People to see, places to go

Overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to see at the D&AD Festival? We've picked out the highlights

Highlights of D&AD Festival 2016

Ashleigh Axios: Designing for President Obama 
(20 April, 3pm)
A rare opportunity to see the creative director of the White House. Ashleigh Axios has built the administration’s digital strategy and will be looking at how design can solve social problems and engage the public.

Ralph Steadman studio tour (20 April, 5pm)
From packaging for Oddbins to illustrations for Hunter S Thompson’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Ralph Steadman’s scratchy graphic style is instantly recognisable. Now he’s inviting us into his studio for a Skype tour and a Q&A with Andy Sandoz.

Sir Martin Sorrell (20 April, 6pm)
D&AD’s chief executive, Tim Lindsay, interrogates the goliath of adland in what’s sure to be the talking point of the festival. There will also be an opportunity to put your own questions to Sir Martin Sorrell – be prepared.

Sir Paul Smith (22 April, 3pm)
Don your colourful stripey socks and your sharpest suit – Britain’s leading fashion designer will be cutting a dash on the main stage to discuss his creative process in a talk that has been specially tailored to the D&AD audience. 

Annie Atkins: Designing for films (22 April, 4pm)
Annie Atkins has created everything from fake theatre canopies for the TV series Penny Dreadful to vintage pastry boxes for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Now she’s bringing her expertise in film production design to the D&AD Festival. If you want to know how many teabags it takes to age paper or how authentic props help actors immerse themselves in the film’s world, this is the place to be.

Adam Buxton’s best of BUG (22 April, 6pm)
The comedian, writer and actor brings his selection of interesting, brilliant, strange and otherwise noteworthy music videos to the D&AD Festival. Think of it as your funniest friend showing off his latest selection of amusing and entertaining titbits on his phone down the pub. Only on a bigger screen.

New Blood Awards (20-22 April)
For the first time ever, a hand-selected group of D&AD New Blood Pencil winners go on display following the previous week’s judging. Want to spot tomorrow’s talent today? This is the place to be.

D&AD Festival 2016 takes place during 20-22 April at The Old Truman Brewery. Visit

Beyond the fringe: The best of the rest

Onedotzero: Art x brand (20 April 4pm)
In this talk, Onedotzero looks back at projects from its 20-year history, taking in art, design, film, creative technology, education and entertainment. Examining the intersection of art and commerce, the discussion explores Onedotzero’s pivot from a cultural organisation to a hybrid creative agency collaborating with brands.

YourStudio: after/SHOP (22 April 11am)
With shopping becoming more responsive, emotive and instantaneous through multiple channels, what will the shop of the future look like – and how will the shopping experience change? YourStudio explores how far we can push the boundaries of the shop – from how it communicates to how it performs as a space.

JKR: The ones that got away (22 April 4pm)
Everyone has a story about the one that got away – and JKR is throwing open its doors to show off the great design ideas that could have been. This is a one-off event and security will be tight – the doors will be sealed and phones will be confiscated. So make the most of your one chance to see the creative ideas that never made it to fruition.

Grey London Party (22 April 7pm)
You’ve pored over the year’s finest creative work, attended workshops and listened as industry giants shared their insights. Now it’s time to let your hair down. Grey London is taking over an exclusive venue within walking distance of The Old Truman Brewery – and they know a thing or two about celebrating, having won 69 Pencils in the past five years.