LONDON – Earlier this year, the creative industries came together to decry the fact that one of their number had declared the gender debate over. The facts speak for themselves. According to statistics, only 11.5% of creative directors are female, indicating that this conversation is definitely not over.

The same lack of representation applies to creatives from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, those from low-income households and those with disabilities. Diversity, which is key to ensuring the advertising and design industries are representing the world we live in, is far from what it could be.

For New Blood 2017, The Beautiful Meme have devised a campaign to make everyone stop and think. Taking as its starting point a series of statements and statistics that highlight the current state of the creative industry, these in-your-face designs are a challenge to whoever reads them to take action.

Paul Drake, D&AD Foundation Director said: “D&AD New Blood want to hold a mirror to the industry so that when faced with real statements and facts, we can all come together and start thinking about solutions. As an organisation we already work towards finding new ways forward, but we all need to think long term. This is a call for students to enter their work into the New Blood Awards, but this is also a call to the entire industry to wake up and realise that what they need more than anything else is new perspectives, New Blood.”

Tom Sharp, Creative Director, The Beautiful Meme added “If we see the yearly influx of new talent into the creative industries as nothing more than a perpetuation of the existing system, we do a disservice to the minds joining our industry. Agencies thrive on change and challenge. This is what New Blood brings. Whilst our sector debates equality and the future of creativity, the answers lie with New Blood. We need them.”

The campaign itself has taken a radically different approach, leaving behind the traditional yellow and black of the D&AD Professional Awards and embracing a more abrupt aesthetic. Using a juxtaposition of words and polka-dot hexagonal design, The Beautiful Meme put their own unique spin on this eye-catching campaign.

On the look and feel, Ben Haworth, Creative Director, The Beautiful Meme commented: “The energetic and visually distinctive hexagonal polka dot graphics conceptually represent controlled takeover while past D&AD winners are masked (as the past) to bring colour and texture. This is framed by a flexible ‘We Need New Blood’ lock up which in a trickster spirit tears up the D&AD logo.

Our aim was to elevate the New Blood brand from the younger sibling of D&AD into a cutting edge persona at the forefront of the industry. A brand that better represents the intelligence and diversity of new talent coming through – tearing up the establishment and replacing it with new people, new skill sets and new thinking.”

This will be a constantly evolving campaign that will continue to push out statements as they happen throughout the year to constantly spark conversation and debate. D&AD invites students, creatives and tutors to use the #WeNeedNewBlood hashtag in order to have their say.

The roll-out will take the form of digital and social assets that will be shared over the course of the year as well as environmental designs for the D&AD New Blood Festival in July.

New Blood briefs are available for download from

Young creatives will have until 22 March 2017 to submit their entries, with the winners announced at the New Blood Awards Ceremony on 6 July 2017.

For more information about D&AD New Blood 2017 – including the Awards, Festival and Academy – go to:

For more info, images and interviews contact: D&AD PR Manager Elisa Barnard| 0207 840 1131 |