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D&AD 2020: New Blood Digital Festival to launch in July in place of annual festival, to create platform for emerging talent

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – D&AD announces plans for a New Blood Digital Festival running from July 6-10 in place of its annual Festival at London’s Truman Brewery. Following ongoing restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the digital festival will provide a virtual platform which continues to support and stimulate emerging creative talent during what will be a challenging year for graduates.

Since 1980, New Blood has inspired and celebrated the young creative community through its prestigious awards program, and helped to bridge the gap between creative education and the industry through its annual New Blood Festival in London. While hosting a physical festival is not possible this year, D&AD feels that it is more important than ever to support the emerging talent who are faced with uncertainty and disruption as they enter the creative industries.

The aim is to provide a space for the industry to connect with the graduating talent of the year, and to create a platform for the freshest young talent to engage with the industry they are about to become a part of.


The D&AD New Blood Digital Festival, running from 6-10 July, will entail 5 days of digital talks and workshops, an exhibition of student work, and a support program ensuring the next generation of creative talent has access to the people and resources they need to thrive.

As with every D&AD programme, the Digital Festival will be industry led, offering insight, education and inspiration from the movers and shakers of the creative world.

This year, New Blood also announces a partnership with The Dots for a virtual exhibition of student work, alongside a collaboration with YCC to help provide job opportunities and placements for recent graduates. Participating universities will gain access to 1:1 industry portfolio reviews for their students, as well as access to D&AD’s network of industry professionals.

Tim Lindsay, D&AD chairman, commented: “2020 is the 40th Anniversary of New Blood, and while this is not the celebration we had in mind, we feel that it is now more important than ever to recognise this year’s emerging talent. As we all face a period of immense uncertainty, a new generation of young creatives will sadly miss out on many of the more traditional and in-person opportunities that would help them enter the creative industries. It is D&AD’s responsibility to ensure that this emerging generation still has the chance to impress and access the right people, for without new blood, our community suffers.”

“It’s more important now than ever we hire and nurture the next generation of talent, whose fresh perspective and ideas will be critical for helping our industry navigate the new world of work,” said Pip Jamieson, founder & CEO, The Dots. Pip added: “Virtual and remote working is here to stay, so by providing a digital solution for the New Blood Festival, I’m so excited The Dots can help students thrive in the new reality.”

D&AD are also appealing to the industry to help support graduating talent by donating their time and expertise. Creative professionals and industry leaders will be able to help nurture emerging talent by signing up as a portfolio mentor via the following Typeform:

Further information on the New Blood Awards digital ceremony and plans for celebrating the Pencil winners will be announced soon.

The 2020 creative campaign to support the digital festival has been created by design studio Soft Power. Soft Power Co-Founder Hamish Gardner, is an alumni of D&AD New Blood, and served as a New Blood trustee.

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