My excitement about D&AD Judging week feels somewhat at odds with our new venue at East London's Truman Brewery, a tranquil church of creativity.
A place where there are no phones or emails and everyone takes in the work at their own pace. Every year I feel it’s a privilege to be here and I genuinely thank everyone who has entered.
The work that stands out is an alchemy between a great idea and a beautiful execution. That’s the logic I applied when choosing my favourite pieces.
Whether it’s graphic design, craft based work or in three dimensions, it’s this harmony they all have in common.
I make no apologies for this selection being design heavy, great craft transcends agency definitions and can inspire us all.
Mondrian London at Sea Containers, Magpie Studio, Graphic Design: Branding
Dandelyon Bar by Magpie Studio, Graphic Design: Branding
These are two different entries from design studio Magpie and feel they’re part of one whole thing.
Each identity pays homage to the history of the Sea Containers building, with the restaurant identity using gold motifs to reference sea voyage and travel.
The Dandelyon Bar identity focuses on the exotic botanicals and plants that were imported into Britain so their origins are connected. The illustrations in both are fantastic and it’s great to see Magpie achieving such a great balance.
Castles in Space cards, Out of the Box, Graphic Design: Stationery
These business cards are for computer hardware expert, Venu Srinivasan. Each card takes a different computer adaptor and turns them into little rocket ships from the future.
I love the look of these - simple, cute and charming. I’ve never seen the humble VGA be adapted in such a way before.
Shihad Fvey, Alt Group, Graphic Design: Interpreted Graphics
I’ve seen this a few times but it was in this category where it really came to life. The album cover work is great but it’s this physical beast of a skull that really made it for me.
Incredibly crafted and so angry looking, I’ve been told it aligns perfectly with Shihads Fvey’s music. I really hope it’s a working speaker, because if it isn’t, it should be.
On air, SIX inc, Graphic Design: Posters
An advert for a lightweight sports jacket this, entry really encapsulates what can be so great about poster work. In the flat element it’s interesting and beautiful, but it comes to life when seen in 3D. I love how well-engineered each component is.
Words can be weapons, Ogilvy & Mather Beijing, Crafts for Design
In association with a Japanese centre of psychological research, this works tells the story of a young guy, who, after shooting a man who called him a "moron", now faces a long prison sentence.
To demonstrate the power words can have Oglivy & Mather Beijing used steel to create typographic characters of "moron" in Chinese.
When slotted together, they make an accurate replica of a gun. It’s powerful, well crafted and a perfect metamorphosis of the word to the violent act.
Penguin audio books, Y&R China, Illustration for design
Here Y&R China created eight posters for the Penguin audio books. What impresses me here is art direction by multiple illustrators to achieve this level of creative together.
Each one makes me laugh and I love how they’ve effortlessly smuggled in a penguin soundman in each poster. They’re terrific.
The Sunday Times Rich List, Grey London, Crafts for Design
Fat cats, what can I say? I love it. Branson is the standout execution for me as there’s less subterfuge in terms of the hairstyle. It feels like the cat could actually have this hair.
These are all digital photographs that have been retouched yet they still manage to feel like illustrations. I wouldn’t be surprised if Branson has this hanging up in his house, it’s brilliant.
CityScape, Hakuhodo Tokyo, Crafts for Design
These elaborate cityscapes are all made from perfume and aftershave bottles for a Japanese fashion brand. The art direction and the craft are just fantastic. I spent quite a bit of time studying them and the level of detail is gobsmacking, the quality of light brings everything together wonderfully. It’s a flawless labour of love.
The Barbecue Bible, JWT Brasil, Art Direction for Direct
This is insane but beautiful. As a big fan of barbecue, I couldn’t resist this and lots of people have been talking about it today. It’s an absolutely epic celebration of all things meat and I find it irresistible for its passion.
It’s a wonderful object and the typography is amazing. I love seeing the enthusiasm from both the client and the agency coming together here.