• Dscf0039

    The New Blood Awards Yellow Pencils


Awards: Introducing this year's tremendous D&AD New Blood briefs

Sponsored Article,

It’s that time of year again; late nights in the studio amid feverish attempts to win one of the most prestigious young creatives’ awards around. That’s right D&AD’s New Blood Awards are back for 2014 with 16 exciting and engaging briefs for entrants to get their teeth stuck into.

Formerly the D&AD Student Awards, the scheme has brought under the New Blood umbrella this year to reflect the fact that any young creative is eligible to enter, not just those at college or university. Kati Russell, senior programme manager at D&AD, said: “For young creatives looking to kickstart their career and create that elusive something to stand out from the crowd, D&AD’s New Blood Awards are back with a bang. We’ve got a new name, a new look and new brands with exciting but testing challenges.”

Last year we were invited to set a brief and Thomas Fitzmaurice scooped one of the famous Yellow Pencils for his proposed screen-printing tour in a repurposed It’s Nice That ice-cream van. This year we are working with D&AD again to promote the briefs, some of which encourage very particular skills in graphic design, typography, moving image, photography and illustration. But this year’s ideas briefs have a multi-disciplinary emphasis to encourage collaboration (and more closely mirror the direction the creative industries are headed).

You can see the 16 briefs sketched out below, some of which come with a special podcast examining what those setting the challenges will be looking for. There’s also a live-streamed Q&A on 5 February which will be packed with hints and tips for those stepping up in 2014.

  • Dds13-2999

    Some of last year’s winners

This year’s briefs are based around four topical themes; Open Culture, Urban Renaissance, Authenticity and Retail Revolutions. They are as follows:


ASOS want you to imagine what’s next after street style – how can they present and share fashion inspiration in an entirely new way? Your idea will need to engage with a future generation of global 20somethings who are permanently connected and live on their digital devices.


Enter this if you’re interested in: Branded Content, Digital Design, Mobile Marketing or Technological Innovation.


Present an idea that uses open platforms to allow consumers to contribute, adapt and develop their own experience – to give the BBC news audience around the world a more global voice. Can big global events create a shared global experience? Or can local newsworthy events be given more global relevance through a more personal viewing, listening and reading angle?

Enter this if you’re interested in:
 Digital & Service Design, UX, Interface & Navigation, Mobile Interaction & Experience orTechnological Innovation.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, this brief offers a chance to be fast tracked to the interview stage of the BBC’s 2014 UX Design Trainee Scheme

British Council

Create a bilingual identity for the Dressing the Screen exhibition. Reflect the high-fashion and moving image nature of the exhibition through the physical graphics, way-finding, web presence, brochure and print design. This is an exciting challenge to take the origins, history and pioneering role that British filmmakers and designers have played in the development of the medium to Moscow and beyond.

Enter this if you’re interested in:
 Crafts for Design, Graphic Design, Branding, Wayfinding & Environmental Graphics, Integrated Graphics or Publication Design.


Share your own personal story. But don’t tell us what you think we want to hear. Explain who you are, your values, your identity, your purpose… your truth. This is telling, not selling. 1.Know who you are 2. Communicate it.

You should use this opportunity to showcase your creative talent in the execution of your story. Once you know what you want to say, impress us with how you say, show and present it. We understand that your story is a work-in-progress; it’s still being written. We’re interested in your journey to-date, a suggestion of what’s to come. Get people excited about your “To be continued…”.

Open to All Disciplines: Advertising, Crafts, Design, Digital Communications or Make Your Mark.


Create a 25 second ident and fill it with your creative interpretation of the true power of cinema. You will need to visualise emotion, literally showing how film feels. The DCM ident is one of the first and last things that people see when going to watch a film. It needs to set the scene and have an impact. Something that illustrates and celebrates the emotion we all feel when we take our seats and enter the magical world of the movies.

Go BIG – big concepts, big ideas, big executions. Something authentic, genuine and extraordinary to make the big screen come to life before the eyes of cinema-goers. In short, this is an opportunity to turn your great ideas into screen icons.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts for Advertising, Moving Image, Animation or Brand Expression.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, this brief offers the chance that your work could be put into production and seen in cinemas.


Develop a new typographic system for a local street paper that helps readers, sellers and the rest of the world see the connections between the familiar (the paper), the new (digital transactions and online media), and the very personal (the people who support themselves by selling the paper).

Your response may be new and iconic type or lettering that helps the paper and its vendors stand out, that could encourage good will and support. Or it may be new type that helps the digital activities feel more like the personal connection at the heart of each sale. It could even be a redesign of the paper that better carries over to new media.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts for Design, Typography, Typeface Design, Graphic Design or Newspaper Design.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, this brief offers a chance to get Monotype membership, giving you access to a portal full of beautiful typefaces and design tools

National Trust

Reposition the National Trust away from its current perceived image; make it relevant to the modern visitor.
 Put the Trust firmly at the centre of a drive to re-establish the importance of place in our lives. Create an integrated campaign that makes their brand stand for a positive impact on people’s relationship with nature and beauty, forever.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Advertising, Integrated Campaigns, Digital Communications or Experiential.


Use your intuition to capture an image that is not disposable but speaks of, or represents, a particular moment in time. Revisit the concept and evolution of the ‘decisive moment,’ whilst considering the access and immediacy that photographic technology has now enabled. The challenge is to understand your own world-view, knowing that a picture can say as much about the photographer as the subject in front of the lens. Through a single image create a distinctive piece of cultural reportage.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts for Design or Photography.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, this brief offers a chance to be represented by "Making Pictures":http://www.making-pictures.co.uk/ as part of their MP Award and an invitation to take part in a project using Nokia devices with work produced featured on the Nokia brand website.


Design an app that helps people use their energy more wisely, which at the same time is fun or interesting. There must be a stand-alone reason to use the app, in addition to it being functional.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Digital Design, App Design, UX, Interface & Navigation, Mobile Interaction & Experience, Technological Innovation.


Repackage Purdey’s Rejuvenate and extend its range to include one new product – Purdey’s Natural Energy. With the world increasingly looking for products that work in harmony with our bodies, it’s time for Purdey’s, in its own way, to share its secret more broadly. Your challenge is to create packaging designs which enable this to happen, without losing the curiosity of the brand.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Packaging Design, Structural Design, Graphic Design or Branding.


Create a radio campaign for Mile High that communicates the brand’s exuberant approach to the ultimate pop-up dining experience. Think innovatively about how radio can spread the unique Mile High story and help them extend their audience. Whether through spot advertising, branded content, competitions or partnerships, this is an opportunity to bring the theatre of the mind to life through radio.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts for Advertising or Writing for Radio Advertising.


Create a copy-led, integrated campaign that uses Sky’s unique personality to thrill and excite current and future customers through eye-catching headlines, scripts, long copy or stories. With so many ways to watch TV and movies, and new competitors entering the market all the time, Sky needs to stand out from the noise.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts for Advertising, Writing for Advertising, or Integrated Campaigns.

The Body Shop

Create a new visual language for their brand communications that reflects their pioneering spirit within the beauty industry and as a forward-thinking British brand. Anchored through their window posters, the challenge is to expand from there to form a new visual communication style. Your work should encompass their quirky tone of voice, product efficacy and premium beauty credibility.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Crafts, Graphic Design, Brand Expression, Poster Advertising, Spatial Design or Digital Design.


Pick either Domestos, PG Tips or Ben & Jerry’s to act as a catalyst to create lasting, city-wide behaviour change on one of the following areas; health and wellbeing
, reducing environmental impact or enhancing livelihoods. You can choose the city, but it must be a mega-city home to over 10 million people. You must explain why you’ve chosen it too. Whichever of the three brands you choose, your ideas must fit their values and personality. Again you must explain why you’ve chosen them.

Enter this if you’re interested in: Advertising, Design, Digital Communications or Product & Service Innovations.


Create a campaign that not only makes people accept we have a problem, but persuades them to do something about it. As Al Gore says: “We have to put a price on carbon in the economy, and a price on denial in politics.”

Enter this if you’re interested in: Advertising, Integrated Campaigns, Digital Communications, Social & Environmental.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, winning entries will be presented to Al Gore, with a chance that the best will be produced and help to make a real difference.

XL Recordings

Illustrate a significant event, or series of events, from the history of XL Recordings. Celebrate the artist and highlight their seminal moment(s) in a way that engages and communicates to your audience.

Enter this if you’re interested in:
 Crafts for Design, Illustration, Print with Digital, Moving Image, Photography orTypography.

Additional Prize: On top of all the other benefits of winning, this brief offers the chance to win three months’ representation from Bernstein & Andriulli Reps.

  • Nst

    Tom Fitzmaurice’s winning It’s NIce That brief

  • Dsc_0616

    The awards ceremony 2013

  • Dsc_0529

    The awards ceremony 2013

  • Dcs_0274

    New Blood showcase 2013


Sponsored Article

It’s Nice That works with selected brands to create and deliver bespoke content solutions. To find out more about these sponsored articles or to request a media pack, contact our sales team using the address below.

Most Recent: Miscellaneous View Archive

  1. List

    The good people of bonkers collective Hungry Castle never disappoint. From a huge Lionel Ritchie head you climb into and answer “hello” to a ringing phone to a laser cat, their hair-brained schemes make the sort of things you dream up in late night pub-chats into huge, glorious reality. Now, they present Nicolas Cage in a Cage. Not too much more to say about it really, apart from “WHY THE BEJESUS HAS NOONE DONE THIS BEFORE!” Hungry Castle explains: “You can get in the cage with Nicolas Cage. Yes. You can…This meme-inspired masterpiece was built to bounce. An artwork that reflects the internet and the internet’s effect on culture. Love him or hate him, you won’t break Nicolas Cage.”

  2. List-matthew-britton-bertie-muller-paint-by-user-its-nice-that

    Paint By User should come with a trigger warning for anyone with an addictive personality, those easily aggressed by internet saboteurs and anyone with a propensity for procrastination. It turns out I suffer with all three, but didn’t quite realise until I started playing with the site, created by Matthew Britton and Bertie Muller, the pair behind a site that lets you skip YouTube. It offers up a utopian idea of allowing anyone with an internet connection to work on the same piece of rather basic, but potentially quite pretty piece of art in realtime using rudimentary MS Paint-type tools. What it soon morphs into is a competitive, dystopian pit of cock drawings, people writing things like “spurt” and an oddly indelible image of a bird-like creature with a grotesque arse. We tried and failed to write “It’s Nice That” legibly across the screen but before you can say “nice” some online MORON has painted over it in black. Do, please have a go – it’s viciously good fun – but please, please don’t blame us when suddenly it’s 5pm and you’ve done nothing all day apart from YELL AT YOUR SCREEN and draw willies.

  3. Wnw_list

    There’s a million articles around about the benefits/pitfalls of freelance life, and even more about the nitty-gritty of going it alone – how to invoice, why it’s important to sometimes get dressed, the importance of “networking” and all that guff. The reality, of course, is that what works for one independent creative would be anathema to another. Especially in the creative industries, people each have their little nuances and peccadilloes, so we wanted to chat to creatives to find out what really makes life easier for them; from where they like to work, to Skyping clients in your pants to making friends with Turkish shopkeepers. We’ve chatted with five freelancers from Working Not Working, an invite-only global network of top creative talent.

  4. Brinkworth-voodoo-rays-boxpark-its-nice-that-list

    We very rarely cover interiors projects, but for these designs for east London pizza joint Voodoo Ray’s by Brinkworth, we’ll make an exception. The Memphis-like bold geometric shapes and candy pastels are pretty irresistible, and make a bright pop in a dirge of distressed concrete and slate tiles for plates. The first Voodoo Ray’s site is in Dalston, but the designs we’re showing off today are those for the new site in Boxpark.

  5. List-alexey-kondakov-photoshop-its-nice-that

    Imagine if sweet little cherubs had to travel on the bus, rather than by their wings or by magic and faith and all those other more abstract things. Ukrainian art director Alexey Kondakov not only imagined what these celestial figures would look like on the bus, but realised his imaginings through Photoshop to share with all of us. For his series The Daily Life Of Gods, he’s taken figures from classical art and popped them in car parks, on public transport, and in decrepit back yards. They somehow look like they belong there, their forlorn expressions and sad demeanours matching the tatty seats of the bus or the pissy stone floors of the subway. It’s very silly, but very fun, even if Alexey would have us believe it’s got a more serious undertone. “I thought, ‘What if I invite these [gods] into our reality and imagine they are on streets of modern Kiev?’", he says. "… My project is about life.”

  6. Owen-and-the-eyeballs-its-nice-that-list

    As our collective eyes and ears know, visual culture and aural culture go hand in hand. It’s a moot point that many bands form in art school, and that many designers, illustrators and artists have one eye on the easel (or screen) and one ear on their musical output. So with the news arriving that Tom Dixon is playing at MoMA this week in a band alongside Bradford Shellhammer, the man behind industrial design sales site Bezar, we thought we’d round up a few art and design stars who moonlight as musicians.

  7. Sunnation-faragepints-itsnicethat-list

    The UK is gripped with election fever this week as we decide which middle-aged white man we want standing up for us at the world’s top table. As polling day draws ever nearer, media coverage is reaching fever pitch despite the fact it increasingly resembles a tallest dwarf competition. Kudos though to the creative community who have come up with a whole host of election-related projects ranging from the genuinely thought-provoking to the gloriously ludicrous. Here are some of the ones that have caught our eye and tickled our fancy…

  8. Havingaface-itsnicethat-main

    Lucas Zanotto spends his spare time carrying around two paper plates with black dots on them and fastening them to stationary objects and landmarks such as trees, small huts and enormous boulders. This side project entitled Having a Face seeks to give life and personality to otherwise-overlooked characters in the natural world. We’ve posted about this project before but thought it would be nice to remind everyone about Lucas’ project, especially because a film he’s made about it is going to be opening the 2015 Pictoplasma Festival this weekend. What better way to kick start a conference of contemporary character culture than with a guy who sticks eyes to rocks, eh?

  9. List

    If you’re a person who loves It’s Nice That, is super-passionate about the art and design world, knows how to write about it wants to be part of a busy, buzzing and beautiful (ahem) team, then this could be the role for you.

  10. Dinakelberman-imgoogle-itsnicethat-list

    This is an oldie but a goodie that’s been floating round the hive mind of the internet for some time. Dina Kelberman is an artist from Baltimore with a wide-ranging practice that encompasses all manner of online, IRL, video and installation experiments. The most accessible of her projects is I’m Google and consists of a vast archive of images culled from many hours of search engine experimentation. Dina arranges her scavenged imagery in an ever-evolving grid system in which each new image bears some slight reference to the last. In this way a visual game of Chinese Whispers is played out as squash courts evolve into egg yolks, which somehow transform into silly putty by way of orbs of smouldering metal. Very cool!

  11. Elenaschlenker-itsnicethat-main

    Elana Schlenker, founder of Gratuitous Type has recently opened a new shop in Pittsburgh which charges women 24% less for its items than men in order to highlight wage inequality all over the world. The shop, which sells a selection of well-designed objects and knick knacks created by women invites women to pay only 76 cents for something that would cost a man a dollar. This number relates to a figure released by Pennsylvania stating that for every dollar a man earns, a women in the same job would take home just 76 cents. Elana’s looking to take this shop on the road to get the word out there, which is fantastic. The more people know about this the better, and how great to see the concept represented in such a friendly and simple, but totally hard-hitting way.

  12. Veryman--itsnicethat-list

    Last time I looked at the clock it was about 3pm. It’s now 6.34pm, and the year is 2027, but can I tear my crows-footed eyes from Very Man ? Good god, no. This is, of course, an exaggeration; but one that’ll hopefully illustrate how compelling, brilliant and bloody weird Very Man is. The site gives you a sweet lumbering little character to play with in almost inconceivable ways: you dress him, you dictate his background, his movements, his physical characteristics and vital details such as whether or not he wears a cloud, or an Elvis quiff on his head. It might sound like nothing new, but until you’ve had a go, it’s hard to believe just how bloody strange and painstakingly considered this whole thing is. Still don’t grasp how addictive this thing is? Try telling us that once you’re deep into experiments with “butt amount,” “human pouch” and the “chicken nuggets” effect tool. Only you won’t tell us, because you’ll be too busy playing Dr Frankenstein over on Very Man. Goodbye, productivity; hello little squirming big butt Elvis!

  13. Bjorky-itsnicethat-main

    Sometimes at It’s Nice That we get sent entirely hand-painted zines, or stop-frame animations that have taken months, perhaps years to complete. But then sometimes we stumble across projects like this, little nuggets of joy that took one second to contemplate, and an afternoon to complete. LA artist Bjorky went for a wander in the countryside with a small piece of acetate on which he had painted a frame and a tired, grinning face. He then held it up to inanimate objects, bringing them to life and transforming them from “boring tent” and “mountain minding his own business” into stoned teenagers. I think the lone rock is my favourite.