D&AD Awards 2013 winners: celebrating works for the public good

Four black pencils go to London 2012 Olympics projects, Gov.uk and some dumb ways to die.


Last night saw the announcement of the D&AD Awards 2013 at the Roundhouse in London.

Four of the most prestigious awards, the Black Pencils, all went to projects connected to the public good – though none of them were for charities or traditional NGOs (and two of them were for commercial organisations). 51 'silver medal' Yellow Pencils were also awarded, plus a single White Pencil for projects that have specific social aims.

That the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics featured heavily in the Awards wasn't much of a surprise, with Black Pencils going to Heatherwick Studio’s truly incredible Olympic Cauldron and the in-house Channel 4 team 4creative's instantly memorable Meet the Superhumans campaign. Meet the Superhumans also won four Yellow pencils.

The most awards went to McCann Erickson Melbourne's Dumb Ways to Die, an animated music video and Tumblr site featuring humorous cartoons of stupid ways to leave this world – including some train-specific ones that were the crux of the safety-promotion project on behalf of Melbourne's Metro Trains. This picked up a Black Pencil and five Yellow Pencils.

Alright, gov?

Following picking up the Design Museum's Designs of the Year Award, the government's masterclass in UX, Gov.uk, picked up the final Black Pencil – proving again that a successful website does not need to use fancy aesthetics to be well-designed.

R/GA's Nike+ Fuelband missed out a Black Pencil but was award three Yellows, while Leica Store São Paulo’s Soul campaign and RSA Film's David promotional film for Prometheus took two Yellows apiece.

Missing out from any Pencils whatsoever were entrants in the Book Design, Magazine & Newspaper Design and Press Advertising.

The White Pencil award went to Droga5 for its Help! I want to Save a Life campaign for Help Remedies, which saw a bone marrow registration form packaged in US-based medical brand Help Remedies's packs of plasters.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to see the Black Pencil-winning work and our pick of the Yellow Pencils – and read more about them in their creators' own words (courtesy of the D&AD). You'll also see shots of the winners collecting their awards from the ceremony last night.

Black Pencil winner: Olympic Cauldron – Heatherwick Studio

"The Olympic Cauldron incorporated every participating country in its creation and in doing so made a single combined object that only existed for the two weeks of the Games. After this the elements were sent back with each of the national teams to their country. The 204 copper pieces that formed the dramatic flourish of the cauldron were made using new digital technologies and traditional craft techniques.

"The rising of the cauldron’s stems formed one of the defining moments of London 2012, as each competing country’s copper piece rose upwards and combined into a single surging flame."

The Olympic Cauldron won a Black Pencil in the category of Spatial Design/Installations.


Black Pencil winner: Meet the Superhumans – 4Creative

"Championing alternative voices is at the heart of Channel 4’s remit. In promoting the Paralympics we wanted to get back to the true meaning of ‘para’ as being ‘side by side/alongside’ and therefore ‘equal to’. Against a background of indifference (only 14 per cent of people said they were looking forward to them), we helped create an atmosphere of excitement building up to the Games that was unprecedented.

"The Paralympics sold out for the first time ever, and the opening ceremony drew Channel 4’s biggest audience in over ten years."

Watch Meet the Superhumans

Meet the Superhumans won a Black Pencil in the category of TV & Cinema Communications, and Yellow Pencils in the categories of Editing for Film Advertising, TV & Cinema Communications, Direction for Film Advertising and Use of Music for Film Advertising.

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Black Pencil winner: Gov.uk – GDS (Goverment Digital Service)

"Martha Lane Fox – the government’s digital champion – wrote a report recommending that the thousands of websites operated by central government be rationalised onto a single domain, be redesigned to deliver truly web native services and be – for the first time – focused on the needs of users rather than the needs of government. GOV.UK is that domain.

"GOV.UK has been built at a fraction of the cost, in a fraction of the time, via open-source code shared on GitHub. Everything has been redesigned and rewritten to make it simpler, clearer and faster."

Gov.uk won a Black Pencil in the category of Writing for Websites & Digital Design.


Black Pencil winner: Dumb Ways to Die – McCann Erickson Melbourne

"So we wrote a song called Dumb Ways to Die, created a music video for it and attributed it to an artist that didn’t exist: Tangerine Kitty. We uploaded the video onto YouTube and the song onto iTunes. We pushed the music video on MTV, in cinema, through outdoor and at stations.

"The song earned 40 million YouTube views in a month, over 3 million social media shares, was covered by over 750 global news outlets and charted in 28 countries. ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ is now the third most viral ad of all time – good luck to the campaign that knocks it off."

Watch Dumb Ways To Die

Dumb Ways to Die won a Black Pencil in the category of Integrated & Earned Campaigns, and Yellow Pencils in the categories of Art Direction, Earned Media Campaigns, Digital Advertising, TV & Cinema Advertising and Writing for Film Advertising.


Yellow Pencil winner: FuelBand – R/GA

"Two years ago, Nike came to us to realise an idea: a device that tracks your daily activity and a common, universal metric called Fuel for every active body out there. They asked us to design the entire user experience. We ensured ease of use: set your goal, and get from red to green.

"If you meet your goal, animations celebrate your performance. Hit a streak and Fuelie shows up to cheer you on. Data visualisations show where you were most active daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond.

"We created Bluetooth synch technology so when you finish your day, your Fuel is wirelessly synced to the platform."

Fuelband won Yellow Pencils in the categories of Mobile Interaction & Experience, Digital Solutions and Integrated.

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Yellow Pencil winner: Prometheus viral David – RSA Films

"David was the second video to be released as part of the online marketing campaign for Ridley Scott’s feature film Prometheus.

"In the style of a corporate video, the character of David, as played by Michael Fassbender, is introduced to the world. The aim was to create online awareness for the film by exploring the themes of the film and focusing on a central character.

"This gave people a chance to explore, share and discuss without spoiling the movie. When David went live it was hugely successful, with more than ten million people viewing the spot on the website."

Watch the Prometheus viral, David

David won Yellow Pencils in the categories of Direction for Film Advertising and Production Design for Film Advertising.


Yellow Pencil winner: Leica Store São Paulo Soul – F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi

"We wanted to remind people that some of the greatest photographers in history have used a Leica, and present M-Monochrom as the reincarnation of those classic cameras from the past.

"This film tells the story of life, death and reincarnation of an old Leica III and its owner, a war photographer. The story is told from the camera’s point of view."

Watch Leica Store São Paulo Soul

Soul won Yellow Pencils in the categories of Direction for Film Advertising and Cinematography for Film Advertising.


Yellow Pencil winner: #CokeHands – Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai

"The idea was to bring friendship and Coke closely together in the most iconic fashion that can be easily understood by anybody from tier one, two and three cities in China.

#Cokehands won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Illustration for Advertising.

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Yellow Pencil winner: Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art – Marion Deuchars / Laurence King Publishing

"Deuchars takes, as a starting point, the human race's oldest and most universal way of mark making, the fingerprint, and shows how anyone can build an endlessly inventive universe around it.

"The book demonstrates different and surprising ways to create art from fingerprints and hand printing in combination with other art techniques, with subjects ranging from aliens and monsters to Native American totem poles.

"The book encourages young artists to have fun, but at the same time learn to be innovative and creative."

Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Illustration for Design.


Yellow Pencil winner: 27-inch iMac– Apple

"With 40 per cent less volume than its predecessor, the stunning new iMac features a thin 5mm edge and a reengineered laminated display for brilliant colour and contrast with 75 per cent reduced reflection.

"Third generation Intel quad-core processors, powerful Nvidia graphics, and an innovative Fusion Drive storage make this the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made."

The 27-inch iMac won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Consumer Product Design.


Yellow Pencil winner: London 2012 Olympic Torch – Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

"A complex blend of functionality and symbolism, the Torch design is imbued with a strong cultural and historical narrative. Its three-sided form cites a pattern of trinities: the third Olympics in London; the Olympic motto ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’; and the three Olympic Values.

"Eight thousand perforations represent the 8,000 torchbearers and their 8,000-mile journey, while making the torch lighter, easy to grip, and allowing heat from the flame to dissipate without conducting down the handle.

"Rigorously tested in extreme conditions, it had just two ‘flame-outs’ during the relay – the most reliable Olympic torch on record."

The London 2012 Olympic Torch won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Industrial Product Design.

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 Yellow Pencil winner: Pantone Queen – Leo Burnett

"For 60 years, Her Majesty has colour matched her hats, dresses and coats perfectly. As any queen should. So we created Pantone Queen. A Pantone colour guide celebrating 60 of her iconic single colour outfits, painstakingly matching the exact Pantone reference to the exact date and location she wore them throughout her 60 year reign.

"The book was loved so much by the Royal Family, it was made official Diamond Jubilee memorabilia, royally endorsing Pantone Queen. The queens were numbered from one to 60, and right now resting in Buckingham Palace is number one, the Queen’s very own Pantone Queen."

The Pantone Queen won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Brand Expression in Print.


Yellow Pencil winner: Louis Vuitton, Yayoi Kusama Fine Book 2012 –  Work

"An artist book to celebrate the Louis Vuitton-Yayoi Kusama 2012 collaboration, and inspired by Kusama’s symbolic polka dots that represent the ‘self-obliteration’ of one’s ego.

"Aside from silkscreen and die-cut production methods, the three-fold cover uses three different materials, including a paper that resembles the Louis Vuitton paper bag, and also a canvas material. The latter depicts the art canvas that Kusama uses for her drawings.

"The inside pages are printed on a paper stock that is meaningful to work, and successfully used for many of our print projects."

The Louis Vuitton-Yayoi Kusama 2012 won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Brand Expression in Print.


Yellow Pencil winner: Mixionary –  The Monkeys/MAUD

"We created this series of eight, limited edition prints for Diageo as part of our Mixionary mixed drinks and cocktails campaign. Each print is one cocktail, screen-printed with proportionate colour blocks that represent the volume of each ingredient.

The infographic breakdown series includes a Vodka Martini, Cosmopolitan, Bloody Mary, Gin and Tonic, La Primavera, Manhattan and Tom Collins. Metallic inks have been used to highlight each of Diageo’s premium brands for each cocktail, which are printed on a K. W. Doggett’s Keaykolour craft stock.

Mixonary won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Art Direction for Poster Advertising.

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Yellow Pencil winner: Kanji City –  Party Inc

"This project is new content designed for the exercise programme COG. Users can enjoy a 40-minute spinning exercise session with music and light installation, all synchronised to the pedalling. Instead of an instructor, a built-in iPad on each bike gives you effective directions by showing an animation that is themed to cities around the world.

"Kanji City is an intermediate programme for COG, designed with original images of Kyoto. Kyoto has tradition, culture and natural beauty. All virtual landscape is expressed in Kanji typeface."

Kanji City won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Moving Image (Graphic Design).


Yellow Pencil winner: Zumtobel Group Annual Report 2011/12 –  Brighten the Corners

"Responding to the theme of light, the annual report for lighting company Zumtobel was separated into two highly contrasting but complementary volumes.

"The first, a black and white, text-heavy volume containing all the facts and figures for the financial year, typeset exclusively in Courier eight point. The second, a ‘silent’ publication of pure colour, a graphic reinterpretation of a video work by artist Anish Kapoor into print.

"The book gutter was used as the source of light, which grows outwards to engulf the book – a total of ten standard and bespoke neon inks blending, overprinting and bleeding."

Zumtobel Group Annual Report 2011/12 won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Annual Reports.


Yellow Pencil winner: Absolut Unique –  Family Business

"Absolut Vodka has for years led the way in vodka packaging, with limited edition packs like Absolut Disco, Absolut Rock and Absolut Illusion. For 2012, it was time to redefine the concept of limited editions itself.

"The idea was to make four million unique bottles, so that each and every bottle became a limited edition in itself. We had to rebuild the production line, and use every possible aspect of glass decoration in a new way.

"The campaign ran globally between September and December 2012, and sales have been amazing, as well as media coverage."

Absolut Unique won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Packaging Design.

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Yellow Pencil winner: Long-Tongued Animal Shoehorns –  gürtlerbachmann

"Closed wanted to promote its new collection of children's shoes. We needed something that directly targeted children. Dresser, scary mask, tidying tool, all-rounder – or just long-tongued animal shoe horns. A free gift with every pair of children’s shoes that every child would want, in the form of a giraffe, dog or chameleon.

"Each animal fulfilled three functions: product display, scary mask and wall bracket for the child’s room. Children loved the creatures with their extra long tongues, and they drew their parents’ attention to the new shoe collection."

Long-Tongued Animal Shoehorns won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Packaging Design.


Yellow Pencil winner: Human Arabesque –  WE ARE Pi

"TEDxSUMMIT was the first Middle Eastern TED conference and a one-week global TED gathering. The goal: to define the future of Ideas Worth Spreading.

"The summit united 700 TEDx organisers from 120 countries in Doha, Qatar. We set about ‘finding the x’ within traditional Arabesque patterns to mash-up TEDx and Middle Eastern culture. We fused architecture, dance, maths and magic into a bespoke 18-metre high-mirrored structure that hovered over a multi-colour moving floor to create the world’s first Human Arabesque."

Watch Human Arabesque

Human Arabesque won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Direction for Film Advertising.


Yellow Pencil winner: Clouds Over Cuba –  The Martin Agency

"Clouds over Cuba is an interactive multimedia documentary commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

"The feature begins with Castro’s overthrow of Batista in 1959, and continues on until the missiles were removed in October 1962. Features include 15 expert interviews, a dossier of 200 related documents and images linked to the film's timeline, mobile sync, tablet optimisation, and calendar integration so you can attend JFK’s secret meetings ‘live’, 50 years later.

"Finally, a ‘What If?’ short film depicts an alternate 2012 in which the crisis had escalated into nuclear war."

Clouds over Cuba won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Websites.

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Yellow Pencil winner: Three Little Pigs –  BBH London

"Newspapers are facing an uncertain future. As print circulation and sales continue to fall, more and more people are turning to the internet for their information.

Our task from The Guardian was to promote its new model of 'open journalism' and demonstrate the brand's multi-media credentials as it evolves from a newspaper to a digital first organisation. The film imagines how The Guardian might cover the story of The Three Little Pigs in print and online, following the story from the paper's front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion.

Watch Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs won a Yellow Pencil in the category of Cinema Commercials 61-120 seconds.


4Creative pick up their Black Pencil for Meet the Superhumans.


GDS pick up their Black Pencil for Gov.uk.

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Partrick Barron from McCann Melbourne picks up their Black Pencil for Dumb Ways to Die.


Heatherwick Studio pick up their Black Pencil for the Olympic Cauldron.


Alex McDowell picks up his President's Award.

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Droga5 pick up their White Pencil.