The impact of design on Irish society and business

100 Archive has undertaken a major research project that helps reveal the impact of design on life, culture and society in Ireland over the past decade.

Map Irish Design examines more than 2300 design projects gathered since 2010 for inclusion in the 100 Archive.

100 Archive is an online archive of the best in Irish communication design assembled every year from submissions by hundreds of designers across Ireland and Irish designers overseas in cities such as London, New York, Amsterdam, Oslo and other far-flung locations.

“Design completely surrounds us, such as the coffee cups we drink out of, the websites we visit, the shopfronts we pass by and the signs which help us navigate our towns and cities”

Funded by the Creative Ireland Programme, the research sought to look more closely at these projects to build a picture of communication design in Ireland: who makes it, where, with whom and why spanning a host of media, outputs and contexts – from posters for club nights to international corporate rebrands and from identities for small businesses to campaigns for major social movements.

Design for print, digital and web, typography, wayfinding and signage, packaging, identity and branding, editorial design, motion design and more are examined to show how business in Ireland continues to change, which social movements we care about and how we express ourselves creatively and culturally.

A rich media resource

Dark haired woman in red dress.

Aideen McCole, who led the project for 100 Archive. Image: Peter Rowen

Available on, the research is presented as a rich digital media resource of videos, dynamic graphics, data visualisations and stunning imagery under the four themes of building culture, changing value, shaping the everyday and expanding our horizons.

“While the 100 Archive has been gathering this material since 2012, we have never had the time or resources to really look at it and see what it says about the design industry in Ireland and the impact it has on business, culture and society in this country,” explained Aideen McCole, who led the project for 100 Archive.

“Design completely surrounds us, such as the coffee cups we drink out of, the websites we visit, the shopfronts we pass by and the signs which help us navigate our towns and cities.

“The design process shapes a significant amount of the fabricated world and the work of communication designers contributes much of our visual landscape and material culture. From the tiny details on a postage stamp to a campaign seen on banners, billboards and buses across the country, the 100 Archive reflects just how much design affects us every day.”

Map Irish Design was funded by the Creative Ireland Programme through its National Creativity Fund.

“Design in all its many iterations is integrated so firmly into our daily lives that we are often oblivious to it, however great design always stands out,” said the director of Creative Ireland Programme Tania Banotti.

“It captures our imagination, changes thinking and behaviour and sets a standard for others to follow.

“Creative Ireland is delighted to support Map Irish Design. Not only does it shine a light on Ireland’s extraordinary design community, it celebrates their work and will provide inspiration for future generations of designers and makers.”

Iconic Irish designs of past decade

young hurling player on a bench.

We Wear More mental health campaign by Gaelic Players Association, 2014. Designed by Atomic

Panels showing a woman in a red dress.

The Handmaid’s Tale interactive public display, NYC, 2017. Designed by Rory Simms at Pentagram

Blue stamps with a rocket on them.

Science Stamps for An Post, 2014. Designed by Detail Design Studio

Pictured at top: It Stops Now campaign against sexual harassment and assault by National Women’s Council of Ireland, 2018. Designed by Piquant Media

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 29 April, 2020