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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Irish students have some advice for Irish Water

Which logo do you prefer?


THE UNION OF Students in Ireland has proposed a way Irish Water could have saved some of the €20,000 spent by the company on their logo and related branding, by designing one for the company at a fraction of the price.

The semi-state came under fire for the fees as others waded in to show how it could have been created for less

Now the USI has designed their own version of the logo for a fraction of the cost.

“We decided to use a cost effective micro-job website to pay an online seller to create a logo for Irish Water,” they said in a statement to

This cost a reasonable $5 or €3.70* (Current Exchange Rate) which was donated by a member of our staff, all we had to do was upload some brand specifications and wait seven days for our logo. It took all of ten minutes.

They added that Irish Water are free to use the logo.

However, while the Irish Water logo below was produced as part of the semi-state’s €20,000 spend, it must be noted that it included the complete branding of all sections of the organisation, not just the logo.

The current Irish Water logo, as seen on the back of a high-visibility jacket. (Image Credit: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

PLEASE NOTE: Following the publishing of an open letter by design students in response to the USI’s proposals, the union has released the following apology to Irish designers… (12/02/2014)

An Apology to Irish Design Students and Designers

We sent a release to two weeks ago seeking to highlight waste in public spending. Regretfully, we offended some of our members and others in the design industry who took from the release that we did not value design. This was never our intention, we fully admit that we messed up and did some of our members a disservice. We see now how our release served to devalue the Irish design industry, and for that we are truly sorry.

Last week we met with two design students Derek Doyle and Emma Grattan (the writers of Open Letter to USI on along with several other design students in DIT, and discussed the matter with them openly and transparently. We apologise for undermining the hugely valuable design industry in Ireland. Our sole focus is on representing students and bettering the overall student experience, and in this instance, we didn’t do ourselves or our members justice.

We want to stress that USI knows how enormously valuable design is as a profession and a discipline. Irish industry and industry worldwide relies on brilliant Irish designers educated in our colleges, and we’re proud to have them as members.

We know from our own experience that Irish designers offer great value and their work brings enormous benefits to our work – grabbing people’s attention, making our campaigns more effective and helping us work for students of all disciplines. We also know that these benefits cannot be purchased speculatively from a website.

We’re really sorry we created the impression we don’t value design or designers – we do and will continue to do so.

Read: Irish Water compared to HSE as expert says €2bn wasted on overstaffing >

Noonan: ‘In a mythical country, you’d have set up a water body with less people’ >

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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