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The why, when, and what of church logo design

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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Branding… not a term that many churches use or like to use.  It is usually something that is viewed as a business term and shouldn’t be used in ministry.  However, the reality is that churches need branding like any other organization.

So what is branding?  Branding is a marketing technique in which an organization creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable and can be used in many formats.

Most churches have no problem with coming up with a name but sometimes skip or struggle with the second part of branding…

… Creation of a symbol or design that is easily identifiable, more commonly referred to as a logo.

Why is a having a logo for your church or ministry so important?  You are going to have many different places where you are going to try to get people to notice your organization:  Signage on your building, signs around town, your website, shirts, hats, pens, coffee mugs, and possibly sponsorship/partnership opportunities with organizations in your area.  All of these should have a consistent representation of your church, so as people see your logo around town, they remember your church.

So when would a ministry need a new or revised logo?  There are 4 primary scenarios when a new or revised logo would be needed:

  1. The church is new
  2. The church or ministry has moved locations or changed names
  3. The ministry has been in existence for a while but never created a logo
  4. Your existing logo is old and outdated.

The first two situations are fairly straight forward, however, the third and fourth scenarios are the most common that we encounter at OurChurch.Com.  Often when a ministry is new and on a very limited budget, any cost that isn’t absolutely necessary for survival is put on the back burner.  However, not having a logo can hinder your organization’s potential growth.  So if your ministry doesn’t have a logo, I suggest getting one as soon as possible.

The fourth scenario (having a logo that is old and outdated), can be a bit more difficult to realize.  Logos should reviewed every 2-3 years and most of the time, the use of the existing logo is fine.  However, over time there may be some subtle change that are made to the logo to keep it current, so it doesn’t look outdated.  This means that you may be able to keep the primary theme of the logo but make minor updates to keep it current.

And why is it important to keep your logo current?  Design trends change and it is likely that a logo that was created 10-20 years ago, looks like it was created 10-20 years ago.  If people think your logo looks outdated, they will think that your organization is outdated as well.

So if you are in need of a new or revised logo, there are four rules to follow when choosing someone for the job:

  1. Ask for examples of their work: Different designers have different styles, so your style may not match that of every designer.  Ask for 3-5 examples of logos they have created to make sure you like the style of their work.
  2. Ask about the process: How many initial concepts will they create?  Do they allow for revisions of the logo, and if so, how many?  Setting these expectations are important so you and the designer are on the same page.
  3. Make sure that the designer will provide multiple formats of the logo: It is important to have the logo in formats that are good for digital and print use.  You should also get the logo in different sizes, with a transparent background, and different file formats (jpg, png, and pdf), so it can be used in anyway needed.
  4. Make sure you can actually speak with your designer: There are many cheap logo design websites where you never speak with the designer creating the logo.  However, when it comes to design, nothing can take the place of a live conversation (not a chat or IM).  Sometimes it is difficult to express in written words what you want in a logo or revisions you want made, so it is important to have the ability to speak with the designer creating your logo.

I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.  Lindon Leader

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What are your thoughts on the importance of church’s creating and using logos?  Post your comments below.

Is your church in need of a new or revised logo?  You can request a free consultation and check out some of the logos that we have created here.



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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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