And so the crème de la crème was announced, with five of D&AD’s highest honour – the Black Pencil – awarded this year. From radio advertising to branding it’s a diverse selection that’s sure to get people talking. It’s great to see some of our favourite projects from the last year recognised, and some we weren’t familiar with (the brilliant radio station for dogs, for instance) being celebrated. Without further ado, here they are!
Made Thought’s comprehensive rebrand of paper manufacturers G. F. Smith aimed to “better reflect the legacy, stature and future ambitions of the company,” using a new Humanist Sans typeface designed to reflect both machine printing and calligraphy. As well as creating the new identity, Made Thought has also revamped G. F. Smith’s websites.
As the Hackney Colliery Band of brass instruments parped its way through AC/DC’s Back in Black, Made Thought collected its black pencil, and seemed humbled and shocked to have scooped the award. “We genuinely can’t believe it,” they told us. “G. F. Smith was a product we already love, so it was like having the ultimate fancy dress box to play with. As a client they were open to everything – they get as excited about our ideas as we do.”
This wonderful campaign by Marcel also scooped two Yellow Pencils (one for Integrated and one for Press Advertising Campaign) having been announced as the winner of the Designs of the Year Graphics category last week. Rob Alderson discussed why it’s such a worthy winner here, but for those who don’t know what it’s all about it was a campaign for supermarket Intermarché to promote its sale of misshapen fruits and vegetables for 30% cheaper than their more conventional counterparts.
“It was a campaign where the idea matched with perfect timing – it’s an idea for 2015,” said Marcel. “2014 was the year of European food waste, so it was the perfect opportunity to get involved.” Patrice de Villiers, who took the stunning photographs for the campaign, explained her sumptuous imagery: “What you have to do is find the character in each [piece of fruit/veg]: every time I take a picture I try to find the character in what I’m photographing.”
ManvsMachine’s Film4 rebrand was undoubtedly one of the most talked about channel rebrands of recent years, and was accompanied with some beautiful, smart idents that comprised 16 new shorts packed with cinema references in their props, sets and characters.
Creative director of ManvsMachine Mike Alderson (a Here 2015 speaker), told us the project was a dream to work on. “It went all the way through just as the initial idea was intended – there was no design-by-committee,” he says. “When something’s that good to work on for us, it’s good for the audience too.”
This campaign by Leo Burnett for Always won two Yellow Pencils as well as its Black Pencil, and shows women, boys and pre-pubescent girls being told to perform certain actions “like a girl.” What it proves is that for kids, “like a girl” is positive, but for older girls it’s an insult associated with feebleness and a crap throwing technique. Debuted during this year’s SuperBowl, it’s a great campaign that looks to prove that being “like a girl” is something to be proud of.
We spoke to A.J. Hassan, Leo Burnett VP creative director about the project. “It’s honest stories of real girls told by real girls, so people connected with that honest truth,” she says. “There’s always a huge drop in confidence for girls after puberty, and we wanted to change that and tell people they should have confidence.”
Created by New Zealand agency Colenso BBDO, this ad campaign for Pedigree riffs off the fact that people often leave the radio on to keep their dogs company by creating a station especially for man’s best friend. It’s hilarious. The feature of the talk show is entitled “When does a stick become a branch, when does a branch become a log, and when does a log become a tree.” Listen and laugh.
“There was just so much content that it got more interesting as the project evolved, like when people started leaving personalised messages for their own dogs,” says Levi Slavin, BBDO creative director. “Our target audience is dogs, but we’re advertising through people who have dogs.”
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.