How to Update your Church Logo: A 10-Point Guide to Walk you through the Creative Process
Most pastors and church leaders don’t think in terms of “branding” or “marketing”.
They’re understandably suspicious of methodology that tells you to run your church like a business. They worry that their appeals to the community will start to sound like sales pitches. And realistically, they understand that they will never be able to compete with the the newest strategies and technologies of Hollywood or the marketing industry.
Those are legitimate concerns. But the hard reality is that you don’t get to decide whether or not your church has a brand. It already does.
Just think of branding as the process of communicating who you are to other people. And whether you realize it or not, your church is already sending that message to your community.
The way that you keep up the church properties makes an impression.
The type of printed materials you send out in the community makes an impression.
Even the way you decorate your buildings affects how people view your church.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most basic aspects of your church branding - your church logo or identity. It’s an important first step, because it will be one of the most visible and recognizable parts of your brand.
Your logo is made up of the symbols, colors, words, fonts, and shapes that you use to communicate your identity to your church and community.
But before we get into the details of your church logo, let’s talk about why it matters.
Does your church logo really matter? Yes. It does.
Before you jump into the process of creating a new church logo, you need to understand why you are making this investment of time and energy.
There are at least four reasons that your church logo matters.
Recent estimates place the number of churches in America somewhere around 350,000. And that’s a good thing. We need more churches, not less.
But that does leave you with the challenge of distinguishing your church from the others around you. This is a practical problem, not necessarily a theological one. Even if you agreed 100% with all of the churches in your area, you would still want to help people recognize and remember your church.
I read once that your church logo is like your Facebook photo. Do you ever get random friend requests from people with no profile picture? If you don’t immediately recognize the name, you probably just ignore it and forget it.
A good logo will keep people from ignoring and forgetting you.
What do people look for in a church? The answer may surprise you.
There are certainly theological and philosophical concerns, but most people are looking first for a place to belong. They want to connect with God, but they also want to connect with others.
Your church logo should communicate something about your values. Traditional or modern? Classic or minimalist?
Fonts, colors, style, shapes - all of these features work together to communicate your values.
Every church has a story. Your church included.
Your church is physically located in a city and community. Your church is made up of people that God has gathered together to reflect His magnificent grace.
Now, obviously, you can’t communicate everything about your story in one logo. But you can hint towards it.
Find a milestone in the history of your church.
Brainstorm some words that encapsulate your vision and purpose.
Choose a symbol that reflects your congregation or community.
Don’t try to do everything. But fine one or two ways to hint toward your story.
People love stories. Just imagine sitting down with a new member or first-time visitor. Then, imagine using your logo as a starting point for the story of your church.
That’s the logo you want - the one that makes you want to tell the story of what God is doing in your church.
This process can seem overwhelming. But it will be worth the investment of time and energy, and if you consistently apply what you’ve learned through the process, you will build trust and familiarity in your community.
Every time your logo appears on a sign, bulletin, invitation card, or social media post, it will be working for you. It will be telling a story, painting a picture, and communicating a message.
Your logo doesn’t need to be the most creative or more professional or most dynamic. It does need to communicate that you care.
Put simply, doing everything is not possible. But thankfully, doing something thoughtful and intentional is enough.
So don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of entering this process. Gather a team of people who know your church and your people. Talk through ideas. Search other logos for inspiration.
And know that this is all within reach.
3 Simple Steps to a New Church Logo
What do you do if your logo is terrible? What if it’s outdated? Or what if you don’t have a logo at all?
You don’t have thousands of dollars to put into hiring a designer, but you don’t want to keep using the logo that was made in the 1980’s.
Here’s the good news. You can customize a logo for your church in just minutes. And it won’t cost thousands of dollars.
At ProChurch, we have dozens of church logo templates to use as a starting point for your creative process.
On the first pass through the logo templates, don’t get too focused on colors or fonts, because all of that can be changed. Just look at the basic design elements - shapes and symbols.
Once you find a logo that is close to what you’d like, you can move to the next step.
Using our online editor, you’ll be able to update the text for the logo with your church name.
Once you enter your info, you may find that you like the logo as it is. But if not, you can move on to step three.
Now that the basic details are in place, you can start working through the specifics. There are two basic elements that are involved here - font and color.
We have carefully selected the font and color options for each of our logo designs, but we understand that you may want to make changes. So we’ve made all of the design elements fully customizable.
Using our online editor, you can explore a full range of font styles and color options.
We recommend creating a few different versions of the logo to compare. It might also be a good idea to gather a small team of people to review the options and make the decision.
3 Principles for Using your Church Logo Effectively
Congratulations! You have a new church logo!
Now what? Here are a three key principles to help you use your new logo effectively.
A style guide is just a set of guidelines to help your staff and volunteers know how to use your logo with excellence.
If you’re not sure what a style guide should look like or if you just want a little inspiration for creating your own, here’s a great list of church style guides that you can check out.
A style guide will help people in your church (pastors, staff, and even volunteers) know how to use your logo in a variety of contexts and formats.
Can the church secretary change out the logo colors? Can the media team switch around the logo elements so it will fit on a new design? Can the youth pastor use a more exciting font on the youth activity banner? Your church style guide should answer those questions (and others).
The primary feature of a logo is consistency, because you want people to immediately associate that logo with your church. If you’re always changing the logo style, shape, and color, you’re not going to get that kind of impact from your design.
You have a quality logo now, so you’ll definitely want to use it wherever it is appropriate to do so.
Most churches will use the logo to create new letterhead and business cards. But all printed materials should have your logo somewhere on the design - invite cards, door hangers, bulletins, connection cards, etc. Signs, banners, and display products should all use your logo. And of course, your social media posts, web banners, and screen graphics should too
Your church logo will not normally be the center of attention on these designs. But it should be a present. A skilled graphic designer or quality design templates will train your eye to see how this balance works.
This starts when you introduce the new logo to your church. You don’t need a detailed, Hollywood-style narrative for your logo. It just needs to be a simple story about who you are as a church, where you came from, and where you’re hoping God takes you in the future.
Hopefully, your new church logo hints at some of those plot points. If so, you can use it as a launchpad for your story.
Train your people to think in terms of that story. This is not marketing (at least not in the traditional sense). This is storytelling. Even better, it’s a creative way to tie the story of your church into the story of what God is doing in the world.
The process of brainstorming, creating, and implementing a new church logo can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be.
Now, you have a simple 10-point guide to walk you through the process.
First, solidify the purpose of your church logo:
- It identifies your church.
- It communicates your values.
- It sets up your story.
- It builds your credibility.
Next, follow these 3-steps to customize your church logo:
- Choose a logo mark.
- Edit the text.
- Make font and color selections.
And finally, make a plan for using your new logo intentionally.
- Create a basic style guide.
- Use your logo consistently in all your designs.
- Start telling the story of what God is doing in your church.