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
It’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:
- Smashing Magazine
- The Center for Church Communication Church Marketing Lab Flickr Group
- There are all sorts of free resources for designers, just google “Graphic Design tutorials” or “graphic design resources” for many more.
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:
- Creation Swap
- LifeChurch.tv Open
- Muddy River Media
- Midnight Oil
- Worship House Media
- Again, these are just a few examples. Google “church graphic design resources” for many more.
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.
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.