Awards News

Awards: Stage one of D&AD Awards judging – 338 entries shortlisted following robust submission figures

LONDON, UK – Following a year of unprecedented challenges for the creative sector, D&AD has seen a significant boost in high quality entries for the 2021 D&AD Awards. This year’s submissions have returned to, and in some cases, surpassed pre-pandemic figures, demonstrating the industry’s resilience amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Since 1962, D&AD has played a vital role in stimulating and celebrating creative excellence, and it remains as important as ever to support the work of the creative community during this period of great uncertainty. The constraints of the pandemic have challenged creatives to produce work that reflects and responds to our new realities and this year’s awards will celebrate work from the past 12 months, to demonstrate how innovative ideas can produce better outcomes for all. The entries this year have not only surpassed expected numbers but also continue to show the quality of work being produced within the creative sectors.

338 entries have been Shortlisted for the Awards across the Craft and Side Hustle categories and come off the back of a robust number of entries for the 2021 Awards which is a testament to the value of recognising exceptional creative work, reiterated in this year’s Awards manifesto ‘Work that matters must be seen’.


Shortlisted entries from 15 categories have been announced today ahead of the second stage of shortlisted entries being announced on 18 May.

Across these categories, the top ranking countries by number of Shortlisted Entries are:

United Kingdom – 95 Entries
United States – 92 Entries
France – 35 Entries
Germany – 15 Entries
Brazil – 10 Entries
India – 9 Entries
Australia and New Zealand – 8 Entries each
Japan and Sweden – 7 Entries each

The top 5 ranking companies for these categories, by number of Shortlisted Entries are:

Droga5 New York – 14 Entries
AMVBBDO – 11 Entries
Publicis Conseil – 9 Entries
Adam&eveDDB – 8 Entries
TBWA\Paris and Somesuch – 6 Entries each

The total number of Entries shortlisted in each category are:

Animation – 36 Entries
Art Direction – 38 Entries
Casting – 26 Entries
Cinematography – 8 Entries
Direction – 41 Entries
Editing – 19 Entries
Illustration – 22 Entries
Photography – 13 Entries
Production Design – 10 Entries
Side Hustle – 13 Entries
Sound Design & Use of Music – 42 Entries
Typography – 8 Entries
Visual Effects – 19 Entries
Writing for Advertising – 20 Entries
Writing for Design – 23 Entries

All 338 shortlisted pieces are showcased on the D&AD Website.

2021 submissions have seen a substantial increase in entries from nearly all regions. Western Asia & India have seen the most significant change with an uplift of 47% since 2019, followed by Oceania (42%) USA and Canada (41%), Latin America (28%), UK (22%), Africa (19%), Europe (12%) and China (9%). In addition, 20% of this year’s submissions came from new entrants.


As part of D&AD’s commitment to improving accessibility and diversity in the creative sector, particularly during the current economic climate, small businesses and freelancers were offered a 25% discount to enter their work.

Dara Lynch Chief Operating Officer at D&AD commented: “Creatives have faced extraordinary challenges over the past year and there has been mounting concern for the longevity and success of our industry. However, the exceptional entry figures for the 2021 Awards is testament to the resolve of our sector and demonstrates that amidst the chaos of the last 12 months, creativity has flourished. This year’s Awards will recognise and celebrate the inspirational responses and ingenuity borne out of and despite the pandemic, within a rapidly evolving social, economic and cultural context. As this year’s Awards manifesto states ‘Work that matters must be seen’ and we hope that everyone has the chance to see and be inspired by the very best work produced by our industry.”

Donal Keenan, Awards Director at D&AD commented: “It has been a real honour hosting the D&AD Awards judging again this year…the insight, expertise and consideration shared by the judges has been invaluable. A true testament to their commitment to seek out creative excellence. The standard of work this year has truly raised the bar.”

Pencil winners will be announced in two separate virtual awards ceremonies on 26th and 27th May respectively. For more information visit:

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