Wax wins a coveted Black Pencil at D&AD

The Calgary shop picked up one of seven of the top prizes, while Toronto's Jam3 also nabbed a Yellow Pencil.

Canada has had a bit of a dry spell at the D&AD Awards lately. Not since Leo Burnett took home a Black Pencil eight years ago has a local agency been back on the stage. But thanks to Calgary’s Wax and Toronto’s Jam 3, the Pencil-less streak has been broken. During last night’s ceremony in London, the former shop picked up one of only seven Black awards, while the latter claimed one of the 52 Yellow trophies given out to 17 countries.

Named most likely to win a Lion in the design category this year by Taxi’s Dave Watson in strategy‘s Cannes contender series, the Wax-created annual report for the Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities made its way past multiple juries to land the top award, with the jury stating “the physical empathy it created” by placing a staple in the centre of the report to make it difficult to read, and therefore, demonstrate the challenges of having a disability, was what deemed it worthy of a Pencil. Specifically, the Black award is intended for creative work that “fundamentally changes the rules of the category.”

The Yellow Pencil was given to Jam 3 for the “Heart of the Arctic” interactive website, which was developed in partnership with Cossette for the Royal Canadian Mint. The site, which explores the Arctic through interactive animation, was developed to celebrate the Mint’s newest quarters at the time of its launch in 2013. Visitors can explore four detailed environments, while collecting 56 different animated collectible coins in order to help restore the “Heart of the Arctic.” And just last week, Cossette was awarded a Silver Pencil at One Show in New York for its part in the campaign.

Another eight Canadian shops also made it into the D&AD annual, which was previously announced, and will be published in September.

Sid Lee’s Toronto and Montreal offices both received In-Book nominations. The former is recognized for its branding of Blue Goose, an organic and natural meat supplier, while the latter made it into the book for its branding of the Art Director’s Club (ADC).

Other creative agency mentions in the book include John St. for its self-promotional “ExFEARential” spot (which was also picked as a top Cannes contender) and Leo Burnett for the “Childhood Photos,” which compared images of homeless men and women to those taken when they were children, created for Raising the Roof. And another youth-focused cause campaign, this time for Grey and the Missing Children Society of Canada’s “World’s Most Valuable Check-In,” will also be recognized in the annual.

Moment Factory, for its “Immersive Multimedia Architecture” created for LAX (which also won a Silver Pencil at One Show), The Grid, for its layout and design, as well as MacLaren McCann, for the “Story Of I” digital film it produced for Wendy’s, will also be featured in the book.