For the RVA brand, ‘No’ turned to ‘Go!’
Some of the items being produced using the RVA logo
- Success of RVA brand gratifies former VCU Brandcenter students
Here are thoughts from some of the former VCU Brandcenter students who first proposed the RVA brand in 2010.
Katie Chapin, a strategist for the VML London agency:
“When we were working on the project, it felt like it was really tough for our group to nail down a single identity for Richmond. It was one of those situations where there was no one tagline to encapsulate all the opinions and experience we’d gathered over the course of our research.
“Over the course of our two years at VCU, I think all of us came to embrace Richmond as a city. The best part about working on the RVA project was that we felt like we had come up with a way for everyone to start showing their love for Richmond. The fact that it’s taken off has been rewarding. … It seems Richmond has come into its own and is finally getting recognition for being the creative hotspot that it truly is.”
Cecilia Bogardus, a senior art director at the KBS+ agency in New York:
“This project is very special to me because my mom lives in Richmond. When I was in school, I told her about the project and how excited my team and I were about it.
“A couple of years after I moved to New York, my mom called and told me that every day, no matter where she goes, she sees the RVA logo. As you can imagine, it makes her really proud.”
Jarrod Higgins, a senior creative at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Ore.:
“I designed the logo and created the open source-swappable image element of the logo, in collaboration with … Cecilia Bogardus.
“We didn’t try to speak on behalf of Richmond. We found a nickname that had been floating around for awhile, RVA, and then allowed anyone and everyone to insert their own graphics into the logo.
“Then, and this is key, we gave them the license to use that logo for personal, organizational and commercial use. I’ve seen it used to sell coffee, on the sides of dump trucks, as a glee club logo, on a guitar case on the set of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Yuengling beer even used it on a billboard.”
“And all that, to me, is why I love this campaign. … I’m legitimately proud of this project because of how the people of Richmond have embraced it as their own. The open-source nature of the logo itself let RVA become whatever Richmond needs it to be. … We made the platform, and Richmond ran with it.”
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 12:00 am
Updated: 3:42 pm, Sat Apr 19, 2014.
Kelly O’Keefe hasn’t forgotten the conversation that got him on board with what became the RVA phenomenon.
“It was December 2009,” he recalled last week. “I was driving in Carytown and I got a call from Lucy Meade. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in getting the Brandcenter involved in building a brand for the city of Richmond.
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Monday, February 24, 2014 12:00 am.
Updated: 3:42 pm.