For the first time in school history, Newhouse students win at D&AD New Blood 2019

by Hairol Ma

August 2, 2019

Newhouse students take home coveted Wood Pencil awards in prestigious advertising competition.

On July 11, two student teams from the Newhouse School were recognized for their creative advertising work at the D&AD New Blood Awards Ceremony in London. Under the guidance of advertising professor of practice Mel White, senior Zantore Buoy and recent graduate Audra Linsner ’19 took home a prize for their work reimagining the universal symbol for access, while recent graduates Justina Hnatowicz ’19 and Hairol Ma ’19 won for their work destigmatizing menstruation.

Both teams won the coveted Wood Pencil Awards for the first time in school history. 

D&AD (Design and Art Direction) is a global association that exists to “stimulate, enable, and award creative excellence in design and advertising,” according to their website. Started in 1962 by a group of British creatives, the organization is now recognized as one of the global authorities in recognizing creative excellence in the advertising industry.

D&AD New Blood provides students from all over the world with the chance to earn Pencil Awards by completing a variety of briefs. With over 5,500 entrants from approximately 400 schools in 50 countries, and only 173 winners, the D&AD New Blood awards bring international recognition to Ma, Hnatowicz, Linsner and Buoy, as well as to the Newhouse School’s advertising program.

Students created entries as part of the Portfolio III course, taught by White.

“The D&AD New Blood briefs give our student creative teams a chance to solve briefs from real clients,” White says. “It’s the kind of briefs they will be expected to solve at ad agencies when they get into the industry. Winning D&AD New Blood Pencils communicates to creative directors and recruiters that those students can create the kind of breakthrough work that receives international recognition by the advertising industry. This kind of international recognition can go far when top ad agencies look for young talent.”

Buoy (copywriter) and Linsner (art director) created a winning entry for a brief sponsored by Monotype, a U.S.-based company specializing in digital typesetting and typeface design. They were tasked with translating language into “typography that [becomes] an identifier for the community.” Their winning entry is “The Inclusive Symbol of Access,” a reimagined International Symbol of Access that currently represents the disabled population. Buoy and Linsner’s solution recognizes and unites individuals with both visible and invisible disabilities by eliminating the image of a wheelchair in the icon. 

“Working on this brief for Monotype was so much fun, because it was rooted in an issue Zan and I are extremely devoted to—disability justice,” Linsner says. “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of disabled friends on all sorts of spectrums who have made me realize that disability justice is the future, and representation is one of the best ways to get there. A big shoutout to all my friends in and working for InclusiveU/Syracuse who put in the work day in and day out, creating a more inclusive society every single day.”

Ma (copywriter) and Hnatowicz (art director) completed a brief sponsored by The Case for Her, a women-focused nonprofit based in Stockholm, and McKinsey Design, the design arm of consulting giant McKinsey and Company. The open-ended brief called for entrants to destigmatize menstruation. Ma and Hnatowicz created the “While I Bleed” social campaign, which highlights the accomplishments of women while menstruating, with the goal of destigmatizing and transforming the cultural conversation around menstruation.

At the ceremony in London, students networked with industry leaders, brief sponsors and other winners.

Following the awards ceremony, the annual D&AD New Blood Festival, held July 11-13, featured talks and workshops by industry leaders and booths displaying student work. Speakers included Karina Wilsher, partner and global COO at Anomaly, Chris Rowson, executive creative director and head of design at TBWA\Chiat\Day NY, and Mike McGee, global CCO and co-founder of Framestore.

Ma and Buoy represented their respective teams at the ceremony and festival. In addition, Ma attended a private dinner with fellow winners of her brief sponsored by McKinsey Design, at which she was able to network with and meet high-level McKinsey employees.

“[This] exciting award means that advertising education in the Newhouse School has proudly met the top level of international competitions,” says James Tsao, chair of the Newhouse advertising department. "We look forward to seeing more amazing highlights like this one in the years to come.”

The awards continue a winning streak for the Newhouse School, cementing its name in creative advertising on a global scale following the win of a Future Lions award by Emily Alek ’18 and Jingpo Li ’18 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last summer.

Hairol Ma is a recent graduate of the advertising program at the Newhouse School.