Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Have you seen any good church logos?

Bethlehem Baptist Church logo

Bethlehem Baptist Church logo

Designed by Bob Goebel.

Good church logos aren’t easy to spot. Maybe it’s down to budget, or priorities, or design understanding. But more and more, churches are run like businesses, so it makes sense for the branding to play a part, if only to attract a larger congregation.

I’ve picked out a few church logos that stood out more than the usual fare.

Lake Hills Church logo

Lake Hills Church logo

Designed by Marc English Design in 2000.

Green Valley Community Church logo

Green Valley Church logo

Designed by Benjamin Ian Design Studio.

According to Richard Reising, of Artistry Marketing Concepts, churches shy away from branding because they don’t understand it. “They think branding is an elevated marketing term and only applies to mega-churches or [overly] forward thinking ones. Churches are also concerned about becoming commercial. But really branding makes them become strategic.” (Full article here.)

Oasis Church logo

Oasis Church logo

Logo designer: currently unknown.

Do you know of any others? Kent Shaffer lists his top 20 church logos, but they’re hit and miss.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

79 appreciated comments

  1. Buckhead Church in Atlanta and its parent ministry, North Point Church, do a great job of branding themselves.

    The logos are pretty good, but their brand in general is incredible. They have a great business sense.

    http://www.buckheadchurch.org
    http://www.northpoint.org

  2. David – it’s so funny to see this post today. I’ve got a meeting tonight at my church where I plan to put across the case for a decent logo and getting a proper identity organised. If I manage to convince them then you might be hearing from me :)

  3. Hi David,

    You might want to take a look at http://www.nieuwekerk.nl/nl/index.htm this is a large church in Amsterdam, where all national royal events are. It is basic but clear.

  4. Steven,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I’m not keen on the Buckhead Church logo at all, but appreciate you offering the links.

    Fraser,

    Hope the meeting goes well. That is a coincidence!

  5. I’m nothing of a logo expert but here are a few more examples to see if there is anything in them that you like.

    http://www.12stone.com/home/home.php
    http://www.stonemillchurch.org/

    And here’s a top 50 church design list.
    http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/best-church-websites/

  6. Hi David,

    Came across this website on my travels for inspiration for a new website Im working on right now….

    very cool design and interesting logo! not too sure about “rise and take this city” as a tag line! sounds quite rebellion like!! haha

    http://cotrokc.org/

  7. archie

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a nice typographic logo designed with a proprietary font by Jonathan Hoefler.

  8. Interesting thoughts, David.

    Apologies in advance for the length of this comment. It’s a subject I feel pretty emotional about, I guess.

    I believe in the power of a good brand.

    Why don’t churches give more serious thought to their logos? Simply put, many churches — as you faintly suggest when you disregard the question of morality — aren’t businesses, and they shouldn’t be.

    Branding is important for businesses because people become emotionally attached to a particular brand, and the ethos and lifestyle it represents. Every business has a different logo, because no business wants to be associated with another business’s ethos.

    It’s tempting for churches to do the same, so that people become emotionally attached to their unique brand of lifestyle. But attracting people should never be any church’s primary focus. And emotional attachment to a particular brand at the expense of a love for God and his people is “good” old-fashioned idolatry, in the Biblical sense.

    The other reason is that when individual churches have logos, they differentiate themselves from each other. The Bible has harsh things to say about Christians who group themselves into separate schools — when it talks about people who say, “I follow Paul” and “I follow Apollos”. Yes, I know, we’ve got the Baptists, Catholics, Bretheren, etc. It’s wrong and I don’t like it, but we can work for positive change from where we stand. I believe branding will set us up for worse competition.

    It’s not so much a question of right or wrong, as of what is important. The emotional attachment of a brand is much shallower than that of a human to a human, or of a human to God. And we churches simply don’t want that superficialness. We don’t want to attract people who love God less than they love our branding.

    The Church of God is global. Always has been. In fact the Church has always had “logos” of a sort — but we tend to call them “symbols”. It’s a similar idea, but it goes much deeper. Deepest is the symbol of the cross. It’s a symbol based heavily in reality, and it represents the most horrible, and at the same time the most beautiful thing that God ever did. We also have symbols that are actions rather than images — when we eat bread & drink wine together, we remember the last time Jesus did the same with his closest followers. When we wet a child or new christian with water, we symbolize how God has already washed their guilt away, and we welcome them into God’s family.

    Many Christians don’t wear or draw crosses, because they don’t believe a visual symbol is necessary or good. I respect that. But I (like you) believe in the power of a visual symbol, and the cross is one that I believe is deep enough to be worthy of what it represents.

    To be honest (without wanting to moralize!), when churches want to have their own brands, it says to me that they don’t think the original symbols of the Church are cool enough for them. But that’s not really my call, at the end of the day; it is God’s call.

    Thanks for reading this far down!

  9. What about this logo?

    http://jubileeworldharvest.com.au/images/logo.gif

    It is part of the four square church and as you can tell it uses four squares.

    btw I agree that the churches dont use marketing because they do not understand it, I go to church and to try and explain marketing its a hard thing to do.

    What I find is even harder is that you get people who think they have an idea…

    Jermayns last blog post..So Much Beauty – Kate Ceberano

  10. David,

    Check out Vandelay Website Design’s blog:

    http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/best-church-websites

    Steven Snell puts together some fine lists, and this link is one of them. Though he isn’t specifically talking about the logos, per se, some of them are quite nice (for church logos, which as you point out, are a little lacking).

    Maybe one of these 50 will jump out at you.

    Regards,

    Kelly

  11. hr

    i quite like this one from my friend’s church: http://www.gccnj.org/
    also, this one from the UK: http://www.ovc.uk.com/Group/Group.aspx?id=71673
    circles = grapes = vineyard. positioned to be shaped like England, Scotland, and Wales (UK).

  12. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think a church needs a logo at all. Isn’t the cross the universal, world-wide recognizable sign? It’s powerful enough, and all those so-called logos that try to represent churches are a whole lot weaker than that. At least the examples shown here and at the sites in the comments are not that impressive at all.

    Without the (omnipresent) tagline “church” I would think it’s a Web 2.0 startup looking at most of them. Visually I like the Northstar and Bethlehem, but they are also quite generic without the tagline.

    Now I don’t believe that one should look at the logo and be instantly able to tell what business the company runs, but most of the logos just don’t feel appropriate here. It is difficult to design a logo for a church though (topic-wise and also client-wise I suppose), as for me, I always stay away of designing for anything religious.

    This is also the case where the logo itself isn’t enough to put a message across, the whole identity must be very well made (including good copy) to support it. And this is where all the examples I’ve seen here (except The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maybe) miserably fail (looking at their sites).

  13. That was deep Bryan. Thanks for the inspirational moment :)

  14. http://www.Marshill.org have a nice logo and probably the best church website I’ve seen, really have an eye to nice, clean and clear design and typography.
    It’s great to see a church that has a great website as for so long, churches have been way behind the times.

  15. I don’t have any examples to add, but I remember church Website design was a big deal a while ago (as in, it wasn’t very good and why not?). Godbit Project started out of that.

    I really do think that it’s money related. Churches are a non-profit. Do you know many non-profits (that don’t have a huge corporate overseer, like Girl Scouts/Girl Guides), that have well designed marketing materials like logos, Websites, brochures, etc?

    Interesting thoughts from Bryan above. I’m a Christian and I’m not really sure how I feel about what he said. I agree and disagree at the same time. I suppose logos and marketing are what I do and what our culture does, so I think why wouldn’t a church have these things, too? But maybe that’s a different discussion, for another time.

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curios last blog post..How to Create Aged Tape from Scratch in Photoshop

  16. I like that Lake Hills Church one that you picked. I like Church on the Move and Harvest Church (especially that one, very conceptual) posted by Kent.

    The ones posted in the comments: I like 12 stone, has ideas of being built on the apostles teaching, building house on the rock, building a church, Jesus is the rock, number 12 = complete. CCV from the Vandelay post is cool. Oxford vineyard is okay, it could be used to better affect on the website – it’s a bit pixelated and gets a bit lost.

    @Brian Hoyt – I can see where you’re coming from and I think it’s better than the extreme opposite (e.g. a large church in my area, which preaches a prosperity gospel and rakes in millions, probably billions, from its ‘feel good’ ministry), but I think one of your points is fundamentally incorrect. That is, I don’t think the bible speaks against separate churches; it speaks against separatism, but even then the case that you talk about was division within one church. I think the model we get from the bible is that a church is the group you meet with regularly, learn with, teach, support each other, which makes it a separate group from the church down the road, or across the world, even separate from the other “congregations” that meet in the same building as you. That’s who Paul writes to in his letters, the church of the Romans, the church of the Ephesians, the church in Thessolonica…
    There is the sense that there is one church (Eph 5, Rev 20) under Christ. I don’t think it’s practical or helpful to apply that model to churches on earth because it’s just not sustainable, it’s something that will be realised when Christ returns and until then the important thing to remember is that we’re all under Christ.
    Even without branding, people are attached to their church because of the people in it, because of the things they’ve learnt there. People will get all those kinds of emotions with it anyway.
    A logo helps people outside the church identify which church is writing to them/inviting them to something etc. If the logo is designed well, it will give people an idea of what the church is about – sure, it’s about Christ, but is that in an old incense burning way or a community of believers way?
    Churches still have a bunch of print products that they produce, I don’t think it hurts to tie them together somehow – as long as people stay focused on wht their church is supposed to be doing, not just building numbers, but growing people in maturity.

  17. Stacey Schofield

    I attended a church here in wichita kansas that was REALLY into Digital Media. Their logo is pretty cool.

    http://www.gracepoint.com/

  18. Here’s one my friend designed for Apostles Church in New York
    http://ampersanderson.com/dump/apostles.gif

    I feel a little sheepish to toot my own horn here, but a recent project pertains to the thread. I designed a logo for All Angels’ Worship in the Round service and I feel it works both aesthetically and functionally.
    http://www.ampersanderson.com/recent/wir.html

    Still, I largely to agree with Nicetype above. I feel on one hand that the current Western culture necessitates some sort of visual identity. But, on the other hand, churches are not—Biblically speaking—businesses. In my opinion, I feel that churches choosing to co-opt mass culture models should be both careful and aware, realizing that the message (ie: Christ) should be the focus. The legitimacy of any church will never be found in its logo.

  19. Matthew, having said that, I really like your work for that church, especially the light installation :) Nice to see Pill Gothic in use too

  20. I love this topic! My studio only works with churches so I know this market and the reasons you are not seeing a lot of great church logos is vast…here are a few:

    FEAR: it requires change, it requires admitting something is missing

    CHEAP: some churches go the path of least resistance, to many this means letting the guy in the church that isn’t really qualified, but the most qualified in the church, do the logo for free

    IGNORANT: They don’t understand that a logo is more than a pretty mark, they don’t understand how much logos are communicating so they just grab something that people say look nice and check that task off their list

    Slowly but surely we are seeing more and more churches and church leaders get on board and dive in. We are working on 3 different identity projects right now…so the trend is starting to change.

  21. Excellent discussion! You’ve given me a lot to think over.

    I’m heading into the centre of Edinburgh for a meeting, but didn’t want you to feel I was ignoring comments. In fact, a lot of your thoughts made me wonder if I chose the right headline for this post, and I enjoyed reading your take.

    Bye for now.

  22. When I’ve designed a logo for a church, what I’ve appreciated most from the client is the initial comment: “We don’t want our logo to look like a church logo.”

  23. Brian, yep, apparently there is a rebellion on the horizon.

    Archie, there’s no need to have an icon, I agree. Wordmarks can be just as effective.

    Bryan, don’t worry. It’s good to get an insight into your thinking. The reply by Kristarella contained a sentence I tend to side with, though I’m not a religious person:

    “Churches still have a bunch of print products that they produce, I don’t think it hurts to tie them together somehow…”

    Jermayn, not a fan of the logo you linked to. Does it really use four squares? Were they going for a white ‘J’ of some sorts?

    Kelly, Jeremy also linked to the same article, cheers for that.

    HR, I’m not so keen on the Grace logo. The concept has been done much better in my opinion. Thanks for the reasoning behind the Oxford design, which was nice to know.

    nicetype, is there a stronger, more widely-recognised mark anywhere? That’s a question for another post. Interesting that you always stay clear of designing for religious purposes. I can understand that decision.

    Adam, it took a while for me to find the logo on the site you linked to. Isn’t is strange how it’s incredibly tiny, and placed right at the bottom?

    Lauren, it was interesting to read Bryan’s comment, and Kristarella’s reply. Also how you’re a Christian yet neither agree nor disagree with Bryan’s sentiments. Religion isn’t an easy debate, so I can fully understand why ‘nicetype’ prefers to work on un-religious projects.

    Kristarella, I quoted you above. This blog post has turned a corner I didn’t expect, but it’s great to read from different sides of the debate.

    Stacey, I think the opposite about the Grace Point logo. Good of you to comment though.

    Matthew, when your work is of that standard, you’re more than welcome to toot your own horn. Thanks for the link, which I enjoyed viewing. Like ‘nicetype’ said, the light installation is particularly pleasing.

    Michael, I appreciate your insight, given that you’re working with a number of church organisations. I’ve not yet done so, but wish you all the best with your current projects.

    Jeff, what a great client comment. If only there were more.

  24. Interesting that no one has mentioned the original Greek logos means “word,” which to Christians is Jesus.

    @Michael, I agree with your point about cheap. I’ve seen it many times in our church. But maybe that means those of us who are qualified need to stand up and volunteer our services (talking to myself just as much here!)

  25. “Is there a stronger, more widely-recognised mark than that anywhere?”

    Coca-Cola? ;)

  26. LaurenMarie, so it is! I’m trying to think how one could make good use of that in a logo… I got nothin’.

    Good call Nicetype!

  27. David, thanks for your thoughtful interactions. Roberta, and Kristarella, thanks for the same! Nicetype & Matthew, I like your points of view.

    LaurenMarie, fascinating point about Logos. That reminds me for some reason of the first few chapters of “No Logo” by Naomi Klein, though she doesn’t discuss Christ. The whole book is worth reading in this context.

    Kristarella, I partially agree with you that a global church is impractical in the physical sense. Good thoughts here. I also agree with what you said, “I don’t think it hurts to tie them together somehow…” — to be honest, this is probably the attitude I’d take in most practical cases. I believe in a job well done. Consistent, attractive design is a hugely important part of that.

    An additional thought:

    A lot of Christians are understandably unwilling to make a step in a direction that they see as a “long slippery slope”. They’ve seen other churches go hip with their image and slide downhill from there, and they don’t want to start the same chain reaction. This isn’t an issue for me, personally — I believe that if your heart is straight, then your feet will follow — but it’s good to be aware that other people might not see it this way.

    When you need to decide between hurting fellow churchgoer’s conscience and a nice shiny branding, well, that’s a hard decision to make. Open, robust discussion is great.

  28. Lauren,

    Great link! I didn’t know that about Christ and Logos.

    nicetype,

    Yep, that’s definitely a good call. I see on your blog that you like the Curious Pictures logo. One of my favourites too. :)

    Bryan,

    You’re more than welcome. Thank you for adding to the debate.

  29. Zach

    Really good discussion! I personally like the logo of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (http://www.watchtower.org). They are the official organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I think their brand of a “watchtower” stemming from the biblical idea of a watchtower and a watchmen who looked at the surrounding territory of his town and warned of coming danger or announced the coming of friends really works well with their message and what they do (going door-to-door a preaching their message) and believe. It’s executed well and their magazine designs for both the Watchtower and their other magazine The Awake! always look good.

  30. Lonnie

    Simple but somewhat fun : http://www.chalkbluff.org/

  31. Tim

    my church is about to release a new logo and new web design shortly. we are right in downtown Chicago… a church of about 1,500 20somethings.

    we haven’t officially released our logo, we’re debuting it next month, but i would love your feedback on it!

    http://www.adammabry.co.uk/downloads/idea.jpg

  32. J

    One of the best is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) identity designed by Malcolm Grear.

    http://www.mgrear.com/mgd02.cfm

    Click on PC USA link for images.

    Article here: http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/redesigning-a-symbol-of-faith

    In his book too:
    http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Outside-Basics-Practice-Design/dp/0321440676/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212118687&sr=8-1

  33. This logo our agency did for Pathways is cool (main designer was Greg Meadows). Very contemporary. http://www.pathwaysfellowship.org/
    Also, a mark we did as part of a fundraising campaign for a church with a long historical tradition turned out pretty cool. You can see it on http://www.logolounge.com by searching, “seasons of devotion.”

  34. I’m jumping in late here – our church hired a local artist who’s a friend of the AV guru.

    Ours is not a simple design by any means – but it was nice to see a departure from the standard cross motif to be honest. Plus it pulls the mission statement in nicely.

    http://www.forwardbaptist.ca/

  35. Jesus! There’s a market I never thought of!

  36. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) identity designed by Malcolm Grear is great. I love the subtle meaning one could put (come on, you wouldn’t have seen the cup if there were no explanational images, would you? :) in that mark, and how it doesn’t try to look trendy at all, and that works excellently. Never looks out of place. Try to imagine one of those Web 2.0 church logos on a window.

    Thank you very much for posting that, J.

  37. Thanks for all your continued discussion. Just back from a short break and have a ton of emails to catch up on, but wanted to thank J for linking to the Malcolm Grear design. Excellent logo!

  38. Stuart

    I find the idea of churches needing logos a bit bizarre.

    As someone has already said, Christianity already has one o fthe most recognisable ‘logos’ in the world – the cross – yet very few of these examples seem to incorporate that. If you took the word ‘church’ out of these, you wouldn’t have a clue what its a logo for.

  39. There is some irony in it all. After all, a big part of what religion is is marketing and branding. Religion has been perfecting branding for thousands of years. But the individual churches, not so much.

    Ultimately, though, I think the main reason churches don’t necessarily have the greatest logo designs isn’t so much about the ‘morality’ of branding, or the lack of business understanding in churches, or anything like that…but rather it’s the old ‘too many committees to please’ issue.

    “As someone has already said, Christianity already has one o fthe most recognisable ‘logos’ in the world – the cross”

    Barbers have universal symbols (striped pole) and lawyers (scales of justice) etc. Those are good for identifying what they do, but not necessarily good at differentiating them.

    If you want to cue passerbys on the street that ‘this is a church’ then the cross is perfect. But usually one wants to communicate something a bit more specific with one’s branding than just the generic market they are in.

  40. Stuart,

    Whilst it’s true that you might not know what these logos represent, I believe their purpose is to differentiate, rather than tell a story. A logo doesn’t need to express what a company does.

    Darrel,

    Your point about ‘too many committees to please’ is a good one. Thanks for your thoughts.

  41. Hello.
    I just came across your blog as a “related blog” result from Google Reader. I’ve been reading along and found this post. My church actually just went through a whole logo and name change to re identify who we are as a church. We used to be called Highland Meadows Christian Church which was nothing more than just a location of a subdivision, but we recently merged with an old pastor from our church who branched off. His church was named Compass Christian Church. With a whole new vision and direction, we thought it would be good to change our name to Compass Christian Church for a more multi-site ministry aspect. Along with the new name came a new logo, which I created, located on our new website at http://www.mycompasschurch.com.

    Let me know what you guys think. We went through about 20 logos til we decided on this one. It’s not traditional, but we feel it incorporates our vision and it’s iconic.

  42. Jared, good job! I think you’ve got a good simple mark there that will be a good identifier. I’ve seen a lot of compass logos and icons and yours doesn’t remind me of any of them, but still has that four points idea – great work!

  43. Although not a church, Providence Hospital in Medford, Oregon used to have a great logo. They have stopped using it for some reason in favor of an inferior one.

    There is still an online version of the old one online here.

  44. Jared,

    Good of you to say where you found my blog. Always interesting to know. Like Kristarella, I enjoy the simplicity of your logo. Easy to remember.

    Roberto,

    I like the idea behind the old logo (clever use of negative space appeals to me). Thanks for sharing.

  45. neil

    Just stumbled across this one…

    http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/18776

  46. Brent Ayotte

    I am amazed that you have not even heard of Harvest Christian Fellowship and their 10 person design department.

    Check it out at http://www.harvest.org/

    The Pastor, Greg Laurie, is a former graphic artist. He designed one of the world’s most prolific Christian “tracts” in the 70’s (over 10 million printed), and numerous album covers.

    The church website, like everything else in the church, is cutting edge. It is highly influential in church and business circles, and was literally the first website of it’s kind for any church.

    The church sponsors Crusades around the world, and graphics and logos are cutting edge and produced yearly.

    NOTE: The Pastor recently lost his son – the church’s art director – in an automobile accident a few days ago. As of today, the website reflects this.

  47. Neil, Brent,

    Thanks for your comments, and my thoughts go to Greg Laurie after his sad loss.

  48. icthus

    a few of these are notable logos, the millstone logo is really nice…some of these aren’t so great, just in my opinion, I think you can tell the difference in a professionally designed logo and one that isn’t, which seems to be a trap many church’s fall into as micheal: holycow noted in his comment. My job keeps me in the church marketing loop quite a bit, there’s a company that I’ve had church clients work with that has done some excellent church logos: http://www.detailscom.com They can be pricey, but I think you get what you pay for, I see several of their logos on Kent Shaffer’s list, does anyone know of other design firms that specialize in church logos?

  49. Brent Ayotte

    Icthus asked:

    “does anyone know of other design firms that specialize in church logos?”

    David Riley and Associates (Newport Beach, California) does quite a few church brandings, including interior design and architecture. Among others, they designed the brand for the nation’s largest church, Lakewood (Joel Osteen). They also do Christian colleges, et al.

  50. Jen

    Crosses have nothing to do with Christianity. Nowhere in the bible does it say Jesus died on a cross. It specifically says torture stake.

    Plus God specifically says he detests idolatry. Interesting huh..

  51. I guess it depends which English translation you’re reading. It says in the KJV, John 19:25, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother [...etc.]” — that’s as it’s telling the story of his crucifixion

    But it wasn’t originally written in English, it was written in Greek. The Greek word is “stauros”, which was used to refer to either “cross” or “stake”. But a brief look at Roman history shows us that nailed crucifixions such as Jesus’, did in fact occur on a cross.

    The early Latin Bibles translated “stauros” as “crux” which translates directly to English “cross”.

    Yes, God doesn’t leave any room for idolatry. That’s the issue when you start taking your logo too seriously — people start to worship the logo as if it were the real thing. A symbol, no matter how powerful, must never be more than a symbol.

  52. An idol is something that you worship. It’s a fine line between having a symbol to represent something, or owning anything at all and worshipping it. Maybe we should get rid of all our money and possessions as well as crosses for fear of worshipping them? Oh, and don’t forget photographs, they’re representations to…

  53. Jen

    Kristarella,
    So that’s why people wear it on their necks and bow down to crosses as I type. Right?

    Stop reading articles online kiddo and go pick up a bible. Thanks.

    =)

  54. I think wearing a cross around your neck as a symbol of being a Christian is fine if that’s what you want to do. As for bowing down to it, I think there are lots of ill-conceived traditions that are quite unhelpful. The root of the problem is the tradition, the lack of teaching against unhelpful traditions and people’s willingness to blindly follow traditions without thinking about them. It doesn’t make the symbol bad in itself and doesn’t mean that it has no place.

    Like I said, people worship money, they worship family, they worship possessions. Maybe we should get rid of all those too? No, we should encourage people to use those things properly.

    I pick up my bible regularly… thanks.

  55. Brent,

    Thanks very much for addressing Icthus’ question. Much appreciated.

    Bryan, Kris,

    Interesting to read your replies. I found this comment of particular relevance in your discussion:

    …people worship money, they worship family, they worship possessions. Maybe we should get rid of all those too? No, we should encourage people to use those things properly.

  56. doing some late-night research and found out logo for lake hills church. have several interesting stories about how the job came into our studio, how the job was revealed to the congregation. and how for a year before the identity project landed in our laps i ridiculed their existing logo across the country, along the lines of “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” and lo, and behold, the project comes to us.

    but that’s not why i write. the logo shown here is NOT what we design. the typography we used was Gill Sans. and if you know anything about eric gill and his humanism and background steeped in Church, you will understand why we chose that face.

    but someone is definitely going to hell for, after 7 years, disregarding the equity in that face, and then choosing a generic contemporary face. the curves of the mark were echoed in the curves of the gill face. nothing we do is arbitrary. when you f*ck with god you are going to hell, and i suspect someone will be roasting a long while for messing up our work. not cool.

  57. p.s. . . . and having it on black?! come ON! that’s just wrong. check out our site. i think you will like it. i do.

  58. Marc, choosing a typeface because of the typedesigner’s biography is at least as stupid as showing the logo in question only on the stationery. Got a magnifier anyone?
    I don’t even find words to describe how stupid it is, to believe that anyone will go to hell for abusing your godly logo (to be very honest, it sucks as a logo and especially as a church logo).

  59. david, my type-deficient friend, gill sans is one of the best designed faces out there, and has long been considered the helvetica of england for a reason. and your boneheaded comment about “bio” confirms the sorry state of education. the WORK he did was inspired by very certain facts, and that WORK manifested itself in what is now a classic typeface.

    a magnifier? for starts, only stationary is shown as when we did the identity they didn’t even have a building of their own and the ONLY thing the mark was used on was the materials shown.

    our client was more than happy with a logo so simple a kid could pee it in the snow if they wanted, and that clearly told their story, especially considering they were looking for a mark unlike any other church out there, yet was memorable. your narrow views of what a church logo – or any logo – should look like, coupled with your clear unfamiliarity of the qualities of gill sans, confirms the notion that any idiot can post on the net, but even worse, based on the average state of design out there, that those same people are getting their work seen in public.

  60. Marc, my boastful but tasteless friend, you state above “if you know anything about eric gill and his humanism and background steeped in Church, you will understand why we chose that face.“ which leads me to presumption you did not choose a typeface based on its graphic qualities, but solely on the typedesigner’s background. In that case you should remember Eric’s special relationship to sheeps and young boys.

    Still, regarding the qualities of Gill Sans, I’ve never said anything against it. Although the incosequences throughout the family are apparent even to design students who can’t tell Garamond from Bodoni. Gill Ultra Bold btw is one of the ugliest faces ever (especially the lower case), he cut it only to outfck Futura anyway. I won’t even mention that Gill stole someone else’s design for his face. Oh wait, I just did. So much to the background of the master (who is a master of his craft anyway).

    And if you’ve never seen the work of Hoefler, Porchez, Schwartz, De Groot and Smeijers, you better should. Don’t even get me started on the youngsters like Duprè or Übele who make typefaces so good, Gill and Renner would drool their asses off. The point is: you can design using Univers and Baskerville forever, great typefaces, still usable. Or you can look around, if there are already billions of people using and abusing these and try something new. TDC chooses best new typefaces yearly for a reason.

    Ever heard of Tankard? His Gill is better. Still, I would never consider using it, because it’s bloody everywhere. Did I mention that choosing a face based on its popularity is retarded and would make Arial a perfect choice for everything?

    Regarding the magnifier, dude, if you want to show a logo, show a logo! I can’t SEE the logo, because it’s so bloody tiny on your pic, okay? And why do the same idiots you’re writing about always call stationEry corporate identity? I won’t get into the difference between corporate identity and corporate design, I just say why not call stationEry what it is: NOT corporate identity?

    Your client may happen to be an idiot if he’s happy about a logo which is in fact a set of pictograms. Pictograms for a gardening service that is. Since when is client’s satisfaction an indication of design quality?

    Based on your comment on the average design state I believe you consider yourself something like a sexier Paul Rand, but let me tell you the bitter truth: Rand couldn’t draw, but he had charm. You have about as much charm as a snowman in LA.

  61. Hi David,

    I was asked to design the logo for the church I attend, New Hope Community Church in Pikesville (Baltimore County), MD. My pastor, Jason Poling, asked me to submit it to you for consideration. You can find it in my Portfolio section under Identity Systems.

    thanks and take care,
    Kendall

  62. Wow Kendall, your identity work is really bad. No offence, but do yourself a favour and overthink the ways you treat type, it’s horrible. You could read some books on basic concepts of shapes and colours, because you seem to have no idea. For what it’s worth, the Kendall Amato mark is good, but guess what: you messed up the shape again. The logo of the church (and especially, especially the business card, how could anyone with intact eyes give a node to THAT?!) suc.. is not good.

  63. David,

    I do agree that the work leaves something to be desired, and also that Kendall would benefit from reading a few books, but there are ways to give constructive criticism that don’t lead to offence, and I’m not surprised if Kendall took your comments to heart.

    If your initial contact with someone is to speak negatively of their work, they’re very unlikely to take your follow-up comments on-board. Have you ever heard of a ‘praise sandwich’? It’s where you say something positive first, then insert constructive criticism, and cement your thoughts with a final piece of praise, so the recipient isn’t left with any bad feelings. In essence, you sandwich the criticism inside two slices of praise.

    You’re much less likely to rub someone up the wrong way, and the person you’re speaking to is much more likely to act upon your advice.

    Kendall,

    Here’s a good book I recommend you read: Decoding Design, by Maggie Macnab. Thanks for stopping by.

  64. Frode Helland

    Sub Church has a good logo, very much reflecting their identity. http://www.subchurch.no

  65. i was contacted by a young Vineyard Church in Worcester who wanted a hip, young, tattooish logo, without any references to the cross and emphasizing their belongings to the vineyard movement, so here is what i come up with :

    http://oliviercourbet.com/admin/upload/portfolio/1238168403.jpg

    I spare you the one where the client insisted to add grapes and leaves everywhere ;)

  66. David,

    Really enjoy you blog. I consider it a part of my inspiration each week.

    My church has a pretty solid logo: http://faithpromise.org. The adaptation of the @ symbol is probably a little overused, but still, I think it speaks to the church’s branching heavily into web technology and social media.

    Again, thanks for sharing your insights here!

  67. Thanks Frode, Olivier, Kyle,

    Ah those good ol’ client requests. Put this here. That there. Oh, and try this for size. Thankfully the majority of my clients are superb.

  68. Good afternoon David and others reading this blog,

    I appreciate your constructive feedback and I have refined my logo portfolio and added new samples since I last wrote. I also hope to launch a 2.0 version of my website shortly with even more new work and testimonials from satisfied clients.

    thanks again, take care and good luck,
    Kendall

    owner, CurlyRed

  69. Frode Helland

    I’ve designed the logo and identity for Bergenskirken. The website was carried through by a fellow designer, Vidar Flak. He did an awesome job. Unfortunately, someone from the church office sometimes make new banners for the frontpageand mess up the whole look. http://www.bergenskirken.no

  70. onefish

    White Rock Life Church

    green and new looking: http://www.lifechurchwr.com/

  71. Joe

    I visited this church and found their logo to be particularly inspiring.

    http://www.thegardenbaltimore.com/

  72. Hi, I’ve been planning to do a post about church logos/design and came to do some research and, hey big surprise! David Airey’s already got there and done it! ;) Can always rely on you for being on the button David, good reading as always, and the discussion’s been interesting too. Your article and the comments below will help my research. Will let you know if you’re interested, when my one goes up.

    Just thought I’d mention a logo I designed for Mutley Baptist Church in Plymouth, where I’m a member. If you fancy checking out my old site http://www.artboyart.com you’ll find it (along with a case study) in the selected works along the top. Would be interested in your feedback.

  73. Chris

    Hey David,

    First off, I love your site — I’ve learned a lot from this blog! I’m a graphic designer at my church, and we’ve recently introduced an updated identity across the board; exciting, but challenging to say the least!

    Though there are a few good links in this thread, I feel like it’s missing some of the most well-designed churches out there! I thought I’d share a couple of churches that I really look up to in the design department for all of you.

    First off, Church on the Move in Tulsa Oklahoma:
    http://www.churchonthemove.com

    These guys are excellent in everything they do, graphics, videos, music, production, you name it. And it’s not all show, either, their pastor really brings the word!

    Here’s a link to the website of their Youth Ministry, which has a great identity all its own: http://www.oneighty.com

    Secondly, NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.
    http://www.newspring.cc

    These guys have an incredibly well-executed, cohesive brand. To prove it, check out their visual identity guide: http://www.newspring.cc/docs/visual_identity_standards.pdf

    That’s a level of specificity any major corporation would be proud of, but the message of their ministry never gets lost in it!

    Thanks for this blog, and all of your great insight into the world of design and branding! This blog (and others like it) is a great resource for young designers like myself.

  74. Owen, Chris, thanks very much. Glad you like the site.


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