The D&AD has staged a party and awards ceremony to celebrate its 50th birthday where it gave out gongs to the most-awarded people and firms from its history. Apple was the only company to pick up two: Brand and Design Studio. The D&AD also gave a special 50th Birthday Honourary President’s Award to Derek Birdsall, the 2012 President's Award to Wieden+Kennedy co-founder Dan Wieden this year's single Black Pencil Award (the 2012 Yellow Pencils were awarded in April).

Director (Joint 1st Place): Frank Budgen

After leaving Boase Massimi Pollitt advertising agency where he was a copywriter and creative director, Frank Budgen began directing commercials full-time in 1991 through the Paul Weiland Film Co.

He soon established himself as one of the foremost commercials directors in the UK and in 1997 became a partner at Gorgeous.

Director (Joint 1st Place): Tony Kaye

Tony Kaye is a director of films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. He's won awards for his work for Dunlop, Volvo and Olympus amongst many others.

Kaye made several well-known music videos, including Runaway Train by Soul Asylum, Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers, What God Wants by Roger Walters and Help Me and God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash.

Production Company: Gorgeous Enterprises

Founded by Chris Palmer in 1996 and shortly after joined by partners Frank Budgen and Paul Rothwell in 1997, Gorgeous have collected some 15 'Production Company of the Year' titles and topped the Gunn Report's Consolidated League Table of Most Awarded Production Company in The World every year from 1999-2009.

The 2012 President’s Award: Dan Wieden

“Dan Wieden is one of the most inspirational advertising brains of our age. His spirit remains restless and free, and he continues to cham­pion independent thinking and behaviour," said current D&AD president Rosie Arnold."

His work and that of his now numer­ous agencies lead the way across all disciplines. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen a piece of work that has surprised and delighted me, and made me run up and down the corridors at work showing it to other creatives, only to discover it came from Wieden+ Kennedy. So when I asked myself if I should give Dan my President’s Award, I told myself, ‘Just Do It’.”

50th Birthday Honourary President’s Award: Derek Birdsall


(Derek in 1965)

In its 50th year, D&AD has decided to honour a designer who was not only central to its foundation but who has also been producing consistently outstanding work throughout all five decades of the organisation’s existence.

Typographer Alan Kitching, a former colleague and contempo­rary of Birdsall, explains what makes Derek so special: “He is a very inventive designer with an exceedingly fertile mind, so therefore he brings to the solution of a design problem his own particular take, which makes him unique. He’s probably the best book designer in the world.”

2012 Black Pencil

Just one Black Pencil has been awarded by the D&AD judges this year, to a campaign to demobilise guerrillas in Colombia. FARC Guerrillas don’t use any of the traditional media in Columbia, so rivers have become their most important channels of communica­tion and transportation. Every FARC base camp is built close to a river. The agency decided to use rivers as a means of delivering messages, letters and gifts at Christmas, which were sent inside waterproof capsules which lit up at night.

"Apart from the poignancy of the idea and the simple dignity of the execution, what impressed the judges about Rivers of Light was that these were soundly based on direct response technique," said Terry Hunt, Direct jury foreman.

"The best direct work is about cause and effect; the deliberate design of a communication to achieve a quantifiable response. Rivers of Light used personalization, targeting, the most appropriate direct medium and a clear call to action to achieve its aims while creating an event of transcendant significance.  Rivers of Light is one of the purest examples of direct response creativity I have seen in 30 years in the business.’