2019 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
CategoryPromotional Item Design


When the Taliban invaded Northern Pakistan, they banned girls from attending school, often resorting to violence to enforce edicts. Opposition was punished by execution, yet brave schoolgirls such as Malala Yousufzai, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz fought back by continuing to go to school. And in 2012, they were shot for it. Fortunately, all three girls survived their injuries, and continued to speak up for education. To honor their fight, and to tell their story, the brief was to create a book cover and design for their biography. The objective was not only to inspire and motivate Pakistani girls to go to school regardless of hurdles, but to do it in a manner that exemplified the three girls' strength. The production budget was minimal, and was planned to be recovered through sales. The limited-edition releases are designed to also raise funds for schools in NorthernPakistan.

Describe the creative idea.

Tasked with designing the brave biography of Malala, Shazia and Kainat, we designed more than just a cover and a book: we built a symbol with the ultimate message of resistance - a book that speaks of knowledge being more powerful than any bullet that might try to stop it. But we didn't just want the book to say that it was powerful. We wanted the book to PROVE it. Introducing the world's first bulletproof novel: a book that tells the girls' stories on paper but is bound with a cover made of bullet-resistant Kevlar-XP fiber with the capability of halting a 9mm bullet fired at close range. In the words of Malala: "What frightens extremists most is a girl with a book.”

Describe the strategy.

The design and art direction strategy behind the work was to be like the girls themselves: bold, outrageous, bulletproof. While considering options of art-directing the cover, we felt that a novel should indeed be judged by its cover, which in this case stood for a clear, concise message. This is more than just a design: it is a functioning testament to what Malala, Shazia, and Kainat stand for: resistance and bravery. Our target audience was two-tiered: on a grander scale, we wanted the book to inspire whomever heard of it. On a more direct scale, we were reaching collectors of limited edition books who would spend a great deal to obtain a copy, and thus contribute to funds for girls' schools.

Describe the execution.

The material used to make the book cover is Kevlar XP, a high-grade, lightweight bulletproof fiber manufactured by DuPont. Constructed with 10 layers of fiber panels pressed and stitched together, the cover is able to halt a 9mm bullet fired from as close as 5 meters, conditions which were almost similar in the girls' shooting incident. The color of the ink used in the book is the same as government school girl uniforms in Pakistan. The text for the book was compiled and edited from live interviews with the girls in their hometown of Swat, an area in northern Pakistan which was occupied by the Taliban. The book, formally announced on World Book Day, has been mailed to influencers, leaders, and libraries, and has been sold online and offline. All profits go to charities under SOC Outreach Foundation to help girls' education.

List the results.

Almost half a billion impressions took the story of the novel to every corner of the country. The BBC wrote that "This book sends a clear message that knowledge is unstoppable." Arab News claimed that this campaign "Inspires and motivates girls to go to school." The book proceeds have been donated to a cause benefitting schools that teach the orphans of Taliban victims. Almost all the limited edition books have been sold. The final 10 signed books will be auctioned at a large event in Pakistan.


Name Company Role
Ali Rez BBDO Pakistan / Impact BBDO Executive Creative Director
Sanam Maher Sanam Maher Writer
Ryan Atkinson Impact BBDO Design Creative Director
Paul Shearer Impact BBDO Chief Creative Officer
Hyunseo Yoo Impact BBDO Designer
Insiya Syed Insiya Syed Photographer
Tennyson Torcato Impact BBDO Creative Services Director
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Strategic Planning Director
Hira Mohibullah BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Aamna Rahim BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director
Saks Afridi Saks Afridi Artist
Huma Mobin BBDO Pakistan Writer
Akash Goel Akash Goel Coordinator
Mohammad Ali BBDO Pakistan Online Developer
Moiz Khan BBDO Pakistan Associate Creative Director
Abid Abbas SOC Films Editor
Huma Shah SOC Films Editor
Joris Bosdriesz Impact BBDO Motion Designer
Assam Khalid BBDO Pakistan Creative Director
Ali Rez BBDO Pakistan Creative Director