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Heavy metal success: D&AD president Bruce Duckworth talks about how to create winning designs that people tattoo on themselves at the adobo Design Series

MAKATI CITY – In the creative industry, it’s all about winning metals: platinum, gold, and silver trophies from the world’s most prestigious and toughest awards such as D&AD and Cannes Lion. For multi-awarded and highly acclaimed D&AD president Bruce Duckworth, it’s all about the heavy metal rock fans of Metallica tattooing his design for the Death Magnetic album—winner for Best Recording Package at the 2006 Grammy Awards—on themselves. 
Last March 29, the D&AD president and adobo Design Awards Asia (aDAA) jury head kicked off the adobo Design Series—wherein the aDAA jurors each delivered a 30 minute talk followed by a question and answer portion as well as a panel discussion—with his own keynote address that revealed the genius behind his metal-winning designs.


You know your designs are resonant and magnetic when it compells diehard music fans to willingly immortalize your design on their own skin with a thousand painful needle jabs.

“Music is often associated with design and people really take that in their lives. In this case, they even put in their bodies. These are some album covers that we designed for Metallica a few years ago. I was in a Metallica concert, and I saw some people tattooed this somewhere over their bodies,” attested Duckworth.



He talked about other metals that matter too such as aluminum, as well as other materials such as glass and plastic, with his refreshing new take on Coca-Cola packaging for cans and bottles as well signages with designs that leveraged the consumer’s familiarity with the iconic bottle shape and logo with silhouettes in the trademark red color. Turner Duckworth won the first ever Cannes Grand Prix for Design for Coca Cola in 2008.

 “Design is inherently social,” declared Duckworth. 

Burger King

He also touched upon his agency Turner Duckworth’s campaigns for Burger King, for which the Halloween Whopper won the Red Dot Award for food packaging in 2016 and D&AD’s wood pencil for branding for its ‘Peace One Day’ 2016 campaign.

“People are talking about the design and because it’s been designed to be kind of interactive with humans. People are seeing the creativity in it and photographing and sharing it, which I think give it an enormous reach,” Duckworth notes.


Turner Duckworth is also famous for creating Amazon’s iconic smiling logo. Turner Duckworth’s website explains it best: “When Amazon shifted its business model from selling books to selling everything, Jeff Bezos asked us to create a logo that reflected his plans for the future.  He envisioned that Amazon would become the most consumer-centric brand in the world. However, because Amazon was a company that only existed for consumers online, we needed to bring a human element to the brand, while reflecting the breadth of its offering.  Since everything Amazon sells is delivered, we started with a simple arrow, but curved it into the shape of a smile: Happy deliveries!”

At the adobo Design Series, Duckworth in the flesh declared, “Design is what brands are famous for.” But Amazon founder and CEO Bezos is arguable more eloquent about his company’s current logo: “Anyone who doesn’t like this logo doesn’t like puppies.”

Other adobo Design Series speakers

Duckworth’s fellow jurors at the adobo Design Series included Jowee Alviar of Team Manila, Dave Ferrer of J. Walter Thompson, calligrapher Patrick Cabral, Dan Matutina of Plus63 Design, Robert Alejandro of RAD Design, Quark Henares of Globe Studios, Ivan Despi of Acid House, internationally acclaimed art photographer Wawi Navarroza, Tokyo-based creative director Yoshihiro Yagi of Dentsu Inc, and DC Comics artist Harvey Tolibao.

Continuing partnership with D&AD

On its eighth year, aDAA is once again, for the second straight year, the sole partner in Asia of D&AD, the world’s toughest design awards.

aDAA now has 16 professional categories patterned loosely after the D&AD that include: Press and Poster, Corporate/Brand Identity, Typography, Illustration, Book Design, Magazine and Newspaper Design, Film Advertising, Videos, Short Film, Film/Video Craft, Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Outdoor, Environmental/Spatial, Product Design, Wearable Design, Production Design, Photography, Digital/Interactive, and Mobile.

Last March 30, the aDAA also presented the D&AD Workshop entitled “From Zero to Hero. Creating Connected Emotive Experiences”—an interactive conference, lecture, and workshop on creating experiences that connect with people in the world of technology—conducted by Alex Lampe, creative director and co-founder of Wiedemann Lampe, an international, inter-platform brand consultancy in London, and course leader for D&AD.

The D&AD president was excited with the world’s most prestigious design award’s continued partnership with adobo magazine for the adobo Design Awards Asia. Bruce Duckworth enthused, “We share the philosophy that we should promote the best work in the world and working together will be key to sharing our vision of creative excellence with a global audience.”

Awarding ceremonies will be held on April 19. Winners for these categories will receive cash prizes and/or special awards courtesy of the sponsors.

adobo Design Awards Asia 2017 is made possible with the participation of event partners Samsung, Globe Telecom, Nestle Bear Brand, Green Bulb PR, Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Green Sun, Filmex, and PWC.

For more information, visit www.adobodesignawards.asia or email events@adobomagazine.com.

Click here for an exclusive adobo interview with Bruce Duckworth at ADFEST 2017 on his personal philosophy on design.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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