Although “RVA” existed well before we put the first sticker on a bumper, its full potential to bring the community together had never been explored. That all changed when a work group of six creative organizations – The Martin Agency, VCU Brandcenter, West Cary Group, JHI, Elevation and The Hodges Partnership – collaborated with us to develop the creative, community engagement experiment that is RVA Creates.
What was a simple idea: create an open source city identity; has grown into something bigger and better than we could have ever done on our own. That’s the power of RVA and the RVA community.
In the seven years since the first RVA sticker printing, the impact of our venture is clear:
Our work goes to show that our community wanted, and now celebrates, a sense of ownership over their city and associates part of their identity with the identity of our city.
Banners may not seem like a big deal, but they are huge part of our job at Venture Richmond and our own creative way to add color and excitement to downtown. We are responsible for managing the banner program, and close to 200 banner poles, on behalf of the city. Our job is to create and maintain different campaigns over the years. One of our most memorable campaigns was to honor RVA hosting the 2015 UCI Race, a monumental moment for our city.
Since then, we have started our newest campaign – RVA Creates A to Z – a celebration of our vibrant community that was inspired by the incredible range of creativity that exists downtown. Working with Keith Fabry and Scout Design, we produced over 30 banners, each pairing a single letter with a correlating illustration. Pedestrians navigating through downtown can play along by guessing what each illustration represents and are encouraged to think about what their own alphabet for downtown looks like for them.
Outside of our special campaigns, our seasonal installation of banners includes Folk Festival, 2nd Street Festival and holiday banners.
In 2020-2021, as Richmonders waded through the devastation and uncertainty of a world-wide Covid-19 pandemic from their homes, businesses Downtown began to suffer. And, as the months went on, many were forced to close temporarily and some permanently.
In December 2020, Venture Richmond started a marketing campaign called the “Faces of Downtown,” to reach out to the Richmond Region, reminding people that Downtown has hundreds of small businesses, non-profits, and cultural institutions that are open. A reminder that small businesses in Downtown Richmond have their doors open, awaiting the return of people in a safe and responsible way. The advertisements were all the friendly faces of Downtown business owners, reminders to support them, that they are friends and neighbors, the faces of your Downtown. #MeetMeDowntown
Read more about the full marketing campaign here: