Logo Design

Logo Design

Posted on 12. May, 2009 by in Marketing

The design of your logo is one of the most important things you have to do when you plant a church. It’s not up there with prayer, sound theology, and evangelism; but none-the-less it’s still an important part of going public with your church plant. Why? Because it ends up being put on everything you print: flyer, biz cards, invite cards, mailers, bulletins, etc. Further it will be on your digital media like your website and probably will end up on some PowerPoint slides during a worship service.

Everything you put out there for people to see or read communicates something. Since your logo will be on just about everything you do, it is important you know what it is communicating. Some questions to ask yourself when looking at logo design are:

  1. What do we want to communicate about our church and our church culture? If you are a contemporary, cutting edge, or traditional church, does your logo reflect that?
  2. What is more important to you: that your logo look nice or that it is used for other purposes? Some logos have elements in it that are used in the life of the church. For instance it might have things that represent your core values, a scripture theme verse, your mission statement, your church’s name, or your assimilation process. My church’s logo is a combination of 4 hearts. It’s based on our theme verse: love God, love others as you love yourself. The 4 hearts represent the four love committments that we ask new members to make: love God by coming to worship, love others in small groups and in service, and love yourself by committing to live a holy life and grow in your faith.  Other logos just use common Christian symbols, but do it in a way that communicates what their church is like. For instance if you want to feature a cross in your logo, is it a classic look, a modern looking cross, a grunge look, or a clean simple one?
  3. Do you want a unique or a generic logo? The more generic it is, the less work it takes to get a nice looking logo. A church I was at before just had an oval around the church name. The church’s name wasn’t unique and the logo wasn’t either. Bottom line, it didn’t add anything to a flyer or business card when we put it on there. Further, we found that in order to make printed materials look nice we had to put more work into the design because our logo wasn’t catchy enough to capture attention. What I learned from this is that putting more effort or money into a great logo will pay off in the long run.

Design Tips

  1. Vertical and Horizontal: Have your logo designer make your logo so that it can be oriented both vertically and horizontally. Over time you will need to put your logo on many things that call for one or the other. For instance, a horizontal layout is used for most website headers. If the logo has a vertical layout and you only have 60-100 vertical pixels of space for your logo then your church name might be too small to even read clearly. On the other hand if the logo is only horizontal, then you will be limited as to how your outdoor banners, biz cards and other things are layed out. Bottom line is that it’s nice to have options. If you have a design that locks you into one or the other, you will be at a disadvantage later on down the road. One of the easy ways to get around this is to not have your name be tied to the graphic. Some logos require the church name to be placed in the graphic a certain way. If your church name can be put to the side of the logo or stacked below the logo it will be easier to change the logo around.
  2. Color and Shading: What does the logo look like without color or shading. Many things require you to use a plain  version of your logo. The classic example of this is a black and white xerox copy. I’m sure you’ve seen how bad a graphic looks when it’s put through a standard copier. Logos that rely on multiple colors and shading/fading (where the color is faded off into white or another color) do not look good on some things. Another example is what happens when you want the image embroidered on a shirt or bag. Fading is not an option and multiple colored graphics sometimes don’t reproduce well.  Also, you can save a lot of money on print jobs if you can do them in black and white or with just one color. When printing T-Shirts each color you add to each side will cost an extra dollar per shirt.
  3. Scalable: Does the logo look good when it’s scaled down to 100×100 pixels? Webpages use very small graphic sizes for headers and sidebars. If the logo only looks good when it’s in high-definition, your website will look really bad. Normally the logo on the header is the first thing people see on a website. You might even be forced to leave it off the website all together if it can’t be scaled down to a small size. Ask your logo deisgner to show you what it will look like scaled down to around 100×100 pixels. When you get your logo files ask the designer to include a Vector version of your logo. Vector artwork can be scaled down without loosing as much quality as a Raster version. If these terms don’t mean anything to you, that’s ok. Your logo designer will know what they mean.
  4. Size of Name vs. Size of Artwork: Some logos have a huge art design with the church name written in small letters. Up close on stationary it looks fine, but when it’s put on a banner that needs to be seen by people driving by at 25mph, it’s too small to read.
  5. Font: One of the basic rules of design is to use less than two fonts. Some people go font-crazy and use tons of fonts, but this doesn’t look professional, clean, or legible. Becauseof this, the font in your logo can end up counting as one of the two fonts that you’re allowed to use if you want your flyer or biz card to look nice. Because of this there are some things you need to do when selecting a font for your logo design. When possible, use use a font for your church name in the logo that could also be used elsewhere in a printed design.  This helps with the uiformity and flow of a printed piece.  Avoid fancy fonts and scripted fonts.  They are hard to read from far away and are useless in most print jobs.  Also, and this is a must, make sure the designer tells you what font they used in your logo. Some fonts are open source and the designer can give you a copy of it. Other fonts you have to purchase. Either way, you want to make sure you know what the font is and that you have a copy of it. This allows you to alter your logo if you need to later on and use the same font as your logo in the rest of your printed piece.
  6. Simplicity: The world’s most recognizable logos are simple: Apple, Nike, etc. The more simple the logo is, the easier it is to work with it and update it as needed over time.

Where to get a logo designer

My favorite place is CrowdSpring.com. It is a site that allows you to have a logo contest in which artists from around the world can submit logo designs for you to choose from. You set the parameters for the contest and the price you are willing to pay. Most designs cost between $150-$500. The more you are willing to pay, the more designers will compete to get your business by submitting designs.

Related posts:

  1. More Logo Tips
  2. Great Graphic Design Without a Designer
  3. Great Links for Logo Info
  4. What’s in a Logo
  5. WordPress Website Design

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