Two creatives made the D&AD yearbook that you simply by no means received

Towards the end of last year, D&AD launched its free digital yearbook. This has made the best work in the industry more accessible than ever, but also many creatives have felt that the power of the printed page has been overlooked.

D&AD digital-only year disappointments included creative team Rhys Hughes and Barret Helander, who work together at London-based communications agency Elvis. Their project The Illegal Blood Bank picked up five pencils in 2020, which meant they should appear in the book for the first time. Realizing that it wouldn't, the duo set out to create their own version of it.

The original idea was to conjure up a few copies for yourself. However, this has evolved into a limited edition of 100 copies at £ 58 each – a nod to the D & AD's 58th yearbook – and the money left over from the sale goes to the Education Fund organization.

At 542 pages, their version is roughly the size of the usual D&AD year and contains all the pencil-winning work for 2020. The book, dubbed the Bootleg D&AD Annual, relies on its unofficial "knock-off" -Status in tone and design including a cardboard lid, shady photocopy textures, and a questionable representation of D&AD typographic style as they couldn't match the official font. The D&AD annual logo has also been redesigned to match the “Not yet dead” slogan.

“We both love the book, have used it as inspiration throughout our careers as students and professions, and looked forward to the day some of our work would be in it. It was finally our year, and then it happened, ”say Hughes and Helander CR. "We believe that a real real-life book is very special, especially one that has been around for so long, and we don't believe that a website can ever completely replace it." Sir John Hegarty writes in the preface: "At a time when we have lost so much, it is important to hold on to what is valuable."

"Don't get us wrong, the website is brilliant, we just don't see why the two must be mutually exclusive. As soon as we did it, we saw how well a physical and digital yearbook could potentially work together," they add added.

While the disclaimer states that the text and images have mainly been removed from the annual digital storefront rather than going through an official process, the team has been in talks with D&AD for some time who "couldn't have been nicer," Hughes and explain to Helander. “They were very clear that they could not support what we were doing in any way, but would be kind to our efforts. They understood that our campaign was a recognition for D&AD and even gave us a glimpse into the digital yearbook. "

They hope that the Bootleg Annual will show the appetite for both a book and a website, and that it will be possible to print a book that is carbon offset (the Bootleg Annual is certified carbon neutral) without causing any losses . "Above all, we want D & AD to feel the love," say Barret and Helander. "Our entire campaign is out of the love of your book, your brand and how much you have done for creativity in almost 60 years. Without you, there is none of it."

The duo haven't ruled out doing it again next time or passing the torch on to another creative team. However, they say their ultimate goal is to get D&AD to reconsider the print of the year – and calls are already being made for the project to appear in next year's book.

The Bootleg Annual 2020 is available for £ 58 in a limited edition of 100.