The winners of the 2023 D&AD awards have been announced; for ground-breaking design, socially conscious advertising campaigns, and all-round creative excellence, there’s no better place to look.
As a freelancer, I’ve plugged the gap in countless in-house teams over the years, and I’ve only ever seen a handful of pencils in the flesh — and never the revered black pencil.
As always, the awards are split into multiple levels, the basic hierarchy being wood < graphite < yellow < black. Three hundred and ninety two projects were awarded a wood pencil, and only two projects received a black pencil. 2023’s black pencils were awarded to Columbia Records for the Pharrell Williams music video Cash In Cash Out and The Swedish Heartchild Foundation for its Heartbeat Drum Machine project.
In addition to the client work on show, there was also a Side Hustle category, showcasing the after-hours work produced pro-bono or off-the-bat.
This year’s winners come from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds, showcasing exciting and innovative work that pushes boundaries and challenges norms. The work showcased in this year’s awards covered animation, art direction, branding, digital design, film, photography, product design, typography, and more.
This year’s winners pushed the boundaries of what creative excellence means. If you’d like to be on the shortlist for 2024, now’s the time to get started.
Ben Moss is Senior Editor at WebdesignerDepot. He’s designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. One of these days he’ll run a sub-4hr marathon. Say hi on Twitter.