Lost and Found: Historic Design in Richmond
We love finding creative inspiration for our work, and Richmond has a few hundred years of it!
Here are some of our favorites:
Founded in postbellum Richmond, A and N Stores supported local industry for over a century. Their logo, a trademark red eagle, spanned storefronts across Virginia, and at least two of these signs can be found in Richmond today—on display at The Valentine Museum and in situ on Hull Street.
Still operating on West Broad Street, The C.F. Sauer company was founded in 1887 by a 21 year-old pharmacist. We love the old-school type and botanical illustrations on this set of tins for sale on Ebay.
This wonderfully detailed etching was created for a Times-Dispatch ad in 1910. According to Vintage Richmond, Rountree Leather Shop was located on Broad Street near today’s federal courthouse building.
Before there was Nyan Cat, we had Chessie. The mascot of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (spanning Richmond to St. Louis), was a sleepy cat illustrated for $5 in 1933. First introduced in Fortune magazine, Chessie’s Sleep Like a Kitten campaign grew so popular it led to a calendar with 40,000 distributed copies, expanded campaigns featuring Chessie’s family, and the nickname of “America’s Sleepheart”. Photo courtesy of Strickland Railway.
Likely the most iconic Richmond brand, Lucky Strike’s history is as colorful as its packaging with at least two urban legends surrounding the 1942 rebrand. One involves a bet, and one a war.
A mid-century ad for Thalhimers’ holiday season. Already an integral part of Richmond’s history, Thalhimers set the scene for the Richmond 34 a decade later. Photo courtesy of Finding Thalhimers.
We dig the elegance of this Miller & Rhoads seal, available for purchase on Etsy.
Debuted in 1969 for the Virginia State Travel Service, the world-famous Virginia is for Lovers slogan was coined by Martin & Woltz Inc., a Richmond advertising agency now known as The Martin Agency. The campaign was running strong three decades later, when My Life in Hot Air Ballooning captured this photo in 1999.
A 1970’s menu from much-loved Bill’s Barbecue. Having just completed our own barbecue logo for Early Mountain Vineyards, this was a fun find from Vintage Richmond.
If there’s anything cooler than a vintage poster, it’s definitely a vintage poster for Bruce Springstein’s Steel Mill concert on top of a parking deck. Courtesy of Vintage Richmond.
An excerpt from Fan Free Funnies’ February 1973 issue, a student published comic book. All hail the grid. Found at VCU Libraries’ Digital Collections.