It was approximately 1985, while I was working at PGAV Design, that I designed the St. Louis Riverfront logo. The client was the Riverfront Development Committee / Downtown St. Louis, Inc.
Our department was a team of seven designers. For this assignment, each designer had the opportunity to develop rough layouts. The project was intriguing, and I went looking for inspiration. What was unique? What images would point me in the right direction?
During this time, I went to visit my parents. Their house was filled with books, and I rummaged through the shelves. As I was leafing through one book, St. Louis The First 200 Years, there was an image that “clicked” for me—the river and cobblestones. I would draw a stylized icon, then add typography.
Our team met to discuss the ideas. Which sketches were the strongest and most interesting to show the client? Mine was one of three or four ideas that were selected. I carefully rendered the logo in ink.
The lead art director/account executive would present the logo ideas. I remember the smile he had on his face after the meeting. My design had been chosen as the favorite!
While I was finishing the artwork, I decided on color choices. It seemed natural to use blue for the river (although it’s the muddy Mississippi) and red-brown for the cobblestones; these are also complementary colors. “The Riverfront” type is set in Caslon Bold. I delivered the logo artwork, as well as designed letterhead and #10 envelopes.
The Riverfront Development Committee used the logo on all of its signage. I am very proud to leave St. Louis a visual legacy. You can see my icon on the riverfront monument signs located at Laclede’s Landing along Wharf Street.