There’s lots of buzz around Richmond right now about the cult-like success of the relatively new RVA brand for our little city.
The concept was developed by a community of professional and student designers, community members, business owners and city volunteers, endorsed by everyone from students to the mayor. The three letters are the brainchild of, well, everyone and no one at the same time. My gut tells me the concept originated with the regular young folk around these parts. Friends of mine have been using the concise acronym RVA to talk about the city as long as I’ve been here. In many ways it was an obvious choice, in other ways it probably took some thought and convincing. Richmond has been referred to as The River City for some time, and has at times been nicknamed by it’s airport code, RIC. To me, RVA speaks to the younger generations – the up and coming movers and shakers of our city. Not to mention, it’s also simple and memorable.
I’m not going to rehash the process through which the new brand was developed. Here are a couple of great links to read up on the development of RVA:
RVANews has a very thorough article.
Richmond GRID has a good one too.
And let’s not forget the Richmond.com coverage.
My favorite thing that’s come of this effort is this fun RVA personal generator at RVACreates (@RVACreates) where you can fill the logo with your own image and save/print. I think this interactivity is the key to modern branding. Especially modern branding for a city, which is ultimately a living, breathing, growing entity. You could really make your own RVA stickers that would be both fun and informational. I will be excited to see what the future holds for further brand interactivity with this RVA movement.
I wonder if little Richmond might become a star in the city branding movement. I wonder if we’ll see other cities follow up with interactive branding efforts with a similar grassroots feel. Maybe I’m being an idealist, but it certainly feels like everyone can participate in the future of the RVA brand.