The unearthing of an old computer hard drive containing hundreds of Irish logos and designs from the Celtic Tiger era has led to the production of a new zine and t-shirt. Published by Brass Neck Press, Classic Irish Logos 1999-2006 is a 22-page, A5-sized zine which features about 60 of said logos. The two people behind the project, Gary Merrin and Cóilín O’Connell kindly took some time out to tell Brian McMahon of Brand New Retro a little more about their collaboration.
How did the Classic Irish Logos project come about?
Cóilín: I think a few years ago Gary sent me the files, we forgot about them or at least I had until I was going through an old hard drive of mine looking for something else and rediscovered them. After a chat about them we decided to collaborate on producing a small publication as an archive of the logos and a t-shirt, which is a bit of fun and makes sense considering all the logos were intended for t-shirt printing.
How would you describe the logos? What were they used for?
Gary: The collection is a time capsule of ‘logo design’ from the early 2000s, that has been truly left behind. The logos were intended for t-shirt printing. Some of these logos were designed as one-offs; to celebrate a stag do or memorable event.
Some were designed at a professional level to represent corporate bodies. This was the Celtic Tiger era which is also notable. In the zine you can see that with Intel’s Corporate Clubhouse logo.
In juxtaposition to this logo, there are smaller community group logos such as Clever Little Monkey’s Martial Arts Academy or Black Widows Ireland (an actual biker club).
At the end of the day, these groups had someone create a logo to represent what they do. The variety of logos displays the differing ideas of ‘logo design’ and highlights the beauty in that.
The intro to the zine says the hard drive was discovered at a commercial printers in Dublin’s Bluebell Industrial Estate. How did you find it?
Gary: Let’s just say, the drive found us 🙂
The logo designs are shown in the zine without any contextual information. Was this by choice or was there little file data to work with?
Cóilín: The file names are for the most part the company name or an abbreviation of it, and the metadata on the files states they were created in 1974 which is clearly inaccurate.
Gary: Haha, as Cóilín says, the files were a mess. A true junkyard of gold that we sifted through to create this zine. Originally there were over 300 logos. We decided to edit down the collection in size as some logos were unsuitable. In terms of being unsuitable, we found logos that were corrupted, too low resolution or simply questionable content not fit for print.
How much is the zine and t.shirt and where can people buy them?
The zine is €8, the t-shirt €20.
Available at garymerrin.bigcartel.com/products
Tell us a little about Brassneck Press and any other upcoming projects?
Cóilín: Brass Neck Press is a small press and publishing project that I started to publish art zines and small run editions by myself and others.
We’re chatting about doing a follow up of some sort to Classic Irish Logos but the next Brass Neck publication will probably be the 2nd issue of Drain Brain, a culture zine featuring work by a variety of artists along with interviews, reviews etc.
Words: Brian McMahon