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Five Black Pencils awarded at D&AD 2017

LONDON The 55th D&AD Professional Awards Ceremony took place on April 27 in London, where 5 Black Pencils were awarded – the highest accolade in the creative industry.

We’re the Superhumans claimed two Black Pencils on the night, one each for 4Creative and Blink – the creative team and production team (respectively) who created the film to promote Channel 4’s coverage of the 2016 Paralympics.


As well as being named the most awarded advertising agency at the Ceremony, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne also took home a Black Pencil for their Meet Graham campaign, which aims to promote better road safety by imagining how the human body would need to evolve to better survive on the roads.  

Black Pencils were also awarded to INGO Stockholm for their Swedish Number campaign for The Swedish Tourist Association – which gave people the chance to talk to a Swedish person on the phone about the country – and to Serviceplan for their work with Dot Incorporation creating the world’s first Braille smartwatch.

Black Pencil awarded work:

In total, 733 Pencils were awarded during D&AD Judging 2017. The number of Pencils awarded by level are as follows:  

  • Black Pencil – 5 Pencils

  • Yellow Pencil – 62 Pencils

  • Graphite Pencil – 180 Pencils

  • Wood Pencil – 485 Pencils

D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay commented: “What an outstanding year for creativity. Five Black Pencils, all hugely deserving of the Award. What unites them is a clear desire to create a better world, whether it’s promoting diversity, safety or inclusivity but what is really fantastic is that they win this coveted award for their craft. Proof that creativity as a force for good lives outside of a single category but has become an all-encompassing theme.

“For the first time ever, the United States is the country taking home the most number of Pencils. In fact, the top of the country rankings is comprised of countries from across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, reminding us that D&AD is a truly global organisation, encouraging and awarding talent from around the world.”

Most awarded

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne was crowned the Most Awarded Advertising Agency of 2017, winning 16 Pencils overall, including 10 Pencils for its Meet Graham campaign – one of which was Black.

Studio Sutherl& are the Most Awarded Design Agency this year, winning eight Pencils overall, including two Yellow – one for their work creating limited edition Agatha Christie stamps for Royal Mail and another for their work with Somos Brasil.

Results by country

For the first time ever, the United States has topped the country rankings – with the United Kingdom coming in second.

1st: United States – 182 Pencils

2nd: United Kingdom – 164 Pencils

3rd: Australia – 54 Pencils

President’s Award

This year the President’s Award winner is Michael Johnson, Creative Director at Johnson Banks, Ex-President of D&AD and Black Pencil winner.

D&AD President Bruce Duckworth commented: “Michael’s reputation for creative excellence is massive, he represents so much of what I respect about great design and great designers. He manages to distill complicated issues and simplifies them into solutions that you can’t argue with. They’re just right. He does the kind work that you can’t help but notice, the kind of work that I look at and wish I’d done myself. For this reason and for so many others, I am giving this Award to him.”

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