When we think of church and all that comes with it, the last thing we consider is branding. There’s a greater message that takes importance, right?
The short and long answers are, Yes. But it should be noted that lots of today’s churches are being vacated, closed up, or ineffective for various reasons. I believe that one of the reasons why we fall behind is within our inability (or lack of desire) to be current. Maintaining traditionalism is important to the root of who the church is. But you can be traditional and still update your image.
“Churches are notorious for having some of the lowest quality design work you’ll find anywhere. You’ll hear all kinds of excuses for it, but the bottom line is that the greatest Message the world has ever known deserves better. Images often communicate more quickly and deeply than words and yet church leaders often invest no effort to leverage this powerful medium.” –Mark Collier of Big Blue Designs
As a Christian and a graphic designer, I cringe at some of the things I see. By all means, I clearly understand that finances can be tight in regards to a design budget. But we have to decide on what is important to us. After all, the mission is to “Go and Make Disciples”, right? So if someone bases your event off of a flyer that you created with clipart pieces with watermarks on top of them, you can almost guarantee that they will be turned off. So what do you do?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Invest in a designer or company
- Look within; someone in your congregation may have the talent you need
- Search & Find local or community college classes for a motivated member of your church
- Church branding is a unique area. There are so many things that play into the structure of the message. Lots of churches invest time in singing, staging, and lighting, and sound; all of which are important. Even the speaker prepares diligently for their message to be delivered. So why not have a set of graphics that extend and drive home the point?
“Wonderful things take place when you give a message the space to mature. Illustrations. Biblical examples. Spiritual concepts and connections. Clarity. All are deepened and enriched when given days and weeks rather than hours. God can and will talk to us about a message weeks ahead. We’ve just never developed the discipline of preparation.” -Mark Collier, Big Blue Designs
How do we accomplish this space? Allowing a designer to sit down with the speaker and go over their points prior to Sunday (maybe a week or two at least). As you share your message points, the designer’s eyes will begin to light up. They are seeing a visual that will help bring your message in a new way. When it’s done right, it makes teaching even easier.
Websites are the new church building. Folks aren’t driving by your building and picking up an information sheet anymore. They’re visiting your website. If they open your site and they’re holding their 3-month-old who’s sleep pattern is off and your site is SCREAMING your favorite song through their speakers, they will click the X. There are small solutions that should be installed to help the visitor find exactly what they are looking for within 2-3 clicks. Yes, that simple.
Do you speak awesome quotables weekly? Ever turn those into memes (short picture quotes for social media)? For the love of grammar, please make sure they are spelled right. The church has been mocked enough without 6K+ shares of “boob” instead of “boom”.
So let’s plan to take our message more seriously and invest more into the areas that will help expand our message and reach. Let’s get on board!