D&AD's design awards have enthralled the industry for over half a century. In the third in our series of articles, R/GA's George Prest looks back at some of the winners from the '80s.
Design and Art Direction (D&AD) was founded in 1962 by a group of London-based designers and art directors including David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Alan Fletcher and Colin Forbes (who designed the original D&AD logo). The group was dedicated to celebrating creative communication, rewarding its practitioners, and raising standards across the industry.
Today D&AD has evolved into a major global organisation that exists to promote excellence in design and advertising everywhere through educational programmes and rewarding great work through its annual Yellow Pencil awards. Here D&AD's George Prest (above) recalls some of the most memorable winners in the 1980s...
Maggie, the Falklands war, Afghanistan, Rent-a-Ghost, my mum getting a Mini Metro, Lockerbie, Airwolf, the massive storm, the bombing of Libya, Northern Ireland, Chernobyl, playing Revs on a BBC Micro, Acid House music, drainpipe jeans, Reebok Silver Shadows, skateboarding, Chariots of Fire and Ronald Reagan.
This is some of what I remember of the 1980s, in no particular order and unsure of the significance of any of it. To look at the D&AD winning work from that decade is a kaleidoscopic experience as well. There’s humour and attitude, tradition and change and the conventional and the downright bizarre. I think that the industry looks back at this time as a golden age. Let’s examine the evidence to see if this is a rose-tinted approach.
05. Jean-Michel Jarre 'China Promotion'
So the 1980s were an outstanding decade, classic, peerless and the true foundation of advertising as we know it today? Well, yes but check out this promo for Jean Michel Jarre’s China tour. In contrast to everything above it seems dated and rooted in its time. So '80s, a bit off-beam and culturally naïve, like JMJ himself. This would probably go down well in Dalston today, I think, until the next fad came along.
- Year: 1983
- Award: D&AD Silver Award for the most outstanding Record Promotion
- Client: Francis Dreyfus Music
- Art Director: Kate Hepburn
- Copywriter: Jean-Michel Jarre
- Photographer: Mark Fisher
- Illustrator: Kate Hepburn
- Typographer: Kate Hepburn
- Advertising Manager: Mark Fisher