29 August 2019

Building a new food identity for Ireland

by Martin Dean

Taste the Island is a new annual celebration of everything that is unique and special about food and drink across the island. Ireland is known for its vibrant culture, green fields, pristine waters, a windswept coastline and high-quality food produce, and this event aims to celebrate this and create greater opportunities for Irish businesses to attract higher number of visitors outside of the already busy months of summer.

“We are creating some of the most exciting food and drink stories ever experienced on this island and our ambition is to bring Ireland’s food story to the world”

Fáilte Ireland

Collaborative workshops with Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland enabled us to draw out and articulate compelling stories about the breadth and depth of food experiences across the island. We developed the positioning to reflect the whole food story – from the farms and fisheries, to the characters, makers and creators through to authentic and locally inspired dishes and everything in between.

The Taste the Island brand identity had a very important role to play; it would serve as the primary signpost to visitors that they should expect a world class food experience. It needed to be simple and designed to co brand with hundreds of food brands. As an all Ireland celebration, and a bridge between food and the tourism industry, it needed to build off the equity and awareness of the Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland brand assets.

Building on the proposition of “A celebration of Ireland’s Food and Drink” the design system communicates a warm and friendly attitude. It is influenced by food characteristics and subtly references the typographic design of Ireland. It speaks to the land and the sea, while the iconic Shamrock and Hexagon communicate an all island initiative.

The brand voice exudes warmth and conviviality, it places an emphasis on writing beyond the end experience and brings the land, sea and everything in between into the narrative. The photography style was developed to reflect all food experiences including visits to food producers, distillers and brewers; food trails, food festivals, foraging, fishing or just sitting back to enjoy the best modern Irish cuisine in traditional pubs.

One of the first critical deliverables was the Toolkit; a full and comprehensive guide which was sent to businesses so they could understand the opportunity, the initiative and the expectations of them. The brand toolkit was then deployed to participating businesses to ensure the Taste the Island identity and system would work hard for them to attract
new customers.

We have no doubt Taste the Island will inspire greater creativity leading to exciting new food and drink experiences and events into the future.