Graphic design most certainly has a place in the church. The church website and logo are often the first things people see before deciding whether or not to attend. Graphic design has the potential to draw people in or turn people off. Obviously, the most important part of the church is the teaching and community, but the design of the website and church logo should ideally reflect what the church really stands for.
Sadly, there are many things churches get wrong when it comes to design. Here are a few common church graphic design blunders!
Using Overused Fonts
When designing your logo, do not use the default fonts Microsoft includes in their Office Suite. Perhaps the most notorious overused font is Comic Sans. The font is commonly used for headings and body text of websites, brochures, and sometimes even church bulletins. On the other hand, I would argue that the most overused font when it comes to logos is Papyrus. Papyrus is used in hundreds of small business logos, and churches often choose it because it looks like it was written on parchment. The problem is, the distinct font is not unique!
Overused fonts scream “unoriginal” to everyone who has seen them before. You don’t want your church having the same font as Edible Arrangements and Avatar.
Replacing the Letter “t” with a Cross
At first it may seem like a clever, witty graphic design choice. Simply replace the “t” in “Christ” or “Resurrection” with a cross and you can incorporate Jesus into your logo! There are two problems with this choice. First, it is overused. The technique has been used in everything from Christian movies to ministries to churches. It’s simply not unique anymore. Second, it is anything but subtle. The cross sticks out like a sore thumb. A more pleasant alternative would be to add a cross symbol to the icon or illustration in the logo. Just don’t put it in the text. Please.
Placing Stock Footage on the Website
When someone visits a church website, the last thing they want to see is stock footage of perfect happy people! Ideally the first picture they should see on the website should be an image of the church members. This gives potential visitors an idea of what to expect when they walk in. They get a glimpse of the community of the church. It’s also OK to have an image of the church building, but it’s not the best option. Images on church websites should represent the body of Christ – the life we have in Jesus Christ.
Never Updating the Church Website
Speaking of websites, most people can tell if a church website hasn’t been updated in awhile. It’s always bad to have the calendar empty, or latest audio sermon from two years ago, but the visuals of the website can become antiquated too. For example, the website should be made responsive. Otherwise when people visit the site from a smartphone (which is becoming more and more common) they will see the same website from a smaller screen. Not only does that make it harder to browse, but it also sends a message to viewers. Also, certain outdated design trends can make a bad first impression. Beveled or glossed buttons, for example, should be ditched for a more flat design to stay with current trends.
Graphic design is vital to growing your church. It’s like the church lawn. If it’s ugly or unkept, nobody will walk in, let alone stay. Church graphic design should be warm, inviting, and modern. Only then will it accurately represent what really matters. I hope you learned something from this list of common church graphic design blunders! Until next time!
Josiah is a web designer and entertainment enthusiast. He enjoys researching Christian entertainment specifically, and he writes on his blog (JJyay Web Tools). Though his obsession is creating original material, he also finds time to enjoy the company of his family.
Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and get updates on every new article that we publish!