And it just so happens that those criteria are a creative director's dream skillset when hiring. 

New Blood Yellow Pencil

The original icon of creative excellence, the D&AD Yellow Pencil is like a password for opening doors. It's awarded to work that is outstanding, nails all the judging criteria and almost certainly causes a pang of jealousy. If you're chasing a career full of big briefs and big ideas, the Yellow is a surefire way to start getting noticed.

New Blood White Pencil

The D&AD White Pencil is for next-level ideas that harness the power of creativity to do good in the world. It can be awarded for work in response to any of the briefs, as long as the project weaves in purpose (as well as hitting all the original judging criteria too). All of that is no mean feat, so a White in your portfolio is a giant leap towards industry fame.

New Blood Black Pencil

The D&AD Black Pencil is where shit gets serious. All the Yellow and White winners go up against eachother in a showdown for the ultimate award for new creatives. The D&AD Black Pencil represents the best of the best, what could look more impressive on your CV? Each individual receives a D&AD Pencil, and there's also a £2000 prize fund shared between New Blood Black Pencil winners. Which is some cherry. 

"The New Blood Awards Black Pencil represents a new generation showing the people in the creative industry what's new, what's relevant and showing them the way." – Naresh Ramchandani, Creative Director, Pentagram

New Blood Academy

Anyone who wins a D&AD Pencil will have the opportunity to apply for the WPP New Blood Academy. It's a two-week creative bootcamp that catapults young creatives into industry. Held in London, attendees will be pushed to their creative limits through a non-stop programme of talks, workshops, briefs, hacks, and live challenges.

And That's Not All, Folks

Most of the briefs have additional prizes on offer too – take a look at your chosen brief to see what’s in store. Everything from brand goodies, to mentorship opportunities and paid work placements, to the chance to get paid to make your idea become a reality.

If all that has got you riled up, why not enter the New Blood Awards?

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