Should you enter @DandADNewBlood ? By @Edwards92Sophie

By Sophie Edwards


Should you enter D&AD New Blood?

I learnt a lot about myself during D&AD New Blood. But realistically that’s not going to massively help you out. So instead I 6 hatted our D&AD New Blood experiences, hopefully providing different ways to think about the pros and cons of entering D&AD

6 hat thinking is method of interrogating anything. Be that an idea, a t-shirt, a holiday or… in this case a competition. You can find out more about 6 hat thinking and what each hat means in detail here.

Yellow Hat (the positives) 

  • It’s the first brief you truly care about, which means you push yourself. Lots.
  • It makes you want to improve all your other portfolio work to the same level.
  • The briefs themselves are juicy and fun to crack.
  • There’s a drive pulling you forward, because you want to prove to yourself, family, friends and classmates that you can have ideas worthy of awards
  • Anyone can enter, so aside from seeing your entries you can scout out your competition from across the world. 
  • It gives you confidence in your ability. 

Blue Hat (organisation)

  • At SCA we only spent 4 weeks on D&AD – enough to push your ideas far, but not too long that you get tired of the briefs. 
  • The class members who I think nailed D&AD this year did multiple briefs, juggling their time and thinking power. 
  • I suppose the biggest blue hat is – for the sake of organising your time a bit better, what do you have to lose? You end up with another project in your book, even if you don’t win a pencil. 

Black Hat (the negatives)

  • You can neglect your portfolio and become obsessed with the D&AD briefs. 
  • Stress. Lordy when you want something you put stress on yourself. This restricts creative thoughts and is a barrier to having fun with an idea.
  • SCA has so many wonderful mentors. Everyone has a valid opinion. Not all of them are going to agree with your idea. You cannot please them all. 
  • It is easy to skim the surface of lots of briefs and not dig into any properly. 
  • There have been a few mentors who have come in and spoken about how awards don’t matter. So should you enter? 

Green Hat (new ideas)

  • You come up with crazy thoughts, which you may not use for D&AD, but you could for another project (bingo).

White Hat (facts) 

  • Before you start, know what you want to get out of D&AD.
  • How many people get a job because they’ve won a pencil? We have had so many incredible ex-students come in who are working in the most wonderful places and who haven’t won a pencil.

Red Hat (your instinct) 

  • Follow, trust and obey your gut. 
  • Remember why you are doing D&AD, is it to to learn, to win, to get a job?

And finally, here is a hat outside the 6 hat thinking model. The brown hat. Here you have to decide – is it rubbish? 

Brown Hat (is it rubbish?) 

  • Overall. No. For me, I was able to practice and re-practice the skills I’ve learnt at school. Frantically doing press ups until your mind, body and soul can’t take it anymore. Sometimes quite horrible, but you really do feel fitter for it. D&AD has been a great learning experience – so I would recommend that everyone enters.

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