What is the Radio 1 Short Story Competition?

The Radio 1 Short Story Competition is a 35-year old, free to enter competition for original Irish short stories.  The winning and shortlisted authors receive prize money and their stories are then produced for radio, voiced by Irish actors.  It was first run in 1986 in memory of Francis MacManus, a novelist and former Head of Talks and Features at Radio Éireann.  

Project Goals

  • To create a new identity for the Radio 1 Short Story Competition, celebrating emerging and established Irish writers on a national platform.
  • To incorporate Franics MacManus, for whom the prize was originally established, into the brand identity of the competition.
  • To create a bright, flexible identity which can be used to create digital promotional artwork as well as printed assets for competition entries and live reading events.
  • To boost awareness of the competition and attract new audiences.


I developed a brand identity based around a grid of coloured squares, which can be organised in different ways to fill the available space.  The palette was developed around Radio 1’s brand blue colour, with a complementary red tone and dark navy and light grey colours for high contrast.  The wordmark incorporates the Radio 1 logo as well as an illustration and text to honour Francis MacManus.  I created a two-colour, screenprint style illustration of a typewriter which is displayed on alternating red and blue squares to fill space around the wordmark and messaging.

I created a lookbook with brand applications for the website, social graphics and posters, pull-ups, pamphlets, flyers and other printed assets.  I then created graphics using the brand identity for promotion and printed assets for live reading events attended by the judges and selected authors.