The First Baptist Church of Bloomington, IL was established in 1837. In case you are terrible at math, that was a really long time ago. A friend of mine has the honor of being the lead pastor for this long standing, well respected congregation and he asked me to consider developing a fresh logo as they near their 180th anniversary.
Previous branding attempts resulted in a hodge podge of logos, in a variety of colors and fonts, which resulted in an inconsistent brand that left people confused about their identity. Bloomington could quite possible have a church on every corner (which is a wonderful thing) but if FBC wanted to continue another 179 years, they felt it very important to stand out in the crowd, and that a strong brand was the first step (I agreed).
After a few discussions and a marketing analysis, I began design. My initial direction was a more traditional route, using iconic religious graphics such as crosses, doves, leaves etc., but if our goal was for them to stand out in the crowd, would that cut it? The answer was clear from the first moment I drove up to the grand brick building. Two enormous, beautifully crafted, round stained glass windows greet you as you drive into the property. The real treat is viewing these windows from the inside… The moment you walk through the doors, the space is filled with a rose hued light that emanates from these windows. No offense to my friend (the pastor), but I wonder how many in the congregation get lost in the beauty of these windows during Sunday sermon…?
I began to develop a simple, yet eye catching graphic version of these windows to be incorporated into their new branding. I suggested a jewel toned color scheme, and simplified font that is modern and easy on the eyes. A few other marketing items are currently in the works, including a welcome brochure, information board and newspaper print ad (sneak peak below). Web and social media campaigns are also underway to bridge the gap between the old and the new. It is exciting to be a part this beloved church’s transformation as they turn over a new leaf in our community.
“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”
Well branding can be like that sometimes, too. You have to muddle through a lot of bad to get to the good. I have been busy with branding for several clients in recent months and am delighted to do so! It is one of my most favorite projects… I am either helping to announce the birth of a new company or freshening up something that’s been around awhile. Either way, I find branding to be both challenging and incredibly rewarding.
Logo design is one of the most challenging design jobs there is. It lacks heavy text or beautiful photography to fill the page. It must stand on its own. It must communicate and be successful, all by itself, without help from other things to “pretty it up”. This is no easy task, and typically requires a lot of trial and error (thus the kissing a lot of frogs reference).
A recent client, AgLand Market, is a new local business that is growing in leaps and bounds. They desired a clean, modern look that heavily relates to agriculture in style, color and graphics. They sell farmland, and are very good at it. It is as simple as that. All that I knew going into it was that they were drawn to primary colors, traditional farm imagery, and I was the 3rd designer to give it a shot… good thing I was up for the challenge!
Disclaimer: The images below represent only 3 of about 12 total proofs that were presented during this project. I chose the images with the most noticeable design edits, to demonstrate the process.
Objective: Primary colors, traditional farm imagery, simple but bold font (they had already fallen for this thick block style), plus an icon for social media and web use.
Objective: Focus more on land (not crops) since that is what they sell, and lose the brown in order to stick with primary colors that are typically seen in this industry (yellow, green, blue).
Objective: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Oh, and maybe try a gradient.
Done. We had to kiss a lot of frogs, but they found their prince (and I am pretty pleased with it, too)! Now it’s time for a letterhead, business card and outdoor signage… what, you thought we were done?