Irish Traditional Music Archive

A contemporary brand identity for the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA), the guardian of the most extensive collection of Irish traditional music in existence, that also pays homage to the Archive's historic origins.

The Background

The Irish Traditional Music Archive's purpose is to collect, preserve, organise and circulate materials regarding Irish traditional song, music and dance. It may be deeply rooted in history, but traditional music is very much a living, breathing art form. This was something the ITMA wanted to reflect in a new brand identity.

In an initial series of workshop sessions and one-to-one interviews, it became clear that ITMA's staff take enormous pride in their work. We were able to experience that first-hand when our design team visited the archive. Handling the instruments, listening to the music, and reviewing the ITMA's collection of documents, articles, manuscripts and papers, we saw the importance of embracing and expressing Irishness, but in a future-facing way that avoided cliché.

The idea

With its knowledge of the past and its constant engagement with what is happening in the contemporary scene, the Irish Traditional Music Archive acts as a reference point for the past while inspiring creativity today to a broad number of audiences.

Our goal was to engage in the same way as the Archive, to connect the historic and contemporary, and to engage multiple visitor generations.

The Execution

In the ITMA archive, we saw extensive use of Gaelic type (sometimes called Irish type or Gaelic script) in print materials. A typeface featured heavily in Irish traditional music, from lyrics in songbooks to pub signage where the music is so often heard, the logotype we designed is based on a modernised version.

Crafted to be contemporary while paying homage to its historic origins, the letterforms evoke a sense of dance and movement, the idea being that traditional Irish music is very much a living and relevant art form. The rich colour palette adds a sense of ITMA being rooted in Ireland and inspired by the historic songbook covers in The Archive.

Project Team

Catherine Roberston

ITMA Hero 2000x1125px
ITMA 2000x835px
ITMA 735x496px1
ITMA Toolkit 2000x1125px1
ITMA Toolkit 2000x1125px2
ITMA Toolkit 2000x1125px3
ITMA Toolkit 2000x1125px4
ITMA 735x496px2
ITMA 735x496px3
ITMA Slide 2000x1125px1
ITMA 1600x900px1
ITMA 2000x1125px

Special thanks to our collaborators

Max Phillips (Typographer)

Mary Jennings (Brand Strategy)

Next Up
TA Hero 2000x1125px Photography: Aileen Dillon | Art Direction: Laura O’Neill
Brand Identity _
Together Academy

A contemporary, energetic and engaging brand for Together Academy, a unique college and social enterprise cafe in Dublin, that offers a critical social and support network for adults with Down Syndrome.

Umusic 1
Brand Strategy _ Brand Identity _
Universal Music

Universal Music Group is the biggest record label in the world and home to a diverse roster of artists across an iconic array of labels. UMUSIC, the business-to-consumer side of the business has been around for 10 years. So too had its logo. That’s why Universal Music Group approached us about a new visual identity for the UMUSIC brand, one which could help stamp its mark on the next decade.


Want to work together?

If you would like to chat about a creative project, we’d love to meet you. Our door is always open here at Ely Place.

Contact Us