Health and Wellbeing Highlights at the D&AD Festival

The D&AD (Design and Art Direction) awards are some of the most revered in the industry. At this year’s festival in the Truman Brewery, I started to notice a shift towards more socially engaged projects.

The work was truly inspiring and innovative. In this post, I look at work which was featured AND discussed at the festival, regardless of whether it won an award. Check out my top picks below:

1. Shiseido: My Crayon Project

The most powerful project at the festival. This project saught to end racial bullying, especially of mixed-raced children in Japan.

The solution? A simple crayon. Each child was given a crayon which was colour matched to their skin colour, showing that no two skin colours are the same, but that all should be respected. It was an incredibly moving piece.

Box of Crayons. Each one is based on the skin colour of a pupil.

2. #UNIGNORABLE: TAXI for United way

These images were created for a campaign about looking at mental health more seriously. Just because mental health doesn’t always have physical or visual symptoms, it does not mean it can be ignored. The visual language reflects this really well.

Florecent orange posters on a wall. There are hidden images of people shouting and crying in the drawings

3. Reversible Poetry : McCann Bristol for Refuge.

Read this poem. Now read it backwards. Chilling.

This entire campaign focused on the tagline “When your partner turns on you, turn to us”. It was a haunting and simple way to convey the sudden confusion and fear surrounding domestic abuse.


4. Sehat Ka Bathua: The Health Purse. Grey India for Mahindra RIse.

In India, women hide their purses under their blouse next to their breasts. Grey India took this and designed a special purse, which inside revealed health awareness about how to check your breasts for signs of breast cancer. The health purse is created in the hope that more women in rural India will check their breasts.

Selection of Indian purses. Insde the flap are images about checing your breasts.

5. Small ways to Shape our World: TBWA for Igniting Change

Some absolutely stunning book design looking at small and mindful ways to improve your mental health each day.

Book with simple photos of shapes

6. The Universal Language of Pain: Mercedes-Benz, Thai Health and BBDO

Another stand out project. This chart allowed patients of all different languages to communicate their experienes of pain.

7. Petal Paint: Leo Burnett Sri Lanka

This product strongly symbolises samsara, or the independant nature of life. It was based around trying to find a use for all the flowers which are discarded after Budhist celebrations. This paint pigment is made of old flowers, and is then given back to the temples to restore paint work which is withering away.

8. Beautiful, isn’t she: Mothercare, Sophie Mayanne and TFL

This beautiful campaign looked at the stunning reality of being a mother. It gives a voice back to mothers, focusing on them as strong and body confident women.

A woman posing in her underwear with her child, stretchmarks and bump are visible

These campaigns were not only strong health campiagns but some of the strongest projects at the festival. It felt like they meant something. I hope to see many more projects like this at next year’s festival, as it really highlights a shift in design today.

A very happy me with my discounted ticket!

A very happy me with my discounted ticket!

Sophia Luu