Submit your best work to the D&AD 2016 Professional Awards

The competition for the renowned design and advertising awards has opened, with new categories for illustration, retouched imagery, data visualisation and board games.


Entries for the 54th D&AD Professional Awards have opened, so if you’ve created a piece of work, a campaign, a product, a movement that has had people exclaiming “I wish I’d done that!” then this might be your year to win one of the coveted Yellow Pencils.

There are some intriguing new subcategories this year including Art Direction for Digital Screens, Data Visualisation and Trade Magazines. Four new subcategories will award the best Digital Enhanced work in illustration and photography, with a separate award for each in both the Advertising and Design categories.

The most surprising new category is Printed Games, which is likely aimed more at the Chicago Design Museum's version of Cards Against Humanity than Game of Thrones Monopoly.

There are two completely new categories this year, in response to the evolving creative landscape: PR and Media.

D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay explained the decision behind the new categories, “Where once the function of a PR or Media department was to support and elevate a creative campaign designed by a separate agency, today the lines of creativity are blurred. Successful campaigns are no longer just crafted in the confines of creative agencies, creativity can no longer be pigeonholed in this way."


Also open for entries today are D&AD’s Next Director and Next Photographer Awards.

The Next series bridges the gap between the D&AD Professional Awards and New Blood programme by identifying the best new talent and promoting them back to industry.

The overall winner will then be chosen from the shortlists and announced at the D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony in May 2016.

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Work entered into the 2016 D&AD Awards must have been commercially released between 01 January 2015 and 18 March 2016 and been produced in genuine response to a client brief. It must not have been entered in previous years. Submissions should be made in their original language by 17 February 2016. 

The Awards cost from £85 to enter this year. All entries received by 25 November 2015 will save 10% on the cost of entry. Freelancers and sole traders who are members of D&AD are eligible to receive a 20% discount.

All awarded work appears in the D&AD Annual, released annually in September and is available to purchase exclusively through D&AD.


Judging for the 2015 awards took place over a week at the Truman Brewery in London (pictured).

The judging of the Professional Awards 2016 will take place over eight days, alongside workshops, industry talks, panel sessions, parties and networking sessions as well as a concurrent New Blood fringe event.