What is a Logo?
A logo by definition is “A symbol or design that identifies a brand.” Obviously, we don’t want the church as a whole to come off as a brand, but as a living organism that represents Jesus Christ. Jesus has given all of Christianity a symbol to use to represent Him and the church, which is the cross. The early church used the sign of the fish to identify themselves to other believers. But in this age, each individual church should have, and needs a logo. Each church is going to have it’s own set of values so each church needs a logo to represent those values. Each church is going to have it’s own brand and it’s own vibe. That being said it’s time to ask, what makes a great church logo?
What Makes a Great Church Logo?
Gateway church. I love the iconography of this logo. The circle makes it look like a button, pen or stamp of some kind. It has a resolute look to it. I think that’s good; a church should send a signal of being strong, unified, truthful. I like the artistry of it; that being the opening gates. The perspective and arches tell you that the gate is opening. It says that “you welcome to come in”. Of coarse Jesus spoke of being the gate to the Father. The gate looks like a old fashioned palace gate, making it have a sense of royalty. The artistry is very nice, yet its not to detailed, keeping the image as a iconic look, instead of becoming a fine art picture. To much detail takes away from a logo and makes the image more into a piece of art.
Hillsong. The logo may just be the name of the church, but like any good logo it says something about the church. When I think of Hillsong, I think of the great worship music that comes from them. Churches the world over sing their songs. The logo is very loose and free like music and worship. The vertical shape of the word makes me think of a beat, music, dancing, etc. It makes me think of the verse, “where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. The logo blooms and dances with freedom.
This great logo speaks for itself. The up arrow in a circle is strong, iconic and undeniably shares that this church is going to help you go up. You’re going up in your walk with Christ and in your walk in life. They’re going to take you higher. The logo is also very modern and even gives a digital vibe. This makes it appealing to younger generations, suggesting that this church is new, fresh, bold, and rooted in the modern age. This logo is strong, but simple, and it gets its brand across.
Keys to a Great Church Logo
- The logo needs to represent your church. If you use just the church name, put a lot of thought into the font you use. Research the right font and purchase that font. If you can make your own font or scrip like Hillsong, then by all means do so. The more unique and original you can be the better. What’s the stand out value of your church? How can you communicate that or more of your values in your logo. Careful! Don’t let your logo get to bogged down with concepts. Choose the most important value and think about how you can best portray and illustrate that concept.
- Minimal is better. Remember a logo represents a brand. A logo is not meant to be a Michelangelo painting. A logo is not an illustration in a book. The fewer details the better. Simplicity can create strength and ease on the eyes. To many details can bog down the logo and the message you are trying to imply, will get lost. Can the logo stand on its own or does it need a circle, square or shape in the background? Often logos can be seen with some vague shape to accompany it. But a good logo can stand on its own two feet. How elemental can you be without being to vague? Put a lot of thought into this and of coarse ask the Lord what shapes, words, or designs will work.
- Use line, shape, color to your advantage. Break your logo idea down. What shapes can you use to create it? What about negative space, how can it be applied to imply a shape? How can you use lines to strengthen or to create repetition? What common symbols or pictograms might work for you? What strong shapes or letters can you put together? A logo should be able to stand alone and be strong in black and white. Once you have established a good black and white image, you can add in color. What colors will represent your church? Think about colors that are not candy colors. What about adding in opaque colors or pastel colors.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite brands and what makes them so great.
The text is strong, simple and easy to read. Some text has to many serifs or to many loops and swirls and it becomes hard to read. That’s not what makes this logo great. The arrow points from the “A” to “Z,” indicating that Amazon sells everything from “A”to “Z”. The arrow also doubles as a smile with a dimple. This indicates that you’ll be happy with our Amazon purchase. This is fantastic marketing.
Everyon’es favorite computer and mobiel devices. Apple has changed and or made the world better and more convenient. The products, like the logo are clean, bold, and bring a big punch. The artwork is simplified, contained, and iconic. It would be ironic with or without the popularity of the brand. The bite in the apple makes me think of a person who is taking a big bite out of life. The Apple products will enrich your life. Apples are healthy too. Apple computers generally don’t get viruses or bugs. Over all the Apple logo exemplifies everything about the Apple company and its brand.
Face book is a social media website. I love the coloring because the blue is not overbearing or harsh, and blue is cool. These are all perfect for a social media site. I love the use of negative space to create the “f”. Using the negative space give the image more flow, and openness. Again, more good concepts for a social media company.
The new logo for American Airlines is brilliant. There are no hard lines, just shape, shadow and negative space that create this image. You can see the red, white and blue for America. The negative space and shadows create the eagles head and beak. The red and blue shapes are the wings the eagle while at the same time looking like the wings of the plane. This logo brings all the identity of the company and brand to the forefront and does so with polish and power. The power does not come from force but from subtlety.
Ah Disney, who does not love Disney? This is an old logo, but I’m going to focus on the constant piece of the logo, no matter what it changes to. The “Walt Disney” lettering. This unique font is fun, animated, bouncy, childish. Just looking at it brings joy and excitement. This perfectly captures the mega studio in all its essence.
There are many other logos that I could write about, but I think these few can illustrate some of the points that I am making. I hope this article is able to help you as you design your church or ministry logo. Just to conclude, think about the message you want your logo to convey? How can you illustrate that message? How can you simplify that image and make your logo more elemental? What use of shape, line, negative space and color will make the right logo for you? Ultimately pray and ask the Holy Spirit what is the right look for the church He has commissioned you to start?