The famous signs of Ireland: 5 influential examples

Ireland is a country that prides itself on its culture in every sense of the word. For being such a small country, Ireland is internationally famous for its vibrant blend of history, music and folklore which stretches its influence to every corner of the planet.

Throughout the years, these cultural impacts have formed some extremely famous bits of signage which appear up and down the country from county Dublin to Derry and are physical proof of what it means to be Irish.

So grab yourself a Guinness, don the famous colours of green, white & orange and read our picks for the most influential signs of Ireland  

1.) The Guinness Storehouse gate

When you think of Ireland, naturally one of the main things you will think of is Guinness. The famous back stout was first brewed in 1759 by Arthur Guinness at St. James’s gate brewery, Dublin, and has since cemented itself as the country’s pride and joy. Fast forward all these years and the Guinness storehouse is one of the biggest tourist attractions for visitors of the capital and boasts a highly impressive bit of signage that encapsulates the history of the brand with its thick gateway and the famous golden harp appearing front and centre. 

Irish Signage

2.) The Temple Bar

Irish Signage

The Temple Bar is up there with the most famous bars in the entire world never mind Ireland as well as being one of the most Instagrammed locations ever. The traditional signage of The Temple Bar embodies Irish heritage with its old Guinness advertisements and keeps a clear historical vibe to all who pass by. Leaning towards this historical signage is what gives the Temple Bar its distinct feel as a ‘proper’ pub as where it misses Neon or LED illumination, it makes up for in a profound sense of culture that is nothing short of timeless. 

3.) Derry/ Londonderry signs

This bit of signage is not necessarily a design wonder but more a general way-finding sign for traffic, letting them know the direction to Derry/ Londonderry. Although this is the case, these signs epitomise the total split in views between British loyalists and Irish republicans in a turf war which has lasted hundreds of years. For many Irish nationalists, the name ‘Derry’ represents their cultural and historical identity, and the use of ‘Londonderry’ is seen as a symbol of British colonialism and oppression. 

As a result, some individuals and groups have taken the use of ‘Londonderry’ as a symbol of British Colonialism and oppression. As a result, some individuals and groups have taken to defacing or altering the signs that read ‘Londonderry’ to read ‘Derry’. 

Irish Signage

4.) Built in Belfast: Titanic

Irish Signage

This sign totally complements its design sake in a big way by perfectly highlighting the grandeur of the Titanic and its often-overlooked place in Irish history. The Titanic was built in Belfast at the Harland & Wolff shipyard which was one of the largest shipyards in the world at one point and acted as a main chapter in Ireland’s industrial life. As well as being built by many Irishmen, the infamous sinking of the vessel claimed many Irish lives proving its significance in the history of Belfast and Ireland as a whole.

5.) The Ring Of Kerry Leprechauns

This is a bit of signage that delves into the massive impact of Irish folklore on the people’s identity and general superstition. Contrasting to the likes of the Banshee, a dark omen of legend that is said to warn citizens of an impending event, the leprechaun is a much light-hearted character and is said to have been spotted around the ring of Kerry in Southwest Ireland. These little road signs pop up everywhere and highlight the importance of folklore to the people as it provides a sense of continuity with the past and acts as a reminder of the country’s rich cultural heritage. 

Irish Signage

Here on our blog, we love looking at influential bits of signage in different areas. Check out our list on the North East of England’s most famous bits of signage here.

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