What’s Your Slogo? “Why Not” Is a Slogan for an Interesting Life.*

February 21, 2010

A life without a cause is a life without effect.
Barbarella (1968)

I’m a former graphic designer who also had her own marketing business. For years, I designed logos for businesses and often also wrote an accompanying slogan. “It’s not just a burger, it’s a Bob’s!” was one of my favorites, appearing on billboards and in all kinds of advertising for several years. Sometimes the slogans I wrote were cryptic, like the “people serving people” kind of messages that really don’t say anything much. Sometimes they were brief and meaningful like the “we care” kind.

How do you want to be remembered?
• Kobi Yamada

I left advertising because I lost my enthusiasm for selling people things they didn’t really need. But I’m still selling. You can figure out what I’m hawking by reading my posts. Every one of us is selling something with our life. The things we choose to do tell others what we believe in and what we value. The things we choose not to do send a message too.

I think the purpose of life is to be useful, responsible, honorable, compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
• Leo Rosten

For many years, I’ve been asking the teachers with whom I work to design a t-shirt for themselves that includes words and/or symbols that represent their message for the world. This verbal/visual representation is their slogo, shorthand for slogan and logo combined, and I ask that their design encapsulate their most deeply held beliefs about teaching and learning.

To meet the challenges of a changing world we must be prepared to change everything about ourselves except our most deeply-held values.
• Thomas Watson Jr.

I first began doing this slogo exercise when I worked with clients to design materials representing their business since having these discussions allowed me to quickly ascertain what mattered most to them and also helped them discover areas of creative disagreement before I began my work.

Notice that the most interesting and successful people are always talking about what they are for rather than what they are against.
• Michael Nolan

If you’re a student, designing a slogo that focuses on your plans for post-graduation life, something that represents your dreams and the possibilities you hope will come to fruition because of your education, can be useful in helping you stay on course. It can also reveal changes you need to make.

What image(s) and/or word(s) would your t-shirt slogo include?

To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; it is the only way we can leave the future open.
• Lillian Smith

*Thanks to Mason Cooley for the title quotation.



  1. “Love and Learn and Remember You’re Human Too!”

  2. In class assignment: T-Shirt “Discover Pursue Soar”

  3. “Daily Living – Daily Learning”

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