Johnson outlines plans for D&AD

A new awards category and a series of ‘polemical debates’ are the two main strands of British Design & Art Direction president Michael Johnson’s ‘manifesto’ for the organisation this year, unveiled today at the D&AD annual general meeting.

A new awards category and a series of ‘polemical debates’ are the two main strands of British Design & Art Direction president Michael Johnson’s ‘manifesto’ for the organisation this year, unveiled today at the D&AD annual general meeting.

Collaborative projects that cross over between design and advertising are the target of the ‘integrated creativity’ award, to be judged by a panel including David Stuart, Richard Seymour and Tyler Brûlé. The move signals greater recognition for ‘media neutrality’, though Johnson says ‘whatever you call it is by the by’.

He adds, ‘The weird thing about D&AD is that for years you’ve had to break up a project [into various categories] to enter the awards. Integrated creativity is an idea pushed by clients since the 1990s and we might see some really interesting work being entered. The Orange brand, where Hutchison Telecom locked Wolff Olins and [ad agency] WCRS into a room until they agreed, is still the prime example.’

A lecture programme, beginning in the autumn, to encourage creatives to ‘take a position’ on issues like ethics and advertising to children, will address ‘Where do we go from here?’, says Johnson.

‘Outreach’ work with the regional creative centres and a clamping down on ‘cheating’ in the awards entry system are also among Johnson’s priorities.

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