The Irish state consists of 17 government departments and over 300 associated bodies. In the nearly one hundred years since the foundation of the state, many of these entities have developed their own separate identities or have presented themselves with no consistent approach to the identity of communications. This led to a lack of recognition by the public between state and private bodies. The disparate expressions were also believed to drive further fragmentation and competition between agencies that all ultimately share the same role of serving the Irish people.
As part of a wider programme to streamline and improve communications across government, it was decided to implement a unified identity system.
The system was designed around the State harp (the emblem of the State as defined by law) and needed to conform with the Languages Act. We created a definitive version for the State Harp based on its legal description, and a simplified version for use online. A range of standard lock-ups was also devised to accommodate both languages and the considerable variation in length that exists across department and agency names. Green was adopted as the State colour (it was formerly blue) and a series of supporting elements and guidelines were created to support the effective roll-out of the system.
As of January 2019 all of the government departments have adopted the unified identity and over the course of the next couple of years, it is expected that over one hundred other agencies or bodies will adopt this system.
The identity has been positively received by those who have adopted it to date. We believe that the unified identity will assist in progressing the role of design to a more fundamental level within government, guiding the development and delivery of better government services. This makes even more sense as government sets about consolidating its communications around gov.ie and the ambition to provide citizens with a single point of access to a coordinated and integrated range of services.