Since starting my teaching career, I have always been a firm believer that a Design Technology classroom should be run like a Design Agency. Students should be prepared for a career in industry and understand how designers work and live in the real world – so this idea has been inspired by the D&AD Yellow Pencil.
This is the original D&AD Yellow Pencil Award. Design and Art Direction (D&AD) is a British educational charity which exists to promote excellence in design and advertising. The annual D&AD Awards are highly respected, and regarded as one of the major events in the world of design and advertising. Two kinds of awards are given out, a Yellow Pencil (normally known as a gold award) and a Black Pencil, in various categories ranging from environmental design to billboard adverts and animation shorts. The Yellow Pencil Award is widely considered as one of the most prestigious and difficult-to-win awards in design and advertising. Winning a D&AD Pencil remains the pinnacle of many designers careers.
Inspired by the idea of the D&AD awards, I wanted to create something similar for outstanding Design Technology students.
At the start of each academic year, students are informed about the Yellow Pencil Awards and the criteria needed to win one. The awards are given for outstanding design work, innovation and creative solutions to briefs. Throughout the year, students will be nominated for an award. They will know that they have been nominated when a ‘nomination sticker’ is placed on their outstanding piece of work. The student will also receive a nomination postcard home (both resources available to download below). All nomination entries are recorded by the department throughout the year and at the end of the year, the department will judge all nominations and award 1 student from each year group with a Yellow Pencil.
Each Yellow Pencil is 110mm high. It is effectively a trophy and is personalised with each winning students name, year group, DT subject and the school logo.
Students (and staff) love these! It is relevant to the subject because it is something that is highly regarded (and real) in industry. It is also something that students can keep forever and really rewards creative students, rather than students that are well behaved or getting high grades. Due to this, I think that it is very important that only a couple are awarded each year, this keeps the Yellow Pencils prestigious and special- like the real thing!
Instructions on how to make these little Yellow Pencil Awards can be downloaded for free below, along with the nomination stickers and postcards.
Free Resource: DOWNLOAD