Garrick Hamm on 2009's D&AD black Pencils

LONDON - Another year and another set of D&AD Pencils handed out - four black and 50 yellow in total. Seeing such a diverse range of work on show as we did last night would, I hope, put a spring in the step of anyone in this industry. Congratulations to all the winners - your work excited and inspired the toughest bunch of creatives out there.

Hamm... D&AD president
Hamm... D&AD president

The black Pencils in particular make for a strong statement about what was achieved creatively last year and I wonder what might be around the corner with such brilliant crafting and life-changing ideas out there. "Ground-breaking" can be a difficult thing to define precisely, but it's safe to say that you know it when you see it. Look at the work that won this year and you will understand what the black Pencil stands for.

Droga5 is a double winner – the first agency to do so for entries for two different clients. "Million" has done the unthinkable – it made students in a city with a 37 per cent drop-out rate want to stay in school.  The project is hugely ambitious and innovative, right down to the specially designed handset. It's inspiring, produced clear results, and it delivered for the brands involved.   

I don't know anyone, wherever they may live or their political persuasion, who wasn't riveted by the Obama campaign. "The great schlep" is a ground-breaking piece of work that has changed the landscape of political advertising forever.

"Kinetic sculpture" by Art+Com is hypnotising to watch as it recreates the design of a BMW car from concept to blueprint. This work completely blurs the line between design and art; it's a perfect fit for the brand and a pleasure to look at.

Matt Dent's redesign of the most ancient of objects began its life as a winner – the design won a Royal Mint competition in 2005. This is the first time in 40 years that the "reverse" (tails, if you're calling it) of UK coins have been redesigned; collect the set and you've got the shield of the Royal Coat of Arms. Just think of the bonanza for the collecting world. It's a beautifully crafted piece of design that millions of people carry in their pockets and will leave lying on their dressing tables.  

So that's it for 2009. You can look at the year's best work on our website – and D&AD members can download from the site for the first time. For the more tactile among you, the Peter Saville-designed Annual launches in September.

Garrick Hamm is the president of D&AD


Click here to view the TV and cinema Yellow Pencil winners

Click here to view the online Yellow Pencil winners

Click here to view the integrated Yellow Pencil winners

Click here to view the print and poster Yellow Pencil winners

Click here to view the mobile Yellow Pencil winners