The 2020 100 Archive Selection is here!

10th June 2021
by 100 Archive Team,
edited by Aideen McCole

Cover image: The 2020 100 Archive Selection is here!

Campaigns for the Department of Health, social distancing stencils and packaging for hand sanitiser; the 2020 100 Archive Selection is here! As ever, the 100 projects identified by our two selection panels reflect life in Ireland in the year just past, but as you'll see when you start exploring, the Selection shows that no matter what's going on here in Ireland or all over the globe, good design keeps getting made and keeps making an impact...

Every year since 2010 the 100 Archive has presented and reflected how contemporary communication design affects society, business and culture in Ireland, as well as the impact Irish designers have working all over the world. We do this by asking the design community to submit their work for consideration, and a two-stage assessment process results in 100 archive-worthy examples of recent design made by designers in Ireland and Irish designers overseas. This year 340 entries were submitted and as always, they represented designers of all stripes making work in all client contexts and producing a wide range of outputs: identities, typefaces, packaging, wayfinding, websites, apps, motion, books, posters, campaigns and just about anything else you can think of that makes a message visible or material.

Those 340 entries were whittled down first by our Professional Panel: thank you to Mary Ann Bolger, Deirdre Breen, Kate Brangan and Killian Walsh for their time, energy and expertise! This panel then handed 315 approved projects, all published on the site, to our Archive Panel. Each Archive Panelist created a shortlist of projects, from which we created the 2020 100 Archive Selection. Here's what the Archive Panel made of it all...

Founder and director of design studio TrueOutput:, John Gavin, sees the submissions and selection as a display of creativity in adversity:

We can all agree it’s been a very unusual year, but designers tend to thrive in adversity and this year's entries show that strength of resolve. There’s humour and bold use of colour that counteracts the dullness of the pandemic. There’s a generosity and willingness to get behind campaigns and causes that need a voice. There’s abundant creativity with impeccable execution. Such a great body of work, it’s been a joy to review.

Damian Cranney, founder and managing partner, Big Motive, sees design intersecting with many of the concerns of the day:

Another striking shortlist for this year's Archive... This selection of projects represents a diverse spread of strident graphic design and Irish communication work to mark the strange days we're living in. From new approaches to brand design that challenge convention; to packaging design that explores nuance; and work bubbling with socio-political context on subjects such as race, identity, freedom, privacy and information — this is a shortlist that's as important as it is reflective of graphic design's ability to find meaning in human challenge, economic recovery and a world of post-truth.

Along with previous Archive Panelists Noelle Cooper of Unthink and Nathalie Weadick of the Irish Architecture Foundation, this year’s panel was joined by an Archive Panel alumnus and founder and Creative Director of Together We Create, Kasia Ozmin. Kasia comments on an ever diversifying industry with craft at its core:

It was a pleasure to see a strong sense of play emerging this year through the richly diverse disciplines that fall under the design umbrella. It’s also reassuring to see that these extraordinary times have not negatively impacted our design ambitions and outcomes. I suppose it shows that when everything is in flux and there is no certainty we can rely on creativity and craft to be our constant. 

Thanks to all of the panelists, article editors, steerers, designers, developers and collaborators who contribute to the 100 Archive’s work each year. Thank you to funders and partners, notably the Heritage Council for their support of the 100 Archive in 2021. But in particular, thank you to the 126 designers who submitted work (on behalf of themselves and their many collaborators) for consideration! And remember, submitting’s for life, not just the hours before the deadline. 2021 work can be submitted from now until 31 January 2021, if you want to get a jump start...

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