The annual D&AD Awards have finally announced their winners and we are proud to say that our Malaysian advertising students have bagged one of their prestigious awards. Each year, the Design and Art Direction Awards gather the world's best creative work from across the commercial design, advertising and craft disciplines to be judged by a cohort of nearly 400 of the world’s leading creative minds. The Awards recognise work that has made a moving impact and will inspire seasoned talent as well as the next generation.
This year, the Advertising & Graphic Design students from The One Academy Penang won a Wood Pencil Award. Entering the New Blood category as a team project for the Google and HMCT brief, students Kelly Ooi, Shashweeney Devi, Ong Ji Wei and Goh Yong Sin took home a Wood Pencil for their outstanding and impactful project, “Oversight”. This award represents the best of the year in advertising, design, craft, culture and impact.
“We were absolutely floored. It was an immense rush of joy and disbelief while trying to wrap our minds around the fact that our work was acknowledged and deemed exceptional by industry professionals. Getting shortlisted in the D&AD New Blood Awards seemed like a dream that we didn’t even dare to imagine,” said Kelly.
As part of the brief, they had to utilise typography and words to create awareness on a human rights issue of their choosing. The “Oversight” project was based on fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, whose plights are rather often overlooked and forgotten. It was brought to their attention through research and by just observing the public places in their own country, how hard it is for the disabled to be independent and move around freely without having to ask for assistance.
The part of the project that drove it through the finish line was when they created posters that will be installed at places pointing out the flaws of public structures that cause inaccessibility. Instead of a boring stagnant poster ad across the street, these students went the extra mile in not only raising awareness but actually making a difference.
“With the guidance of our lecturers, we’ve learnt to always think out of the box, have courage to try something that hasn’t been attempted by anyone else, the significance of having faith and believing in your own ideas, and knowing when to kill a fruitless idea. Having excellent software proficiency is also a vital key in having the ability to create the visuals exactly as we envisioned it to be”. The perseverance of these students did not go to waste as they were awarded such high recognition out of thousands of entries from all around the world.
When asked if they had any advice for aspiring creative students, all four agreed with the saying, “You’ll never know if you never try”. They believe the biggest reward you can ever receive in any field can only be achieved if you keep trying. It does not matter how far fetched or crazy your end goal or dreams are, it is all about persistence and finding a million ways to achieve it.