D&AD talks should aim for better quality of public speakers

Does D&AD really reflect the true standard of British design or is it just another organisation in its death throes, clinging to some sort of credibility in the hope of better days to come?

Does D&AD really reflect the true standard of British design or is it just another organisation in its death throes, clinging to some sort of credibility in the hope of better days to come?

I recently attended D&AD’s Going Global: Japan – Design in Translation, a talk by four ‘leading’ graphic designers: Mark Dytham of Klien Dytham Architecture, Jonathan Barnbrook, Teruo Kurosaki and Tom Lloyd. Michael Johnson informed the audience of 200 or so that the following speakers were at the top of their game, true pros, the aces of the design world, beacons, if you like, of hope to us all.

All the speakers either failed to deliver a message that had anything to do with Japanese design, showed poor public speaking skills, or got their message across concisely or in an interesting way.

I’d attend another D&AD conference, but I hope this letter stirs the organisation to think about the quality of its speakers. It may even prompt it to ask itself: ‘Are we doing this out of duty or passion?’

David McArthur, Graphic designer, Shilling, Hampshire GU33 6JQ

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