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Friday, 11 December 2015

Branding for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive: The Voice of Irish Poets

Lascelles Abercrombie

Head of Development and Strategic Programmes for UCD Library, Ursula Byrne and UCD Digital Library went about curating an archive of the spoken word. As Mr. Abercrombie states above, poetry is intended for the ear and not just for paper. This archive allows audiences to experience the authors’ own interpretation audibly. This archive is the first of its kind in Ireland and features Irish and English language poets.

The Library Outreach team, Ursula Byrne and I, worked on the branding of this initiative together. First I presented Ursula with mood boards of modern and traditional imagery. Seeing this, she was confident that the look should be modern. As the archive is fundamentally about rhythm and sound I decided to include elements representing this like the soundwave.

Ursula suggested that the palette be reflective of the tricolour. At first I was hesitant but decided to approach this as a design challenge. I didn’t want a palette that was reminiscent of Irish novelty souvenirs but I’m pleased with the tones I choose and think they express the Archives’ modernity.  

The Irish and English language booklet was produced first. This was translated with the help of UCD Bord na Gaeilge. The Irish and English versions were designed separately in Adobe InDesign and then collated by the printer. Stock photography of recording equipment was used to create the booklet and it is printed on a heavy 200gsm satin paper which gives it a luxurious feel to the touch.

Irish Poetry Reading Archive, Irish and English booklet 
A pull up banner was designed for the Archive’s launch. The same overall look was used.
Melanie with Ireland Chair of Poetry Paula Meehan
The launch on the 2nd of December 2015 in Newman House, Dublin City Centre was a roaring success. Minister for the Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys was in attendance as well as the Ireland Chair of Poetry, poet and author, Paula Meehan. Poets Biddy Jenkinson and Michael Coady also spoke at its opening.

Ireland Chair of Poetry Paula Meehan and Minister for the Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys in front of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive pull up Banner
Minister for the Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys speaking at the launch of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive in Newman House
The Archive received enviable press coverage with an article being featured in the Irish Times which you can read here: 

You can access the archive and read the booklet here:

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