Do you really need a church logo? Yes. Need ideas to help you create an attention-grabbing church logo, one that will be a visual wrapper for your church brand? Read on.
First, let’s discuss the overarching principles of a logo and how one will help represent who you are as a ministry.
Is it Biblically wrong to have a church logo? No. We need logos because we live in a visual world. That’s why a controlled visual wrapper is ideal to help consumers and community members identify an organization, product, service, etc.
How can you tell if you’re successful with your church logo? Your congregation should recognize it even if your church’s name isn’t seen next to your logo symbol.
So how can your church design a logo that stands out? Here are five free church logo ideas to help your church in the branding process:
- The logo must visually represent what you’re known for. The test? Your congregation should love wearing something with your logo on it. If they don’t, it’s time to change either what you’re known for or what your church logo looks like. In a sense, the logo represents the congregation, not just the church. If you have a thread or tagline, that should accompany your logo for most uses so the visual connects with what you’re known for and vice versa. Your brand ultimately is your thread, and the logo simply offers a visual wrapper for what you’re known for.
- Be unique and simple. When creating a visual for your church, design trends must prevail. Simple is the trend right now because church logos need to be recognized at very small sizes and formats, especially on digital channels. Therefore, flatten and simplify (e.g., remove shadows and gradients). Resist illustrations and photos. Another idea is to make your logo unique in order to singularly represent your unique church brand.
- Have hierarchy and balance. With any design, ensure there’s balance in the symbol. Be careful of hierarchy when adding your name and tagline near the symbol. Ask yourself these questions: Do all words need to be the same size? Do you even need the word “church” if your denomination is in your name? Fault to simplicity by creating a well-balanced logo that looks professionally designed. Decide if the symbol should have more presence than the words or if the words should be dominant. It’s up to you — just don’t have them battling for attention. A well-designed logo should last at least 15 years.
- Limit versions; control extensions. Church logos should have horizontal and vertical versions so you have a logo for multiple uses. Resist too many versions though, or you could lose control of your overall look. When extending your church logo into individual ministry logos, be careful not to have too many symbol or font variations. It’s always safest and best to use your main church symbol with one font layout for all ministries, resembling your main church logo. Don’t let your ministries compete with your church as separate brands or silos. They’re part of you!
- Religious symbols are unneeded. The purpose of your church logo is to uniquely represent your ministries with a visual wrapper. Because there are many churches, your logo needs to be different from other ministries to avoid confusion. Many churches use prominent religious symbols, so a prominent religious symbol (a cross, a dove, etc.) in your logo creates a challenge when you are trying to make the logo unique. Your church probably has a religious word in its name, so most will understand your logo is for a religious organization. If you do want to have a religious symbol, try to make it secondary or subtle. Be creative and unique!
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.
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