I’m thrilled to announce Sloww 2.0!
Before we jump into the new stuff, here’s a quick history to get you up to speed.
Late 2015: The seed of an idea for Sloww was planted near the end of my existential crisis.
Christmas Eve 2015: I bought the domain Sloww.co.
Christmas Day 2015: I emailed my dad:
Just bought the domain Sloww.co. Not sure what I want to do with it yet, but I’ve been inspired reading about downshifting, minimalism, simple living, and the slow movement.
Late 2016: In the true spirit of slowness, reflection, and refinement, I started to deeply explore the idea of my life purpose for most of 2016 before really buckling down to find it in late 2016. By “find it,” I actually mean I deeply explored my life from every possible angle. What did this look like? I used whiteboard paint on three walls of a bedroom/office in our house and covered them in idea/mind mapping for weeks. Adding, refining, erasing, adding, refining, erasing, repeat. I’ll share more about this process and photos of what this looked like in the future.
Mid-2017: I published my first post Digital Minimalism Defined & 10 Digital Declutter Tips.
Mid-2018: I quit my job and dove head first into Sloww.
Today: What you’re now reading here is post number 143. It’s already been a life-transforming journey, and each day I still feel like I’m just getting started. I’m grateful that we are on this journey together.
Recapping Sloww 1.0
Sloww 1.0 has really been all about the first step of the journey: slowing down.
Keep in mind that my existential crisis was prompted by extreme busyness, workism, and total work. Also throw in some lifestyle inflation and keeping up with the Joneses along the way.
Needless to say, the thought of downshifting to slow living was incredibly appealing.
I was fascinated by the paradox of “Slow Living in a Fast World.”
After first-hand experience with living a life of burden, I wanted to experience life as bliss again. I resonated with and used an informal tagline of “Design a Lighter Life.”
Introducing Sloww 2.0: The Next Evolution in the Art of Slow Living
Slowing down is still step one and central—it can’t be skipped, and there are no shortcuts.
Slowing down is what creates the space to turn inward and dive deeper. The real transformation is what comes once you do slow down. This evolution of Sloww is about those next steps in the journey.
“Things” like presence, awareness, connectedness, centeredness, purpose, pace, unbusyness, less stress, bliss, lightness, enough, simplicity, oneness, mindfulness, intentionality, alignment, consciousness, balance, time affluence, and deeper relationships.
While Sloww 1.0 was focused on the paradox of slow living in a fast world, Sloww 2.0 is focused on the paradox of High-Impact Living with a Low-Impact Lifestyle.
Or, High Imprint Living with a Low Footprint Lifestyle.
It’s a new take on the old phrase, “Simple Living, High Thinking.” But, what does that mean?
To me, lighter living is a process of subtracting the superficial and shifting focus in order to meet life face to face. Growing inwardly vs outwardly, qualitatively vs quantitatively, deeply vs superficially, invisibly vs visibly, consciously vs unconsciously.
Lighter living encapsulates the physical and non-physical aspects of lightness. Physically, lighter living includes areas like simple living, voluntary simplicity, and minimalism. Removing the physical stuff that feels heavy in our lives. Non-physically, lighter living includes areas like slow living, unbusyness, and holistic well-being. Removing the mental and emotional “stuff” that feels heavy in our lives.
Higher purpose is my belief that every single person has a purpose. I want to be a guide to point everyone in the direction of their own path. You will see a lot of content about purpose in the near future—including my own life purpose.
Why is this important?
For the first time in human history, we live in the age of the individual. We are responsible for ourselves—now more than ever. The modern art of living is taking that responsibility. The power of the individual has the power to change the collective. Sloww is your gateway to the good life—a bridge to personal transformation. It gives you the canvas and brushes, but you must paint your own masterpiece.
None of this is a step backward. It’s the future. Downshifting is upshifting. It’s the natural evolution of humanity.
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Sloww Visual Evolution
No color change! The color has always embodied tranquility.
It’s still a circle—the same, but different.
I’m sure entire books have been written about the significance of a circle. Some highlights that are top of mind for me include:
The hero’s journey:
A hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.¹
Ensō is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create…The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void).²
You also see how all things come full circle in this Zen kōan:
“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” (see the meaning)
The 1.0 logo was a solid circle. This was meant to show fullness, completeness, wholeness.
The 2.0 logo consists of three overlapping circles of different weights. There’s more subjectivity to the logo now which showcases the importance of perspective.
Do you choose to see the middle of the circle as empty, or is it still full like the previous logo? Do you see outer busyness and inner centeredness? Do you see the hero’s journey or enlightenment?
Maybe you’ve read every post on this site and recall three circles of varying weights signifying different aspects of life purpose from the post Ikigai 2.0: Evolving the Ikigai Diagram for Life Purpose (bonus points if that’s you!).
It’s all about perspective. Busyness is blinding. Slowing down allows you to see. It’s up to you to choose and decide what you see when you look at the circle.
Sloww 1.0 was hand-drawn by my best bud and highly talented designer Jason Carter. While I loved the juxtaposition of the cursive type with the word Sloww (recall the paradox of slow living in a fast world), over time I couldn’t help but get a feeling of hurriedness.
I’m no typography expert, but I do try to pay attention to what resonates with me.
While trying every typeface under the sun for Sloww 2.0, I started to learn a bit about the stories behind them. The new typeface involves a story of synchronicity.
Since Sloww bridges the ancient and current worlds, I was searching for something visually timeless yet modern. I eventually came across serifs and slab serifs—stumbling upon the Rokkitt typeface. It’s spaced, balanced, and lightweight (representing the modern), yet it’s a serif typeface (representing the ancient).
I read the story of Rokkitt. In 2011, the typeface was started by Vernon Adams, a lifelong artist and typeface designer, who was “inspired by the type forms of a number of distinctive geometric slab serifs, sometimes called Egyptians, popular in the late nineteenth and early to mid twentieth centuries.”³
On May 23, 2014, Vernon was involved in a tragic accident on his way home that left him with brain and other physical injuries. After over two years of fighting, he surrendered and passed away in August 2016.
In 2016, Kalapi Gajjar picked up and completed Vernon’s original work to the Rokkitt font—releasing a substantial update in the process. This is the beauty of humanity, combinatorial creativity, and synthesizing. Everything is a remix. We pick up where the last person left off.
Here’s where the synchronicity happened.
May 23rd happens to be my last day at work before going full-time on Sloww.
Also, I did some digging on Kalapi Gajjar. I found a short bio that says he’s a typeface designer, font engineer, and half of something called Universal Thirst. So, I go to the site. There’s not much there, except for this:
I cannot make this up. Literally the same logo I’ve been using for the last couple years.
Synchronicity at its finest.
After reading The Alchemist, I’m paying more attention to the omens.
Putting it all Together
When I look at these elements, at first glance they appear simple. But, I’m quickly reminded of all the meaning packed behind them.
My visceral reaction when I look at the logo now is no longer one of hurriedness.
I get an immediate sense of lightness, a breath of fresh air, room to breathe, the space for slowing down, and the centeredness for consciousness and purpose.
Please let me know what you think of this evolution in the comments!
keep up the good work. I really enjoy your content.
Thanks so much, rYan.
You are on a very beautiful journey of seeking the consciousness. Keep up the excellent work.
Thank you, Debabrata! I very much appreciate your deeply thoughtful comments.
I googled existential crisis and read through the wikipedia page and tried to categorize the type of crisis I was having, while still questioning if I was having a crisis at all. Your page was the second link I clicked and i just appreciate that there was a second link to click.
Thanks, Stella! Glad you made your way here 🙂
Hope you’re doing well in this strange and trying crisis.
A friend of mine pointed me to this article and I wanted to thank you for writing about Vernon and Rokkitt!
P.S. We’ve updated universalthirst.com 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Kalapi! Hope you are doing well as well. Thank you for all your effort to complete the work and release it into the world!