The D&AD president's picks 2017

Judges pored over 26,000 pieces of work during this week's D&AD Festival. D&AD president Bruce Duckworth selects ten of his favourites from tonight's show.

1. Slow Train, Slow Life

Agency: Dentsu Tokyo
Brand: East Japan Railway Company

It’s all in the art direction. It’s the naiveté of drawing, slightly strange perspective and a simplicity of layout that make this series stand out. Everything about it speaks to the pleasure of travelling slowly.

2. Refugee Nation

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather New York
Brand: Amnesty International

It’s an everything-thought-about solution. The flag is a great idea executed with relevant elegance. It takes a serious political issue and, by adding brilliant design, connects emotionally with everybody.

3. Everything in Black & White

Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
Brand: Leica Gallery São Paulo

Stunning but unusual layout. The art direction and composition are incredibly sophisticated. It takes the technicality of cameras and turns it into a visual style. The mixture of typography and photography gives texture and puts colour into black and white.

4. Sideways Dictionary

Agency: Google Creative Lab
Brand: Jigsaw

Great copy. It takes the jargon of computing and relates it to everyday analogies in witty and well-written prose. It makes what could be a very boring subject engaging, interactive and interesting.

5. Juventus Fans: Black and White DNA

Agency: Interbrand Milan
Brand: Juventus

This is a great idea blended with great craft to make an outstanding typeface. The linear letterforms reflect the famous black-and-white-striped football shirts of the Juventus football team. What you end up with is something unmistakable but not overpowering.

6. Agatha Christie Stamps

Agency: Studio Sutherl&
Brand: Royal Mail Stamps & Collectibles

You need a magnifying glass to see the incredible detail that stamp-printing allows you to make the most of. These stamps contain minute typographic clues hidden in the illustrations. It’s an analogue, traditional medium that is interactive.

7. Get Back Tohoku

Agency: Dentsu Tokyo
Brand: East Japan Railway Company

Is it photography? Is it illustration? It’s photography captured with magical and surreal art direction. It’s just a train crossing a bridge, but the power of art direction makes it intriguing. Twenty-six thousand pieces of work and this one just had to be looked at.

8. The New York Times Covers

Brand: The New York Times Magazine

It’s a supplement for The New York Times – it’s big, it’s commercial and it’s fantastically art directed, which will brighten up everybody’s Sunday morning. What I love about this is that the covers are simple but each has its own single-minded power. 

9. Buster The Boxer

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB
Brand: John Lewis

What could be a regular tear-jerker of a Christmas ad with a little bit of humour suddenly, magically, becomes something completely different. The viewer is set up to believe that it will be a regular family tale but, the moment the dog’s head appears over the fence, it breaks through all the emotion and delivers a perfect, witty punch.

10. Meet Graham

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Brand: Transport Accident Commission (Victoria)

Its visually shocking and ugly but that’s the point. So often we look at design as being something beautiful, but this proves otherwise. It gets cut-through precisely because you are drawn to the figure in the campaign. It’s a new way of getting attention: making it an artwork in its own right.