This year I looked through two advertising annuals.
Well actually I looked through one.
The other one was impenetrable.
This used to be the first annual I turned to every year.
When I was a junior, I pored over it and read every section.
I couldn’t have told you what won the awards, I didn’t care.
But I did know every ad that got into the annual.
I studied every layout, and read every piece of copy.
However, D&AD isn’t an advertising awards annual at all now.
Now it’s a piece of design.
Presumably it’s what designers think looks modern and stylish.
There can’t be any other reason it looks the way it does.
It’s certainly not functional, it barely communicates.
It has all the visual appeal of a railway timetable.
This year’s D&AD annual is broken down into seven little books.
And only one of those seven little books is about advertising.
That makes the new D&AD annual about 14% relevant to me.
And 86% not.
But wait, there’s less.
Of that 14%, a huge chunk isn’t even UK advertising.
Not only is advertising, per se, now only a part of D&AD’s annual.
UK advertising is only part of D&AD’s international operation.
So, let’s be generous, that leaves 10%.
Fair enough, can I just buy the 10% I want?
Well no, you have to pay for the 90% you don’t want as well.
But what if I want an annual that’s just about the best of British advertising?
There is another option, Creative Circle.
Last year, Mark Denton and Dave Dye put out the best annual I’ve seen in years.
The book was so beautifully done, it’s something you really want to keep.
The entire thing was done in the style of The Beano and The Dandy.
Which is about as English as you can get.
Put together in the style of the comics we all pored over as children.
There’s even a DPS of Saint David of Abbott done by the person who draws the Bash Street Kids.
And, because it’s just British advertising, you won’t find a “Best Interactive Use Of A Hosepipe In a Foreign Language” category.
Just advertising done for the same 60 million people that you and I have to advertise to.
A book that’s about the context we operate in.
And it’s done by, and for, people like that, too.
This year the President of Creative Circle is Trevor Beattie.
Trevor’s agency falls foul of D&AD on two counts.
Number one, it does advertising.
Number two, it does advertising for people in this country.
Normal, ordinary people who read The Sun.
A controversial strategy nowadays.
However, if these things don’t offend you, you might consider entering your work for Creative Circle.
If you don’t mind an awards scheme that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
An advertising annual that doesn’t look as if it was done for, and by, Swedish architects.
Have a look at last year’s D&AD for yourself.
Then have a look last year’s Creative Circle annual.
Ask yourself where you’d prefer your work to go this year.
Sure, Creative Circle can’t compete with D&AD’s massive global domination.
True, it is just a small, local, advertising awards scheme,
Funny that’s what D&AD used to be years ago.
When I thought it was really good.