Strategy & Marketing

Your Logo: What Makes it Great?

I thought you might enjoy seeing my friend Kent Shaffer’s list of the “77 Best Church Logos of 2011“.   As you look over the logos, it’s good to compare how your logo stands up – particularly if you’re a church or nonprofit organization.  Some of the questions you should be asking about your logo are:

1.  Is it simple and easy to understand?
2.  Is it a good visual expression of our brand story?  (Who we are, and what we do?)
3.  Will it transfer well across all media – for instance, will it look good on a sign, a t-shirt, fax, website, coffee mug – anywhere the logo could end up?
4.  Does it work in both color and black and white?
5.  What keywords best describe you?

Remember that your logo isn’t your brand.  Your brand is the compelling story that surrounds your church, ministry, or organization.  (The perception people have – “What do they think when they think of you?”)

Then the logo becomes the visual expression of that brand story.

If seeing these causes you to re-consider your own logo, let me know.  I’d love to hear other questions you should consider, and what frustrates you about your current logo design.

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9 Comments

  1. To expand on #2, your logo should show what you’re like. That’s why it is imperative you spend time, before sketches are ever even thought about, to spend time talking through and uncovering your church’s -unique- personality.

    We start in black and white not so much to make sure it works in every form, but to make sure we focus on concept. It has to communication

    While your logo is not your brand, it is important to recognize that your logo is the root and foundation of your brand. There are many things to consider when talking about “brand” but your logo is the outward expression of all them.

    Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Start with your logo. If you work with someone who follows a process that uncovers who you are and what you are like as a church, that process alone will be worth the dollars spent.

  2. Be careful of an overemphasis on  the symbol component of a logo. The Christian offering is generally visually intangible and is therefore a big ask to encapsulate in a single symbol. You may be better served playing it safe with a font based logo (logotype) than an using a symbol that poorly or even negatively represents you.

    Font based logos are generally less limiting and can be more readily integrated with other visual branding elements. You’d be in good company too: Microsoft,  Prada, Cartier, Sony, Facebook, Flickr, Google, Coca-Cola, FedEx etc.

    Remember the best branding for churches is a great people experience. The best logo in the world won’t repair a bad experience.

  3. I was finding it frustrating that after comming up with our design logo, that we’d always run into a similar design already in use. I guess with millions of design out there, you just have to settle with one that best follows the criteria, and not worry that much of trying to be totally original? What do you think?

  4. Pingback: Batman Logo

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