D&AD has announced the details of its New Blood Digital Festival, running July 6-10. It will host a virtual festival in place of its annual physical festival which usually takes place at London’s Truman Brewery. 2020 marks 40 years since the launch of the New Blood programme, and the anniversary comes at a particularly significant moment for the creative sector, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect educational institutions and creative businesses, making it more important than ever before to nurture emerging talent and provide opportunities for learning and development.
The Festival is built five daily themes in the form of “This>That” statements, which highlight key topics of debate and discussion in the creative industries today:
- Practice>Theory: Knowledge is power, and practice makes perfect, but to thrive as a creative, what is more important – practice or theory?
- Tenacity>Talent: Is creativity an innate talent that can be unlocked, or is it learned over time? What really makes us stand-out – our craft or our passion?
- Mind>Machine: With digitalisation and automation becoming more prevalent, what does this mean for creativity? Who will triumph – mind or machine?
- Generalist>Specialist: Is breadth and diversity of skills more desirable and employable than narrow, deep expertise and craft?
- Define>Reflect: Should the commercial creative industry be innovating and defining culture, or is it our role to reflect and comment on the world around us?
Contribute your ideas
New Blood is calling out to industry professionals to submit opinion pieces and articles in response to the five themes, designed to offer practical tips to emerging creatives derived from personal experience. The articles will be published on the D&AD website to spark interesting conversations around what is useful as a creative practitioner in the industry, and how the shape of the industry is changing.
Interested creatives are invited to submit article ideas here.
The themes will invite seasoned creatives to share their advice and experience, as well as help new creatives continue to navigate the constantly changing industry landscape. This will take place in the form of live sessions accessible via the D&AD website, including debates between industry voices on either side of the This>That question, keynote speeches and practical workshops offering advice to emerging talent.
Industry leaders will contribute to these conversations, including the following speakers: Sir John Hegarty, Ben Hughes & Sandra Nam (VP Brand Design & Creative Production Director, Squarespace), Lydia Pang (Creative Director), Eva & Marta Yarza (Founders & Creative Directors, Yaza Twins), Craig Oldham (Founder & Creative Director, The Office of Craig Oldham), Nate Agbetu, Ayo Fagbemi & Jojo Sonubi (Play Nice), Aurelia Durand (illustrator), Naresh Ramchandani (Partner, Pentagram), Simon Richings, Dan Noller & Sara Pouri (Analog Folk), Tyrone James Drake (Art Center College of Design), Stefanie Sword-Williams (F*ck being Humble), Fail Better Talks and Richard Brim (adam&eveDDB).
New Blood is also partnering with The Dots to show student work in a virtual format, a showcase of 1,000 portfolios, and is collaborating with YCC to help recent graduates access job opportunities and placements.
As part of the New Blood Digital Festival, D&AD is partnering with Squarespace for the third consecutive year and will be releasing Season 2 of By the Book – a three-part video series in which top creatives offer encouraging advice to graduating students and emerging creatives on how to stand out through their online portfolio. This year, D&AD and Squarespace will also provide discipline-specific advice from those at the top of the game in art direction, graphic design and illustration. Squarespace will also be featuring a selection of online portfolio Ones to Watch at the Digital New Blood Festival.
Following an appeal to creative professionals to help nurture emerging talent by generously donating their time and expertise, D&AD received an incredible response from the industry and will be running more than 600 portfolio reviews with support from more than 200 creatives.
New Blood Awards digital ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday July 9 (BST). Winners will be broadcast on Instagram, and will be contacted via email beforehand.
Dara Lynch, Chief Operating Officer at D&AD, commented, “As New Blood celebrates its 40th anniversary, it is equally important to reflect on what the next 40 years of creativity will look like as our industry undergoes immeasurable change. The ideas and insights of emerging talent will define the future of creativity, so it is fundamental that D&AD continues to support and inspire young creatives through the New Blood Digital Festival. We are excited to create a platform which connects emerging creatives with the industry through inspiring online sessions and portfolio reviews from creative practitioners. D&AD hope to spark innovative conversations around our five This>That themes that pave the way for our industry moving forward.”