D&AD - annual and pencil exhibition launch party

last week i got invited to the launch party for this years d&ad annual, at the RCA. the party coincided with the first night private viewing of the d&ad's pencil exhibition.

the night was a surprisingly good mix of show and interest. a few speeches from neville brody, simon waterfall (and an RCA professors, who was too boring to remember) and then it was on to the free wine and show. you can see a video on campaign's website of the party.

the exhibition itself was fascinating. every single annual from the past 45 years was laid out with cover and selected work inside massive yellow pencils. the range of styles and quality over the 45 years was amazing to watch chronologically unfold. each had comments from previous d&ad presidents which provided a fantastic retrospect. the programme for the event was designed by build and printed by local boys generation press. another nicely crafted piece of work from paul and michael which uses duplexing, foil and die-cutting. the design is a bit of a typographic rollercoaster, but perfect for the target audience.

members were also able to pick up their copies of the is years annual. as i mentioned in previous posts, neville brody designed this years annual and it already stands out as a high point in the annual's progression.

unpacking this annual is not unlike unpacking an apple product. the first thing to note is the presentation slip case, with hexagon cut outs. the next thing that hits you is that it is not hard back or closed bound. the spine is completely exposed and printed across. by not making it hard backed it's much easy to read through. inside the typographic treatment is pitched perfectly. it's very strong, but not painfully fashionable. the intro and end pages are where the design's volume gets turned up, but it's the details and navigation that makes it a beautifully poised piece of work. on the work pages the necessary information is both accessible and discreet. overall it is a stunning piece of work. i would not like the task of designing next years follow up.

i have to admit when i picked my copy up i cursed it. it is a heavy sucker and i carried my copy all the way from kensington to brighton. 'small pains for big gains' as they say.

hey look at me in there.