Behind the Lens: People ‘Love’ This State's Tourism Campaign

Photos and musings from our photographer.
by | January 2019
The word "love" made out of tires and other material on the beach.
(Sarah Hauser)

The slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” is arguably one of the most successful government branding efforts in U.S. history. It launched back in 1969.

Now, 50 years later, tourists are still being enticed to look for “love” in the Old Dominion.

The Virginia Tourism Corp. has so far collaborated with artists and others to place more than 100 oversized LOVE displays throughout the state (see a sampling below). More works of art than signage, each installation represents its location through the use of materials and design.

On Chincoteague Island, for instance, LOVE is spelled out on four 10-foot-tall beach chairs, each weighing more than 500 pounds. In the mountain community of Covington, the letters are made from salvaged bricks, a large gear, railroad ties and a tree (which serves as the “V”).

A number of grants are awarded each year to offset costs associated with design and installation of the giant letters. If something less permanent is called for, the tourism office will deliver a mobile LOVE to promote special events, openings and attractions.

 

River Mill Park in Occoquan

 
 

At the Maritime Museum in Deltaville

 
 

In front of the train depot in Culpeper

 
 

On the James River Heritage Trail in Lynchburg

 
GOVERNING Logo
David Kidd | Design Director | dkidd@governing.com