3 Ways Small Churches Can Have Great Graphic Design, Too!

Ryan Egan —  March 29, 2011 — 8 Comments

Image of the United Free Lutheran Church Logo

When it comes to good graphic design most of us don’t immediately think about churches leading the pack. Most of us especially don’t think about small churches producing high-quality graphic design for their ministries.  However, I recently came across one church in a small 800-citizen town in Minnesota that is changing that perception. Along with showing you some of what they’re doing I also wanted to share a few ways that even small churches can get away from the typical clip art that we often see churches using.

Many churches, first of all, might not even realize the importance of good design.  In an increasingly visual society that is full of imagery marketing the next best widget or tastiest thing to eat, the church doesn’t need to utilize great design to keep up with the culture, but to redeem a medium that is used to sell things and make money and turn it into a medium used to spread the greatest news ever known to humankind.

Even a small church can find ways to let great graphic design make a huge impact on their congregation and community.  Here are three ways for a small church to have big vision when it comes to graphic design.

1. Look within

Posters and flyers from United Free Lutheran ChurchIt’s a great idea to always look within your congregation first of all to find talent.  Today’s options for work make it possible for a highly talented designer to work from home in a small town in the middle of Minnesota.  I was so excited to cross paths with graphic designer Kurt Melby of United Free Lutheran Church who owns Blue Fusion Designs.  Since he doesn’t have a lot of time to offer to the church he offered his artwork instead.  He’s created the church logo, clothing, posters, Christmas cards, and more for the church.

If you don’t have a self-employed graphic designer in your midst see if any of the youth are interested in art and design.  If so, send them to resources like:

2. Look Without

While it’s not cheap, as in, dirt cheap, it is relatively inexpensive to hire a designer for basic graphic design work.  Do some researching in your community to find out if there are small businesses that specialize in design that you could hire.

See if a local college might have some graphic design students that might want to get a bit more experience for their portfolio by offering design work for the church.  Working with a local designer or college students could eventually lead to a lasting partnership or even to someone coming to your church or ultimately coming to know Christ through that relationship.

There are also several resources specifically for the church that offer design from free to relatively inexpensive.  Check out:

3. Partner With Other Churches

Look around at other churches in your area or online to see what they are doing.  If you like the design they’re producing let them know that you really respect them and want to learn from them.  See if they can train and teach someone in your congregation.

I was so excited to see the work that Kurt is doing at his church in Minnesota and love seeing him offering his talents as an act of worship through his church.

Question:

How have you found talented people to work with at your church or in your city?

This post is part of the weekly How to be an Offering series. I’d love to have you join me!  Write a post on a way to be a living sacrifice according to Romans 12.  Link your post back to this post and leave a comment with the link as well.  If you’re on twitter, use the hashtag #livingsacrifice.

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Ryan Egan

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Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father, worship leader, & creative. He is heavily involved in the Association of Free Lutheran Churches and desires to teach others to live a life of worship in everything they do.
  • http://jonathanpearson.net/ Jonathan Pearson

    Creation Swap is a great tool. I was gonna suggest it until I saw that you already had it covered. Good stuff man!

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    Thanks, Jonathan, and thanks for spreading the word as well!

  • Kurt Melby

    Thank you Ryan, very good article and very much appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Kurt

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    Gladly, Kurt! Keep up the good work!

  • Dvacura

    Kurt is a member of our church here in Minnesota….we truly are blessed to have Kurt among us. You can see how talented he is. I suggest anyone that has a project that they need guidance on to get a hold of Kurt, he is quite creative and really understands today’s needs when it comes to advertising. Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    He does do great work!

  • http://www.gritandglory.com/ Alece

    just recently heard about this resource — the design may not be the most killer or innovative, but at less than $150 a YEAR, any size church can afford it.

    http://www.sharefaith.com

  • http://www.iamanoffering.com iamanoffering

    Very cool, Alece! Thanks for sharing!