The D&AD Annual becomes the Manual, with a fresh sustainable design

Each year, D&AD releases an Annual – a book celebrating the best-awarded creative work. 

In fact, as most of you know, since 1962 D&AD has been awarding the finest work in design and advertising from across the globe. (Check out the best new creative talent from D&AD New Blood 2016.)

But this year, as the final act as president, Andy Sandoz decided to break tradition ever so slightly with his vision of the Annual becoming an object of use, rather than one to add to the collection on the shelf.

He’s renamed the Annual to the Manual. For the first time the book asks the reader to think about what the work can teach us. 

It features exercises created by B+A (formerly Ben&Andrew) based on lessons from Christopher Ball, Patrick Collister, Nick Eagleton, Thea Frost, Al MacCuish and Andy himself.


“Congratulations to all the awarded individuals, teams, businesses, and work preserved among these pages. A towering achievement. Your talent lifts us all. This not-an-annual makes you taller. It is a tool. Don’t shelve it, use it. Reference it. Write in it. Stand on top of it,” says Andy.

 At the beginning of the book readers are faced with a series of probing questions – encouraging you to reflect on how you handled past work, how you can enhance new work and how you can perceive an object or product in new ways. 

Exercises also include brainstorming on creating a robust story, adding value to a product that will positively impact communities and creating more focus to digital offers.


Along with the new purpose comes a new look. This year’s book is softback binding, super thin paper and a mass of overprints alongside distortions of the CMYK process. 

Lucienne Roberts, independent design practitioner of LucienneRoberts+, designed the Manual. Her brief was to create something that could be written in, poured over and end up well-used.

“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,” she says. 

“Printed as a five-colour 24-page section, (two fluorescents and three ‘pure’ Pantone inks) it features some of the many combinations of tints and overprints possible, making secondary and tertiary colours.”


The Manual design also had to be sustainable, reflecting the non-profit’s new direction toward using creativity for positive impact. The 100 percent recycled, wood-free uncoated paper has been reduced to a minimal weight of 80gsm. In fact, the whole weight of the book was reduced by 32 percent.

The softback is made from FSC certified biodegradable paper, completely recyclable and free of elemental chlorine, acid and heavy metals. The book was printed with vegetable-based inks.

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