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D&AD and Leo Burnett are on the hunt for New Blood

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D&AD, who recently hosted the first ever D&AD Festival at the Truman Brewery in east London, have now announced their intentions to mount a search in the big smoke for untapped creative talent. D&AD are on a mission to find it and deliver a fresh perspective to the creative industries by introducing young, creative minds to creative careers with the New Blood Shift. Bringing over 50 years of creative excellence and experience to the table, D&AD and New Blood Shift are set to educate, connect and enable young people from London to take a step closer to the creative career of their dreams. This isn’t about connecting people with any single agency either, as D&AD wants everyone to get involved, to share time or knowledge to make this project a success.

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What is it?

New Blood Shift, with the support of Leo Burnett, wants to uncover raw talent and propel them into the industry with their passion and drive. Through a free 12-week night school run by the best in the business, chosen participants will get up to speed on what it means to be an advertising creative. As it is an evening programme, participants can still attend the courses without having to give up on their current job (which can often be an impossibility if you’re living in London). Once the course is complete, mentorships and paid placements will be up for grabs, enabling the ultimate first step into a creative career.

Who is it for?

D&AD believes that the creative industries need more diversity and this can only happen if the emerging talent comes from the biggest possible pool. This isn’t a programme for university graduates, it is for talented young people aged between 18-26, who haven’t been to university but who really want to get their teeth into a career in advertising or design. There is no brief to answer, the only entry requirement is that they must be creative. This can take any form, from blogging to poetry, coding to social media, writing music to painting, creating street art to illustration. They don’t expect experts on the creative industry just an interest in finding out how they could turn creativity into a job.

How does it work?

Applications are open from today and potential applicants can apply here until the beginning of June. After all the applications have been assessed, up to 50 applicants will then be shortlisted for an exclusive exhibition that will take place in early July where top industry leaders will be invited to see the work and meet the applicants. From here, up to 15 of the applicants will be selected to go through to the night school which will begin in September and run for 12 weeks. Imparting knowledge in everything that is needed to understand the industry and create an unforgettable portfolio, New Blood Shift graduates will then be networked with agencies and studios alike in order to create fantastic connections for moving forwards.

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Mark Tutssel, Global CCO at Leo Burnett, said: “I think talent resides everywhere, historically our source has always been through education and the usual outlets like universities and art collages, but if you look outside of that, people everywhere have a talent, everybody is creative. I’m always looking for people who challenge the status quo, who point a compass to the future and bring new fresh innovative imaginative ideas to the table. I’m delighted at the partnership that Leo Burnett has with New Blood Shift, because it represents an open door for new talent. An invitation to step into our world and to grow as an individual and to find that skill set that resides in you and to bring that out in a fresh new way.”

Paul Drake, Foundation Director at D&AD, added: “Diversity in the advertising and design industry is rightly a hot topic, but although many people are talking about it, we need more action. New Blood Shift is an ambitious project that we need the whole industry to get behind.”

D&AD wants to get the word out as far and as wide as possible. The programme is completely free for applicants and is a real step towards inviting people into the industry based on talent, not just grades or connections. Although the programme is only running in London this year, D&AD hope to be able to roll out similar schemes in different cities globally in coming years. 

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