Following months of hard work, stiff competition from 19 other design students and a whole lot of creativity and imagination, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) student Laura Keane, from Carrick-on-Suir was selected as the winner of the â€˜Brand Lismoreâ€™ logo competition recently.
Laura is a third year student on the BA (Hons) in Design (Visual Communications) course in the Department of Creative & Performing Arts at WIT.
Her logo, which features a silhouette of the tower of Lismore Castle incorporated in a two-tone leaf design, will be adopted by Lismore Marketing Group who will use it as a universal logo for Lismore town and all local businesses and visitor attractions.
The prize will be presented to Laura and WIT in a ceremony this May, to coincide with a celebration to mark the 400th anniversary of the granting of a charter to Lismore. However, the greatest prize is perhaps the considerable prestige of seeing her logo adopted and used as a single symbol to market Lismore and its many attractions and Laura will now work closely with the town to create some brand prototypes for an official launch of the brand identity in May.
Lauraâ€™s inspiration for the design came from a day-long visit to Lismore.
â€œI was struck by the prominence of nature and also of the castle. I took photos and spoke to locals to generally got a vibe for the place. I had only been to Lismore once, as a child. Itâ€™s a beautiful town.â€
Laura acknowledges the â€˜great advice and supportâ€™ of her tutors Rodger Cropera and John Tarpey in the Department of Creative & Performing Arts. Otherwise, she had no particular influence, saying she likes to look at a lot of different areas regarding a project, not just in terms of logos, but also different forms, colours, fashions and so on.
The competition was open to all third year design students in Ireland with students from WIT, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art submitting work for the competition. Each college submitted five finalists and all 20 projects went on display for a week in St Carthageâ€™s Hall, the off-site exhibition space of the internationally respected art gallery, Lismore Castle Arts.
Following the exhibition, four students, two of whom were from WIT, were shortlisted but Laura was the successful candidate.
Marian Oâ€™Neill, Head of Department of Creative and Performing Arts said: â€œIn undertaking this competition, we prepare our students for industry and create an awareness of what graphic design is and how it can be used to enhance the visual quality of our surroundings.â€
He thanked course leader, Lorenzo Tonti, who saw the value and potential in undertaking this real-life project; lecturers John Tarpey and Rodger Cropera, who worked with the students; John Gavin, graphic designer, who provided visiting lecturer expertise; the students who wholeheartedly embraced the project, the winning student Laura Keane and runner-up Fiona Oâ€™Farrel.
â€œGreat thanks must go to the enterprising people of Lismore who were the most delightful of clients. We are thrilled to be associated with a project that both engages with people and enhances the image and quality of life in a small, beautiful Irish town. We look forward to Lismoreâ€™s new brand identity being implemented and to the continuing success of our course.â€
The idea for the novel brand competition itself was conceived by the Lismore Marketing Group. Lismore, well known for its long history, visitor attractions and to many for its considerable success in the National Tidy Towns competition through the years, hopes the new logo will become a rallying point for all the businesses in the area, both touristic and otherwise, to market themselves collectively to the wider world.
Mealla Fahey of Lismore Heritage Centre stated that the standard of the entries was very high and it was a difficult decision for the panel of judges to make, but that they are delighted with the winning design and look forward to seeing the brand represent Lismoreâ€.