How To Create A New Church Logo
If You’re In Church Leadership And Want To Update Your Logo, Where Do You Start?
Assuming you can get over the hurdles of getting the rest of your leadership onboard, get finances approved for the project, and have that unpleasant conversation with the person who created the logo who knows how many years ago, then you have a whole new set of challenges.
Now, I want to be careful about over-spiritualizing something like a logo. But I do believe the logo is important and just like every other area of creativity in the church, it says something about identity, quality, mission, everything. I also think putting too much weight on the meaning of the logo can be harmful. Why? Because it makes leadership think they need to say everything about their identity in their logo and as a result, end up with a really busy, complicated, committee generated logo.
A church logo should be clean, adaptable, recognizable, and give a bit of a preview of the overall feel of the church.
So how do you make it happen? This post is intended to help you solve this problem. First, a quick list of dos and don’ts that I’ve discovered after walking churches through the process over and over again.
Do NOT Hire Someone Within The Church To Create Your Logo
You may have some great graphic designers in your church. The problem is not talent, it’s navigating the feelings and finances with your own congregation. What if you don’t like their designs? What if they don’t like your direction? It just has too much potential for unnecessary conflict.
Do NOT Form A Logo Committee
The reason is committees have to make a decision together, which is very hard in this context. Logos draw out a broad range of opinions and styles, which makes it very difficult for a group of people to come to a decision together.
Do Form A Logo TEAM
What? Isn’t this a contradiction? Nope. A diverse team has a completely different approach if given a clear mandate: To brainstorm, give feedback, and recommendations; that’s it. A logo team does not “make a decision” but does the hard work of finding the possibilities and handing the decision over to one or two key leaders. This way, the congregation gets input and representation in the process, but the church is not left with a logo picked by a committee.
So How Do We Make This Happen?
My one and only method of helping churches create their new logo is through a crowd sourced logo design company. I’ve done many of these with churches and here’s why I like them. They are inexpensive, they give the church a huge range of possibilities, they remove the guilt of not liking someone’s logo, and last but not least, it’s fun!
Every time I walk a logo team through a design contest, they end up enjoying the process and are very pleased with the outcome. So I wanted to give you a quick guide to doing this process with your team, including some helpful tricks to get the best outcome.
For me, the best host for this process is 99designs.com. I’ve tried others, they’re fine. But 99designs.com has a number of really helpful tools, which I’ll talk about in a little bit. But if you’d like to use 99disigns.com, go ahead and click the following link:
Before You Launch Your Logo Contest
Give yourself enough time. The contest progresses in timed phases and when you add it all up takes a least a couple of weeks or more. So you want to make sure that your team is able to engage with this process the whole time.
Choose the highest level plan you can afford. All crowd sourced design contests allow you to choose different levels for your contest. The level determines the quantity and quality of designs you’ll receive. The higher the package, the better the outcome. I would recommend going no lower than the Silver Package.
Walk your team through the brief. Part of the logo contest involves creating a “brief” for the designers to work from. It includes your preferences, color schemes, fonts, really anything and everything you want the designers to know. The more specific you are, the more targeted your designs will be.
Give the designers feedback. The more feedback you give, the better the designs. Remember, all the designers want to win because that’s how they get the payout, so they are there to do what you want them to do. Don’t worry about hurting their feeling (but be polite). Tell them what you think and what you want changed. Also, I prefer to make the contests “blind”, which means the designers can’t see one another’s designs. I find this keeps the designs more original.
Productivity Tips. 99designs has a number of tools that help this whole process along, but I want to mention two. First, if your church uses “slack” (and it should) then you can create an integrated channel where every design submitted will automatically be dumped there. This means every person on your team will receive the designs in real time without logging into the website and be able to give quick feedback to the whole team.
I would also recommend sending daily polls to team members so you can prompt more detailed feedback. They give them to you in the form of a link, so it’s really easy to send it to people for quick ratings. Remember, the more feedback you give, the better the designs, but you can’t give feedback unless you know what you’re team is thinking.
Want Help With This Process?
You can totally do this one your own, but if you want help, this is just one of many things Spire Group does with our partner churches. We can come alongside your leadership and help facilitate this process from start to finish. If this sounds like a good option to you, fill out the form on our contact page and we’ll be in touch.
Thanks for reading!
Founder and Lead Catalyst for Clearpath.Church. Josh is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and is passionate about helping small churches find their voice. Josh lives with his family in San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California.