Richmond’s RVA Branding Campaign Receives National Attention on FastCompany.com
In early 2010, students at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter were charged with devising a new brand for the entire city–a task all the more daunting given that Richmond, Virginia, has long had a strong, deeply embedded identity. This is the former seat of the Confederacy, the heart of Colonial America, the place where you go to learn about battlefields and founding fathers and early U.S. history. That sepia-toned legacy, though, in many ways sits at odds with the portrait of a cutting-edge community that Richmond’s innovation champions now want to project.
Venture Richmond, a downtown booster group, wanted something that would instead convey creativity, dynamism, and innovation. The city had quietly been transforming into a more creative place, a hub of eclectic interests from indie music to mountain biking to biotechnology. But hardly anyone outside of Richmond, it seemed, knew anything about this. And then it turned out that plenty of locals in Richmond weren’t convinced the city needed a new identity anyway. “There are some people, very significant leaders in the Richmond area, who felt like, ‘No it’s not about creativity, it’s about history,’” says Kelly O’Keefe, professor and former managing director of the Brandcenter, the university’s top-tier advertising school. Read more.