Imo's Taps a Favorite RFT Illustrator for 60th Anniversary Pizza Box

Dan Zettwoch toasts the square beyond compare

Jan 8, 2024 at 11:39 am
St. Louis illustrator Dan Zettwoch designed Imo's commemorative pizza box.
St. Louis illustrator Dan Zettwoch designed Imo's commemorative pizza box. Courtesy photo
Imo's celebrating 60 years is exciting stuff. After all, one cannot even begin to talk about St. Louis food without mentioning the most St. Louis food of them all: cracker-thin pizza topped with the outrageously melty "cheese" that is Provel.

And Imo's is the most St. Louis-style pizza of all the various St. Louis-style pizzas in town, even if the honor of inventing it probably goes elsewhere, like Monte Bello (which is also extremely great).

So we were delighted in the RFT office to hear about this special Imo's anniversary — St. Louis natives and those who have grown to love this strange food alike — but we were possibly even more psyched to see Imo's tap an illustrator who has drawn many a cover for us over the years to celebrate it.

Starting now, if you order a pie, it will be delivered in a commemorative box designed by Dan Zettwoch, who is known for his infographic-style drawings full of fun details that have you noticing new things every time you look at them.

The box depicts a Imo's store, naturally, but also includes many other St. Louis references. There's the Arch getting built with the help of a square slice and a t-rav, a reference to the first Imo's Pizza Parlor at the corner of Thurman and Shaw, a Tower Grove Park pavilion peeking in from a corner, the city's skyline, its baseball stadium and more.
click to enlarge Imo's pizza box
Courtesy photo
The style of this illustration should look familiar.
“As I was researching this project, I loved making connections about the contemporary mid-60s history and design in St. Louis,” Zettwoch said in a statement. “As Imo’s was opening its first location, the Cardinals won the World Series and had their last season in Sportsman’s Park as Busch Stadium II was being built. At the same time, the Arch was under construction, forever changing the St. Louis skyline. Imo’s is a part of our city’s rich history, and I was honored to create a box for my favorite pizza!”

Nichole Carpenter, director of marketing, said those St. Louis touches were the point of the project: “Imo’s is a part of St. Louis history, and we’re excited to honor the community that has supported us all these years."

That celebration is not limited to a really cool pizza box. The chain will be running specials throughout the year. The first is a two-topping, 16-inch pie for $19.64 — a tribute to its founding in 1964.

If you are a St. Louis expat ruing your departure from the city right now, know that you have some options. Fancy food delivery service Goldbelly will ship Imo's straight to your door.

And if you're hungry to look at some more of Zettwoch's drawings, keep your eyes peeled for Wednesday's issue of the RFT.

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