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Words are not gone from D&AD. They’re in everything we do.

How D&AD Awards celebrates writing as a fundamental, formative ingredient in creative excellence.

D&AD has been getting something of a bad rap recently for our decision to incorporate writing into the advertising and design categories this year. Previously, writing stood as two craft categories: Writing for Design and Writing for Advertising. 

A recent op-ed in Creative Review and a piece by Creative Bloq about its awards scheme have told a misleading story that writing has been dropped by D&AD.

Far from ‘binning’ writing, we believe it’s so integral to creative practice that we wanted it to be ubiquitous in the awards, present at every turn to remind the judges of its value and importance.

This year, instead of two writing categories, there are 14 writing subcategories:
Branding / Naming
Branding / Tone of Voice
Digital / Creative Use of Writing
Direct / Writing for Direct
Entertainment / Writing for Entertainment
Film Advertising / Writing for Film Advertising
Integrated / Writing for Integrated
Press & Outdoor / Writing for Press & Outdoor Advertising
Press & Outdoor / Writing for Branded Editorial
Radio & Audio / Writing for Podcasts
Radio & Audio / Writing for Radio & Audio
Digital Design / Writing for Digital Design
Graphic Design / Writing for Graphic Design
Packaging Design / Writing for Packaging Design

This move came after much discussion and debate with former judges, whose expert opinions we value. They advised that they had been prevented from awarding writing due to the lack of writing subcategories in the juries, especially if work hadn’t been entered into the writing craft categories. 

So, taking our judges' feedback seriously, as we do each year when assessing what’s gone before, we made the decision to give writing a home in every category possible. Ultimately, we want to be able to recognise even more writing and secure its place as an essential, formative ingredient in creative excellence. 

We are also happy to admit if something hasn’t worked. This move to incorporate writing in the advertising and design categories may have disguised it somewhat in the awards, hence its perceived absence by some of our enthusiastic, caring peers, who have voiced their concerns and given us their feedback in the effort to make D&AD be the best it can. 

So, we’ll be looking again, and we’ll be asking for your input, as we review the awards this year and plan for 2021. We hope you’ll still be keen to talk with us and share your opinions during this time.

And, while we’re here, allow us to take a moment to highlight our long-running writing courses, born out of the awards, which also happen to be two of our most popular and the ones we’re most known for: Writing for Advertising and Creative Short-form Copywriting for Impact. Coronavirus permitting, we’ll be hosting these courses at D&AD HQ in the autumn, but we are also working on adapting them for our Digital Campus.

Writing isn't dead. Long live writing.

Explore some of the D&AD Awards 2020 Writing Winners:

Back to School Essentials

Back to School Essentials
BBDO New York for Sandy Hook Promise
Yellow Pencil for Film Advertising / Writing for Film Advertising

Coma - Getty Images

COMA - A GettyImages Original Series
AlmapBBDO for GettyImages
Yellow Pencil for Entertainment / Writing for Entertainment

Ikea Silence the Critics

IKEA - Silence the Critics
Mother London for IKEA
Graphite Pencil for Film Advertising / Writing for Film Advertising
Graphite Pencil for Entertainment / Writing for Entertainment

Listen Like You Used To - Spotify

Listen Like You Used To
Who Wot Why for Spotify UK
​Wood Pencil for Press & Outdoor / Writing for Press & Outdoor Advertising

Green Dawn

Green Dawn
DDB Paris for Ubisoft
Graphite Pencil for Radio & Audio / Writing for Radio & Audio

Pencils have now been announced for 30 categories spanning advertising, craft, culture and design disciplines. Explore more Pencil-winning creativity from D&AD Awards 2020 here.

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