Love Irish Food, don’t love the logo

Love Irish Food logo design

Love Irish Food has been billed as one of the biggest promotional campaigns of the autumn. More than 30 of the Irish food sector’s major players, including Tayto, Ballygowan, Batchelors, and Barry’s Tea, have come together to in an attempt to boost sales. In the coming months, these brands will begin to carry the “Love Irish Food” logo on their products.

Chairman Jim Power said the logo gives “an absolute assurance to consumers that the brand carrying this symbol is above all else, a truly Irish brand with the hallmarks of quality, heritage and values synonymous with trusted Irish brands”.

Brands can only carry the logo if at least 80 per cent of the product’s manufacturing process takes place in Ireland and if ingredients are sourced locally where possible.

In a survey of some 400 people (mentioned here), 72% said they bought or tended to buy what they knew to be Irish brands, so the venture seems like a good idea (even if the survey is lightweight — what people say they do, and what they actually do, can be very different).

Unfortunately from a design perspective, the logo joins the likes of Blackburn Market, Barrow, and Belfast in its “compelling originality”.

belfast devon logos
Belfast City and South Hams Food and Drink

blackburn barrow logos
Blackburn Market and Barrow

Love Irish Food is based in Dublin, one of the emerald isle’s two capital cities. Surely the designer knew of the logo for the other capital city, Belfast. After all, it’s just a short skip across the border.

One of the four Dublin-based firms scooping the available business accounts seems like another strange decision:

Carat is understood to have won the media-buying pitch; Irish International has walked away with the creative work; Murray Consultants has won the PR work; and has been retained to provide a website.”

From looking at the website, I would’ve thought there’s a much more appropriate Dublin-based web design studio. A phrase about a book and its cover comes to mind, but do they even offer a design service?

Okay, so it’s still perfectly reasonable for a designer to unwittingly create a logo similar in appearance to another, even with a differing design brief and client industry. Look no further than mine, comparing it to these beauts. (Note to self: Pull your finger out, David)

Love Irish Food logo design

You can do better than that, guys.

Update #1:

I asked biz-R (the studio responsible for the Food & Drink Devon identity designed almost five years ago) for their thoughts about the similarities.

“The main shape is almost identical, the name is very similar, the colour is close, and, most importantly for trademarking law, the industry is the same. The Food & Drink Devon strapline and URL, “Love The Flavour” also bears similarities. After the publicity concerning the Belfast identity in the Irish press last year I’m particularly flabbergasted how this could happen!”

— Blair Thomson, creative director

Update #2:

I’ve been sent the logo that Love Irish Food first used to promote the concept to the food industry.

Love Irish Food logo design concept

Get your chops around that.

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