Wyoming has had some great slogans and logos over the years. Its image of the bucking horse is one of best-known logos in the country.
Not quite as ubiquitous as McDonald’s golden arches or Apple’s apple with the bite out of it, but that bucking horse sends a good positive message.
Even a new look on the helmets of the UW Cowboy football does not diminish it much, although I will always prefer the simpler, original bucking horse and rider.
As a longtime marketing guy and someone interested in logos and slogans, the images and words used to describe Wyoming and Wyoming’s places have always fascinated me.
Lately, Wyoming has used Forever West as its slogan and it works well, especially when millions of dollars of marketing muscle is put behind it.
What are some of the previous state slogans?
Wyoming: Like No Place on Earth was used as a state tourism slogan for about a six-year period in the late 1990s. It served the state well. Then it was officially retired.
In recent decades, the state has used: Find Yourself in Wyoming, BIG Wyoming and Wyoming Is What America Was.
Before that there have been others. Perhaps the two most common used, both formally and informally, are The Equality State and The Cowboy State.
All are fine. And all are better than A Great Land Outdoors, which was used on highway signs for a brief, forgettable period.
One of my favorites is High Altitudes, Low Multitudes, which also happens to be the title of one of my books. Oh well.
Some of our regional comedians have referred to our state as The Big Empty, in reference to Wyoming’s lack of population. It is a play on words mocking the famous New Orleans’ nickname of The Big Easy.
Some decades ago, the state of Colorado held a contest for a new slogan. Then Wyoming Tourism professional Randy Wagner submitted: Colorado: just south of Heaven.
It didn’t win.
I was recently in Montana and felt a little jealous about a couple of their mottoes. Big Sky is hard to beat. And they have almost abused the name The Last Best Place.
South Dakota has a great slogan with Great Faces, Great Places. Works well when you have the biggest sculptures in the world hanging on the sides of your small mountains.
Over in Nebraska, they still use The Good Life, which is a pretty darned good slogan. My native state of Iowa used A Place To Grow for years and now uses Fields of Opportunity, which is a similar paean to a place that can grow anything.
For a while, I loved the fact that Iowa used the slogan Is This Heaven? That is a takeoff of the movie Field of Dreams, which was filmed there. Former Wyoming newspaper editor from Kemmerer, Sara Millhouse, works at the newspaper in Dyersville, which is where that movie was filmed.
Kansas also follows that lead with There Is No Place Like Home, which follows on the theme of the movie, The Wizard of Oz.
Neighboring Utah, which always uses The Beehive State, which might mean something to a lot of folks there but generates no buzz to outsiders. Today they follow up on Brigham Young’s famous pronouncement with This Is Still The Right Place.
Idaho has always used The Gem State, which is about as shiny as Utah’s original self-oriented slogan. Then they used Famous Potatoes, which may have drawn a few Iowa farmers to the place, but not many tourists. Most recently it has been Great Potatoes, Tasty Destinations. They still need some work on that slogan.
So let’s get back to Colorado. For years, their legislature followed an oddball citizen’s petition drive and got rid of their tourist promotion state division. They are still paying for it today.
It was great for Wyoming and Utah as they could lure tourists who used to go to Colorado. Colorado recently came to its senses and now uses tax money to promote the state.
Of course most recently, they devised a new logo that shows a green triangle with the letters CO inside it. Looks a lot like a warning sign for Carbon Monoxide. Folks are being critical of it, just south of us.
Colorado loves to use Colorful Colorado and most recently two slogans make even more sense lately in that marijuana heaven: Enter A Higher State or Rocky Mountain High.
Both are becoming much clearer now that that state has legalized marijuana.
Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written four books. His most recent book is “Wyoming’s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders” which is available at www.wyomingwonders.com.