D&AD Unveils Changes and New Categories in 2022 Awards Show

D&AD has announced key changes in categories for its 2022 Awards. The revised program addresses fundamental themes currently permeating the creative industries and aims to ensure that the awards remain a benchmark for creative excellence in design and advertising.

“To reflect and represent the evolving landscape in the creative sector, D&AD have introduced a new focus on categories that recognise the work of those who have risen up and found solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time,” Donal Keenan, Awards Director at D&AD, explains.

The Upstream Innovation subcategories will award those who are rethinking products and services at the design stage so that they fit within a circular system. Whether it be developing new concepts and materials, applying reuse models, or finding other ways to circulate components, entries in these subcategories are intentionally designing out waste and plastic pollution.


A new range of Responsible subcategories across Experiential, Product, and Spatial Design will continue to champion work that’s mindful of people and the planet and demonstrates how the constraints of responsibility can be a catalyst for great creative ideas.

2021 has seen a massive increase in the use of augmented, virtual and mixed realities to convey a brand’s message. As a response, D&AD has included dedicated subcategories for AR, VR, and MR work in Experiential, Gaming and Entertainment. In addition, Use of XR subcategories will recognize this work in six other areas of the Awards, alongside emerging technologies that create an immersive experience; reimagining how brands interact with consumers.

To give space to all those who are effectively communicating and innovating in the field of health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition, from awareness campaigns to portable healthcare products, D&AD has included eight subcategories under Health & Wellbeing.


Creative Transformation replaces Design Transformation to encompass a broader and more inclusive range of creative outputs that have transformed businesses to provide value and enhance the customer experience.

To continue its commitment to improving accessibility and diversity in the creative sector, D&AD has announced 40% off all entries received by 12 January 2022.

Now in its 60th consecutive year, the D&AD Awards have grown to incorporate more than 40 categories, judged by a cohort of nearly 400 of the world’s leading creatives from across the full spectrum of design, advertising, craft, production, and impact disciplines.

Amongst them, Tara Ford, Chief Creative Officer at The Monkeys, will be leading the Digital category; Trevor Robinson OBE, Executive Creative Director at Quiet Storm, is heading up the Entertainment jury; and Nils Leonard, Founder of Uncommon Creative Studio, will drive the Writing for Advertising selection.

The D&AD Awards Ceremony will be held over two nights on the 25th and 26th of May and broadcast live, as many international travel restrictions may still be in place. Watch parties localized in global cities, such as New York, São Paulo, London, and Sydney, will aim to bring back some of the in-person elements to the Awards.


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