D&AD annual reimagined as a “learning manual”

This year’s D&AD annual has been designed by Lucienne Roberts and contains exercises encouraging the reader to think harder about the projects featured.


The D&AD Annual 2016 has been designed by Lucienne Roberts and this year it has been rebranded as a manual rather than an annual.

D&AD President Andy Sandoz has reimagined it as what he calls a “learning manual.” While its focus is a record of awarded work from 2016, it also looks to ask the reader what the work can teach them.

There are a series of interactive exercises inside and it has been designed to be “read with a sharpened pencil and an open mind” according to D&AD.

“Mess things up”

Roberts, who was briefed to “mess things up”, says: “I wrote a book about grids, cite artist Sol LeWitt and designer Jan Tschichold as influences, and spend far too long agonising about alignments than is good for me. Andy has the wrong person, I thought.”

After Roberts got to grips with the challenge she designed the manual with softback binding, thin paper and “a mass of delectable overprints alongside distortions of the CMYK process” she says.

The font is FF Schulbuch Nord. Schulbuch means school book in German and the font is based on the letterforms found in children’s textbooks.

“Write, scribble and draw”

“Befitting an Annual that is a learning tool, this year we have included a whole section of exercises complete with empty boxes to write, scribble and draw in. The design and production of these pages also acts as a lesson in colour,” says Roberts.

The book was printed with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled, wood-free uncoated paper and the paper weight was reduced to 80gsm, which D&AD says is an effort to meet the values of D&AD Impact, a new award promoting social design and creativity for good.

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