Just a handful out of the hundreds of marketing emails we've created for Shockoe Atelier over the years...
A Thanksgiving message from our clients / friends at Shockoe Atelier...
"Let me introduce you to Yolanda “La Jefa” aka the boss lady. If you own a pair of Shockoes they’ve passed through her hands at some point.
Yolanda was born in Juarez, Mexico and moved to Texas after falling in love with a young soldier, Roberto, on leave from Fort Bliss.
Like many families in the service they moved all over the country until they settled in the Richmond area where Roberto served as a drill sergeant at Fort Lee. Yolanda has two sons, Roberto Jr, an industrial mechanic, and William, a firefighter and volunteer EMT.
I was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Brigitte and Pierre Lupesco who immigrated here from France and Romania respectively.
Shockoe Atelier is a funny collection of French, Korean, Mexican, Guatemalan, Scottish, German, English and so on – brought together by fate or circumstance. We have the gumption to endeavor to make a line of classic American apparel in an old cinderblock box of a building in a part of Richmond most known for flooding and the slave trade.
Thanksgiving feels like the perfect time to try to elaborate on our story and our values – a uniquely American holiday that celebrates the coming together of cultures in peace and friendship, sharing prosperity, traditions, and food.
In our own way we celebrate Thanksgiving every Friday at the shop over our staff lunch – especially when Yolanda makes the most amazing arroz con gandules this side of Puerto Rico.
We are thankful for Yolanda and the rest of our staff, family, and friends – and especially our supporters / customers.
Thank you all and have a wonderful holiday!
Founder, Shockoe Atelier"
Richmond, the little just-slightly-Southern burg we call home, tends to be particular about who and what it celebrates. We love our underdogs and our "weirdos", yet we also star-gaze like champs. That leaves a lot of room in between, and we have some real superstars hiding here in plain sight, and Sean Wotherspoon / Round Two is one of the most (least?) prominent examples.
Sean Wotherspoon started Round Two, a sneaker and street style obsessed "men's boutique", right on here on Broad St. in 2013, and in such a small amount of time has grown to have stores in LA and New York, and to be considered the premier source for vintage footwear for a whos-who of urban trendsetters.
Sean is not simply a walking footwear Wikipedia, he's graduated to a bona fide shoe designer after winning Nike's Vote Foreward Air Max 97 competition by a landslide.
Designed to age and fray with grace, Sean's Air Max's are a beautiful blend of vintage and future – simultaneously loud and understated.
We look forward to seeing what Sean has in store for fashion, design, and retail, and will do our small part to shine a brighter light on this star rising out of Richmond.
Although our design do not make the final cut, we're still proud of how it turned out.
We've been busy here at AFA – so much so that we've fallen into a long spell of radio silence. We're very happy to break that silence by sharing some really fun event poster design work we've been kicking out for our friends at Flora.
Designing these posters has been both a fantastic exercise of our design muscles as well as a wonderful creative release.
This just covers the month of May. We'll have to publish a book of designs if we can make it to May 2018.
Admittedly, it's pretty last minute to release poster designs for the Women's March on Washington, but we didn't get around to making any until just now.
If anyone is interested, all are available for download right here in this post, and if you're interested in prints, send us an email.
The posters are designed at 24"W x 30"H, and each leave a little room to cut a handhold at the bottom if you're printing them onto foam core or some other rigid paper.
Poster Ninja in Richmond is a good resource for printing onto paper or foam core with a fast turnaround.
Click each image for a hi-res download...
Last minute addition...
Trapezium Brewing needed a bold, unique, and customizable interior tap menu sign, and that's exactly what we gave them. Custom designed down to the quarter inch, the sign features interchangeable beer names and prices that easily slot in and out of each row.
Keith Fabry did a fantastic job printing the interchangeable signs, as well as almost every other piece of on-site signage, not to mention fabricating the tap handles in-house.
They've made a great promotional video which prominently features our interior and exterior signage designs for Trapezium.
Let's face it, Richmond is not a logo town.
Not yet anyways!
Whether it's the regrettable / forgettable silhouette tree craze or just dated typography choices. And yes, there are logo towns. Drive down any major avenue in Austin, TX and you will see air conditioner repair shops with cooler logos than Altria – which, I admit, is not saying much. But we're not merely talking about logos... as Seth Godin puts it:
"It takes more than a hat to be a cowboy, it takes more than a designer prattling on about texture to make a brand."
Or as Jerry McLaughlin of Forbes says:
"...your 'brand' is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind."
So without further prattling, here are our favorite Richmond brands we had nothing to do with:
5. Mamma 'Zu
An odd choice, you might think, with it's slightly amateur and inelegant handwritten execution, yet the Mamma Zu mark fits neatly into a carefully crafted and curated brand image and experience. Owner Ed Vasaio is a master of the art of humble understatement, expressed in his careful and deliberate choice of location, interior aesthetic, and even his infamous yet exceptional staff. Full disclosure: In 1993, myself and my best friend and local artist Chris Milk designed / illustrated the first Mamma 'Zu t-shirt in trade for a mammoth meal and a lot of wine.
4. Work Labs
Despite their reputations, ad agencies are not always proficient when it comes to branding themselves. Cabell Harris' Work Labs has no such deficiency, with over 20 years worth of award winning branding and self promotion excellence. Whether it's beer, magazines or interactive site experiences, Work Labs never tires of finding new ways to express it's brand, stay current and sell itself.
3. World Of Mirth
2. GWAR, of course!
There's really nothing quite like GWAR – a hilariously macabre, ironic, sarcastic, perverted, silicone circus drenched in fake blood – accompanied by a deceptively-fantastic heavy metal band. Known the world over, the GWAR brand was handmade here in Richmond by a small army of talented artists. The GWAR logo morphs and adapts to each and every application, be it comic book, stage prop or tattoo. The hand and artistic vision of GWAR slave, Bob Gorman, is the most recognizable aesthetic, which seems to touch almost everything they produce.
1. Need Supply Co.
Long before the term hipster was even coined, a small, high-end denim shop opened in Richmond's Carytown shopping district. Almost twenty years later, Need Supply Co. has grown into a national and global online retail powerhouse and innovator – known and mimicked by anyone who's anyone in online fashion. Despite their national success, Need operates slightly under the radar of it's own hometown, where it's good fortunes sound more like rumors overheard some evening at Balliceaux. They rigidly control and polish their aesthetic and are addicted to keeping up with if not staying ahead of trend centers like New York and Paris.
The original Helvetica Neue logo was fittingly designed by a friend and Work Labs alum, creative director / art director David Waraksa.