Theme 1

Building Culture

With 39% of all work submitted to the 100 Archive being made for the cultural sector (more than any other category), it is clear that design plays a notable role in how we express our culture.


of projects are for the cultural sector


projects for arts festivals


visual art projects

But culture is a broad and nebulous term, and the flexibility with which we use it is reflected in the materials we find in the 100 Archive. From the smallest pop-up exhibitions and independent publications to identities for our national institutions, design helps us to unlock contemporary Irish arts and culture in the widest sense.

Interview with Ann Mulrooney, curator and cultural producer




Children's Literature

Gaelic Games


Arts & Culture

Ireland’s Arts Act (2003) identifies nine art forms —visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture — which are consequently the categories in which arts funding is typically sought and granted. But culture comes in many forms, and design is produced for all of them.

Submitted cultural projects by artform/category

DIY Culture

There are so many areas of business and society in Ireland which increase in frequency in the 100 Archive as the years have gone on: more small businesses, more construction, more food brands, more social activism, more craft beer… An area of design activity we have identified that has operated in the inverse is DIY culture, which we define as self-initiated or independent cultural activity, from pop-up exhibitions to independent publishing, design events and more. According to what we have in the 100 Archive, this activity peaked in 2013 with 20 such projects, but has seen a marked decrease ever since.

Submitted DIY culture projects year on year

Decade of centenaries

The early decades of the 20th century were turbulent, both in Ireland and further afield. 2012 saw the Irish government embark on a ‘Decade of Centenaries’ to mark just some of the key events in our shared history that had come 100 years previously. Work directly relating to these commemorations have made their way into the 100 Archive for clients including government and the national broadcaster, while cultural institutions and even independent projects make reference to what came a century before.

Submitted commemorative projects year on year


Of the 917 cultural projects in the 100 Archive, 172 are identities, campaigns, promotional materials and websites for festivals. Many of the key dates in Ireland’s cultural calendar are represented here, including some of Ireland’s longest-running arts and theatre festivals, as well as major events from right across the country. Also included are hyper local, niche and one-off programmes of cultural activity, such as a festival of films from the southern Mediterranean, a festival for Blackrock village and even a comedy festival for children.

Submissions for festivals year on year


In 2018 the FAI reported over €55 million in liabilities while the GAA announced it had revenues of €63 million. In 2017 the ISM survey found that more than 34% of Irish adults are members of sports clubs, while it is estimated that physical inactivity costs the Irish health service €1.5 billion annually. Sport in Ireland is big business, and in the 100 Archive it competes with the best.

Submissions for sport by type and output

CDs, LPs and 1 Cassette Tape

80% of the music industry’s revenue may come from streaming, but there’s still a place for physical formats: in our homes and in the 100 Archive. The rise of vinyl is mimicked in submissions to the 100 Archive and their success rates are high, aluding to the added aesthetic appeal of the LP cover.

Music submissions by type, plus success rates

In discussion

Interview with Ann Mulrooney

Enjoyed the video above? Read the full interview transcript where Ann discusses how the intention of an organisation and its identity are knitted together

Read More

Decade of Centenaries

'Designers offer clients the chance to interrogate the purpose of their endeavours so, how have they addressed and reconciled the complex histories of these issues, many of which formed the building blocks of contemporary Ireland?'

Read More

Design Initiatives

The design industry has been working to communicate what it is and what it does for as long as it’s been designing. How does the design profession portray itself and how is this manifested within the 100 Archive?

Read More

CDs, LPs and 1 Cassette Tape

A well-designed vinyl sleeve looks just as good in a design portfolio as it does when we slide it off our shelf at home and leave it lying beside our record player. The rounded aesthetic experience offered by vinyl — audible, visual and tactile — might well be swaying us all.

Read More

Designing Open House Dublin

For the first in a series looking at the graphic design work created for cultural, entertainment and sporting events in Ireland, we chat with Dublin design studio Conor & David about their ongoing work for the Irish Architecture Foundation's annual festival, Open House Dublin, happening this weekend.

Read More

Designing ADIFF

The Dublin International Film Festival has been running since 2003, bringing a host of high quality Irish and international cinema to an increasing and diversifying audience.

Read More