What Makes a Stellar Church Logo?

by Rudy Norman

I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share of terrible logos in our days, and each one is just as cringe-worthy as the last.

For me, though, it hurts even more when I see a church that has a logo that’s borderline atrocious, because to me, a logo is the first thing seekers may see when they hear about the church through modern outreach mediums like a web site, social media, or advertisements, brochures and other print material.

Church logos should be inviting – and leave people wanting to know more about this place they’re hearing about. Just like a business works to perfect it’s brand or corporate identity, a church’s logo should also be synonymous with what the church stands for, and should make people feel invited as much as a handshake on Sunday Morning does.

Here are a few things to consider, which can help make sure your church logo isn’t abysmal:

Don’t Be Generic

A good logo is something that’s worth the investment to make sure it’s done right. Don’t cheap out and download a template or a cookie-cutter logo from a web site that offers ‘Free church logos’ or ‘Discounted logos to fit your church or ministry now 20% off.’

If you don’t have someone on staff or a volunteer in your church that can give you a professional logo, then find someone who can, that will cater the logo to fit your church and your community. Your church logo shouldn’t be able to fit any other church – it should be unique to you and you alone.

Even if you’re a small church and don’t have a huge budget, in comparison to things like a major web site development or a video production set-up, a logo is at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to major expenditures.

Usability

Even if you have a professional design your brand, you can’t put your sole trust in them to give you the best product possible. Just like a mechanic is going to try and milk you for extras when you get your oil changed, some  designers may end up doing the same. That’s why it’s important you know how your logo will be used, and what will work best for you.

Have a logo that can be used in all different forms of marketing and media. Your logo should be plastered everywhere from your Powerpoint announcements, to your roadside sign. That’s why it’s important to have a logo that will work in all applications and scenarios.

Go for something simple, yet noticeable, and keep in mind that colour printing could be expensive in some cases, so a logo that works in all colour schemes is probably the best idea.

Theology

I have a battle with this one often.

Where do we find the balance between presenting a theological message in an inviting way, while at the same time not commercializing or cheapening the message we’re trying to convey?

I’ve seen far too many stylized crosses in every shape, form, colour and scenario and every time I see it, I can’t help but wonder if we aren’t doing a disservice to what that symbol actually means, by putting a drop shadow or a catchy outer glow all around it?

Many probably have no problem with it, but for me personally, I tend to shy away from churches who like to show over animated theological elements in their brand logos. I’m sure they thought it was clever to use the cross at the letter ‘T’ in their name, but can we all agree that it’s been done, and move on?

Don’t be afraid to branch out a bit with your brand identity. Give people something they weren’t expecting – it may end up being more appealing in the end.

What are some of the best church logos you’ve seen?

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John Saddington
John Saddington is a full time blogger (http://tentblogger.com), loves leading his creative team building web apps, and is a passionate enthusiast of WordPress. Follow him on Twittter @TentBlogger.