Office Supplies Become Playful Machines In Stunning Title Sequence

The tools used by designers aren’t just tools: they’re impressively designed objects in themselves. That’s the message in Douglas Bowden’s smart title sequence for the British D&AD Awards (the awards are known colloquially as the Yellow Pencils and formally as “Design and Art Direction”). Given that D&AD is one of the most prestigious awards out there for all things visual design, it’s especially cool to see Bowden create motion out of the iconic shapes of office supplies.

The point, if we’re to take this sequence metaphorically, is that small parts play a role in the larger picture. That goes for how stuff’s made as well as how it’s packaged. The D&AD Awards bestow accolades on everything from graphic design to packaging design, ad copy, and of course product design.

Which is why it’s especially enthralling to see Bowden nod to each of these areas in the title sequence, a kind of splashy domino-effect design that pays homage to its working parts. That includes everyday office supplies: pencils, string, pads of paper, wood, and an array of paper with letters in large black fonts–and each object depends on the ones before and after it, to do its job. The smooth sequence, and the final result, stresses that design, however seamless it appears, is carefully wrought. (A bonus: The D&AD Awards themselves are styled after pencils, the main act in Bowden’s video.)

Bowden’s style tilts to the swirly and abstract, as you can see in his work with Nike, New Scientist, and others. So the title sequence for the 214 D&AD Awards is very much in his wheelhouse. This year’s award winners include such disparate projects as experiments from IBM, campaigns from Louis Vuitton, and a CGI child designed to catch pedophiles. See the list of winners here.DN