Studio Dumbar-designed D&AD Annual 2020 has gone digital – and it's free for anyone to read

Today sees the launch of the 58th D&AD Annual, which is free and exclusively digital for the first time in the organisation's history.

The annual was designed by Studio Dumbar, and as with previous print iterations, showcases D&AD award-winning work from across the design and advertising industry.

Thanks to its new format, the "book" also features interactive elements to allow readers to explore the projects in new ways; while there's more access to images and video content that was impossible to present in the former printed editions.

"Following a year of unprecedented challenge for the creative sector, the digital Annual is a more widely accessible resource for creatives from all backgrounds," says D&AD. "The move also marks a more sustainable future for D&AD as the organisation reduces its carbon footprint through the digital platform." It adds that the digital format enables the organisation to better fulfil its top priorities of reaching more diverse audiences and inspiring emerging talent.

Studio Dumbar was brought in to work on the project before it was decided that this year's annual should be digital, and was briefed to create a digital platform that "captures the evocative, timeless quality of the physical Annual and translates it into an agile and easily accessible online resource." As such, it maximises the possibilities that an online format offers, such as dynamic content and interactive features. "Turning the Annual into a digital platform opens a lot of possibilities compared to a print publication," says Studio Dumbar.

"You can provide so many more ways to navigate and explore all the great work. Our aim was for the platform to be a source of inspiration, showcasing great design, but also enticing visitors to explore and discover new work. All in the spirit of Imagine Everything."

Viewers can access the annual through the D&AD website, and it features more than 1000 pieces of winning and shortlisted work which is presented as a non-hierarchical, random selection of thumbnail images on the main interface to "replicate the serendipity of flicking through a physical book". Users can then filter the projects by award level, category, discipline and location.

Alongside the presentations of the work, readers can access insights into the processes and stories behind it and learn more about why it was selected as representing "creative excellence" through 46 video insight pieces including jury panel discussions, judge interviews and "behind the work" sessions with the creatives.

Another new feature is a series of theme reports, created by D&AD with cultural insight agency Neighbourhood. These explore the shared threads that run through this year's work and look at the projects through the lens of their context within wider events over the past year. These examinations are then used to draw insights from the creative approaches that were used, suggesting what might make a project "Pencil-winning" to inspire and inform both professional and emerging creatives.

As with the previous physical annuals, digital version features letters from D&AD Chairman Tim Lindsay and the 2019/20 D&AD President Kate Stanners. It also showcases the D&AD community of trustees, past Presidents and members; while the 2020 edition also includes an interview with the 2020 President’s Award recipient Yuya Furukawa, CCO at Dentsu, and a Hall of Fame of past President’s Award and Black Pencil winners.


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