For the fourth year running, Hawthorn were selected to deliver full technical production for the annual D&AD Awards in 2016. Held at Battersea Evolution, the prestigious award ceremony celebrates and nurtures outstanding work in the design and advertising industry. Being awarded a D&AD pencil is recognised the world over as a shining symbol of the very best creative achievement.

Briefed to put the iconic D&AD Pencil back at the heart of the awards design, Hawthorn crafted a creative response featuring an ‘in the round’ approach to the event design, taking factors such as guest experience, use of space, entertainment, furniture and set design into consideration.


To achieve the focus upon the D&AD Pencil, we created an innovative yellow and black hexagonal central stage and awards table, incorporating the classic pencil shape throughout. Pixel mapped LED tape was inset into the stage top and an overhead camera above the stage was used to provide unique live camera footage.

Christie HD14k projectors were used to display films of the judging process, the winners and their work, on to four 30ft x 10ft screens. Accompanying these, a Barco Encore 2 presentation system supporting native 4K input and output was used, providing superior image quality.

Audio for the evening had to use a discreet but powerful system that minimised the impact on sight lines.  For this, we used 8 short drops of d&b “T” line array which were rigged from a central X shape above the main stage. Clay Paky fixtures provided the majority of lighting for the awards with Sharpys chosen for their perfectly parallel, laser-like beams and Alpha Spot QWO 800s producing an intense sparkling light, fit for the glamorous occasion.


“It’s always a pleasure to work with the creative and talented team at Hawthorn. The idea of the hexagonal in the round stage not only provided us with a distinctive set up for the ceremony but also gave it a great visual identity. Our aim this year was to put the D&AD pencil back into the heart of the award ceremony and with the help of Hawthorn, we really achieved this.”
Michelle Fischer, Senior Event Manager

Photo: James Shaw