’Digital will be at the heart of it,’ says All of Us co-founder Sankarayya (pictured), echoing the sentiments of D&AD chief executive Tim O’Kennedy, who took the helm last year. ’It will run through the spine of the organisation.’
D&AD presidents traditionally take up office with one or two strong objectives, but Sankarayya has no big gestures planned. ’It’s about how I can be helpful rather than what I am going to do,’ he says. ’I want to do things that solve problems rather than add new ones.’
On the agenda, though, are new London premises for D&AD. No deal has been signed as yet, though reports are that they are likely to be in Soho.
D&AD will, meanwhile, celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012, coinciding with the London Olympics. Sankarayya’s yet-to-be named successor as president will be in post then, but Sankarayya and past presidents Paul Brazier, Garrick Hamm and Simon Waterfall are part of a ’continuity’ leading up to it, says Sankarayya.
The D&AD Awards are key to D&AD’s remit of promoting creative excellence. With competition rife between award schemes, Sankarayya aims to portray the difference between D&AD’s scheme and others in a coherent campaign starting with the call for entries – being created by Work Club – through to judging and the awards ceremony itself. ’They have an English voice, but are global in reach,’ he says.
He is also looking to stage a different kind of event. ’The awards night should be a real celebration,’ he says. ’It may not be dinner.’
D&AD owes its charitable status to its education work, and Sankarayya feels a duty to students and young designers. He aims to offer ’practical help’ and create ’pathways’ to help them at a time when jobs are scarce.
–to build a coherent campaign and create an event that ’celebrates’ the creative community
-to provide practical help for students facing a scarcity of jobs
D&AD Annual-to ’make the smallest book rather than the biggest’, and extend its reach
President’s Lectures– to bring in ’people who really think and interrogate stuff’ for the six lectures. Pentagram partner Harry Pearce and Danish group Kibisi are already lined up
Simon Sankarayya will be profiled in next week’s issue