Clare student designs new Irish Music Award

Clare student designs new Irish Music Award


A Clare student from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) – along with her Cavan teammate – has hit the right note with their design for a new trophy that will be awarded to music artists with a number one single or album, on the IRMA Official Chart. 

The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) worked in partnership with NCAD in its search for an innovative and eye-catching trophy design for this new musical award, opening the competition to teams of NCAD students. 27 NCAD students took part in the competition, including Ballyvaughan native Katie O’Brien, working in small design teams that aimed to conceive and develop an innovative new design. The final designs were then evaluated by competition judges including Bláthnaid Treacy, presenter of the weekly National Charts Show on RTÉ 2FM every Friday evening, and representatives of the Official Charts Company, who compile the Irish music charts.

Katie O’Brien and her team-mate Kate McKenna were recently told they won the design prize, and both partook in a photocall at RTÉ with presenter Bláthnaid Treacy last Friday with the trophy prototype. Katie, 21, hails from Ballyvaughan and previously attended Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna before taking up a place on the Bachelor of Science Product Design degree course in NCAD. She said that the pair – who are classmates – had previously worked together on several other projects, and were delighted when they got the news:

“The trophy design was based on the ask from Universal (Music Ireland) that it would be simplistic as well as symbolising being the best in music. It does mean a lot to win this because it is the first of our designs to ever be produced, as well as being presented to major artists,”

Katie is currently still studying while on an internship at Boston Scientific in Galway and her family all still live in Ballyvaughan.

Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the new trophy design and we were blown away with the quality of the designs that the NCAD students developed. This is a really important new award for music artists and it is open to Irish and international artists alike. This fabulous new award will recognise their huge achievement in getting to the top of the Irish single or album charts. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the NCAD project team and students who worked on this fantastic project.”

Aoife McInerney, National College of Art and Design said that the college are very proud of the quality designs that NCAD students devised: “The standard of design work and presentation was exceptional from all those involved in this competition. We’d also like to recognise IRMA for choosing to partner with us on this project. Initiatives like this are a great way to showcase the really strong design ability among NCAD students, as well as recognising exceptional flair, talent and execution,” she said.

Irish rock band Inhaler were the first recipient of the award when their new album “It Won’t Always Be Like This” went to number one in the Irish charts last week.