Before we start allow us to offer an observation: the term “church graphic design” is kind of odd – as if “church” graphic design is any different than “fast food” graphic design or “retail” graphic design. The fact is that art is art regardless of who it’s for. What does make sense about “church graphic design” is that churches do have certain constraints that “for profit’ (and larger nonprofits) do not.
The thing many churches have going for them is that they do a lot with a little. Frankly, we find it inspirational. Church leaders are typically resourceful in using the tools they have to work with. In regard to conveying (or marketing) a message, churches, by and large, have a huge desire to use trendy, artistically savvy designs in their promotional pieces. The big problem is typically this level of expertise costs a lot of money. It just so happens that The Winn Group serves churches with modest budgets on a daily basis.
So what’s the super savvy – yet resource challenged – church to do?
Marketing a church with smart, creative graphic design is easier than you think. Here are some pointers on how to do a lot with a little.
1) Keep your concepts simple.
If you have a creative idea and you want to put it on paper, on a powerpoint, on a website or wherever, keep your concept simple. In the graphic design world (and consequently, the “church” graphic design world) less is more! Don’t get overly colorful. Don’t get so abstract that no one can design what’s in your head. Keep the imagery obvious to interpret. These rules serve two purposes 1) they are just good design rules to live by and 2) it allows for a designer to come in at a lower price point (because the time required is lessened due to your clear concept). This is a great way to get the job done on a budget.
2) Maximize the talents of your congregation.
When budgets are really slim, remember you may have some talent sitting in the pews every sunday. Use it. What’s that verse about some people being a head in the body and some being a hand? Well, go find some of those heads and hands who know to use Adobe Illustrator and/0r PhotoShop. They’ll be happy to serve for free and who knows, they may do a good job. One caveat; however. Almost always, with graphic design, you get what you pay for…so be careful. Remember good design is made by good designers. So be sure to get a few people on your team to speak into the final product before running with it.
3) Find a graphic design partner that aligns with your values.
Churches are unique with unique challenges and unique values. This is important to remember. When you look for an outside marketing firm, like The Winn Group, be sure they have the same values you have. When we started this company, we started it with churches, ministries and nonprofits in mind. We understand why you want to market your message and we understand your budgets and try to help you stretch your dollar as far as possible. So, be sure to ask a lot of questions to see where the company you work with is coming from. Inquire of their character and their business dealings, get referrals and hear their heart – before signing on the dotted line.
See there’s a lot of opportunities to get a lot with a little…in fact, we predict that following these 3 little tips will show that your “little” is actually “a lot”.
Be sure to sign up to our newsletter on the right of our blog for future tips and tricks like this and feel free to comment to let us know how these little tips worked for your church. We work with churches on a daily basis and we get where you are coming from. We’d be happy to help you and your church take your message to the next level.