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D&AD announces programme for New Blood Digital Festival 2021

D&AD has announced the details of the New Blood Digital Festival 2021.
D&AD announces programme for New Blood Digital Festival 2021

The festival will run from 5-8 July 2021 in partnership with giffgaff, IBM and WPP. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, it will take place in a digital format - providing a virtual platform for emerging creatives to showcase their work and connect with the industry.

Across the four day festival, leading industry professionals will get the chance to share their advice and experiences through a series of talks aimed at helping emerging creatives navigate the constantly changing industry as they launch their careers.

Topics and speakers

  • Be your own career matchmaker – how to find work and workplaces that reflect who you are.
  • Have a laugh – how to use humour in your creative work.
  • Stop comparing yourself – how to build a career in your own time and in your own way.
  • Role reversal portfolio reviews – flipping the portfolio review on its head by chatting to a big name creative about their portfolio and how they got to where they are now.
A variety of creative voices across a multitude of disciplines will participate in each talk. These voices include:
  • Josh Akapo (cofounder and head of strategy, archtype),
  • Nicky Bullard (chairwoman, MRM Europe and chief creative officer, MRM UK),
  • Sherry Collins (founder, editor, writer and creative director, The Pitch Fanzine),
  • Jayanta Jenkins (head of marketing, Disney+),
  • Oliver Knowles (cofounder, Led By Donkeys),
  • Grace Lister (designer and researcher),
  • Nikky Lyle (director, Nikky Lyle Creative),
  • June Mineyama-Smithson (artist and graphic designer, MAMIMU),
  • Ben Mottershead (founder and creative director, Studio BND),
  • Murugiah (artist and designer, Murugiah),
  • Craig Oldham (founder and creative director, Office Of Craig),
  • Jessica Pettway (photographer and director, Scribble Scrabble Productions).

Portfolio Picks


As part of the festival, D&AD will run Portfolio Picks, a competition aimed at helping recent graduates and emerging creatives have their work noticed and stand out to potential future employers.

Submissions from across multiple disciplines including advertising, animation, illustration, graphic design/communication, digital design and mixed discipline will have an opportunity to be viewed and judged by some of the industry's biggest names. Select winners will be eligible for a place on The New Blood Academy with WPP, a two week creative bootcamp with some of the world’s most awarded creative agencies.

This year's festival will once again culminate with the New Blood Awards digital ceremony which will take place on the evening of Thursday 8 July (BST). This year will be a closed event to facilitate networking between winners and the judges who chose their work. The ceremony will reveal to winners which level of New Blood Pencil their work has been awarded.

Paul Drake from D&AD said, “The New Blood Festival has always celebrated the importance of nurturing and amplifying the next set of creative minds breaking into the industry. 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 programmes. The festival is a fantastic opportunity for us to highlight the amazing talent that we will see in the future and we are extremely excited to continue building a platform that can connect emerging creatives with those in the industry. Allowing them to build meaningful relationships with experienced creatives is a key step in developing their creative passion and allowing them to be successful across the industry in the years to come - and we are proud that New Blood can continue to be a part of that process.”

For more information and to access daily talks, go here.
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