Every church and ministry can help their branding by using a high-quality logo. This means that they will need to hire a logo designer at some point. Whether you are opening a new church that doesn’t yet have a logo or if you are an established ministry and are thinking about rebranding, it is crucial to ask some key questions about your new logo?
- Why does your church need a logo?
- How much are you willing to invest in the design?
- What image do you want to convey to your community?
- How much time do you have to devote to the project?
- What kind of church logo designer should you hire?
Why a logo is so important for ministries
Every great organization needs an effective logo to draw awareness, and this isn’t limited to for-profit businesses. Even churches can benefit from having attractive, easily recognizable logos that capture the attention of their target audience. And there is nothing wrong with saying that there is a target audience for each church. Every congregation can serve a certain group better than others. They should be able to clearly communicate to the people that will find their church most natural. For a church, a new logo can attract young people and new members who may not have previously noticed that it existed. A strong logo can give your church a brand-new identity while increasing the size of your congregation.
Logo design, however, is not always a simple task. Creating a logo can be a complex process because you need to choose a color scheme as well as a graphical theme, and they have to work together to represent your church accurately. A church logo should be attractive but not overly flashy. This is why it is important to hire the right church logo designer for your needs.
Whether you are a new church looking for your first logo or an established church that could benefit from rebranding, it is important to ask the right questions and consider all of your options when it comes to hiring a church designer. As with any contractor, you are trusting someone with an important part of your business, and you should be well educated on what they have to offer before spending a significant amount of money.
If you are looking to hire a church logo designer, there are several things that should be considered before moving forward.
Does the church need a new logo?
If you are a brand-new church that has just been established, then the obvious answer here is yes. You will need to develop a brand identity in order to attract members, and your logo is an important part of that identity. Without a logo, you will just be another nameless organization on your street.
For existing churches, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of your current logo. Do people recognize it throughout your town? Is it an easy image to remember, and do you associate it with your current brand? Is your logo outdated? There are different reasons why a church might need a new logo.
In answering these types of questions, you can determine if you should keep your old logo, do a minor aesthetic upgrade, or scrap it and create an entirely new one. If your church logo is outdated – something that looks stuck in the 80s or 90s – you may opt for something sleeker and more modern. On the other hand, you might go for a classic, timeless look reminiscent of the beginning designs of Christian churches.
If you decide that you do in fact need an upgraded or brand-new logo, then you can begin the process of finding a logo designer for your church.
As most churches are not-for-profit organizations, you probably don’t have an unlimited budget to work with for logo design. The good news is that there is a wide range of options available, so you should be able to find something that your church can afford. Even on a small budget though, you should recognize that branding is very important and that you should be willing to spend a little bit extra for a high-quality church logo designer.
Because you aren’t creating a logo for a multinational corporation, there isn’t as much at stake. You should be able to find a church designer who can provide a reasonable rate while still developing a fantastic logo.
Know the image you want to convey
Every church is different, and your logo can say a lot about who you are. Are you a more traditional, old school church targeting an older congregation, or are you a more modern organization with a strong youth outreach program? You may not think a logo can determine that, but it can definitely sway opinions one way.
Make sure you have ideas to discuss with your church logo designer so that he or she can create an image that is in line with your values. Even though you may not be an expert at church design, you’ll be able to tell if a logo is right for you.
The development of the logo is not always a quick process. You will usually start with a discovery session when the church logo designer can get to know the church and understand your goals. Once you have done that, they will most likely prepare mood boards with different ideas. The mood boards will help you decide what direction to take. Once you choose your preferred style, you should have your first drafts within a few weeks. From there, you decide which drafts you like and then you move forward with revisions.
Depending on your availability, frequency of communication, and feedback, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This is especially true if you find a good church designer. You should never rush your logo design because your logo is your most valuable visual church asset. It is not likely that you can finish a quality logo in a matter of hours or even days.
The process of finding the designer may also take some time. If you aren’t in a time crunch, you should interview a few candidates to make sure that you find a partner who you trust and who offers the most value. If you skimp on the front end, you may regret the results that you have at the end of the project.
Usually, churches have a little bit more room to play with when it comes to a timeline for a logo. They don’t have to stick to corporate deadlines, and they don’t need to concern themselves as much with profitability. However, the sooner you rebrand your church, the sooner you will see your congregation grow.
Outsourcing vs In-House Design vs Design Agencies
Many churches decide to outsource their logo design using freelancers or agencies. As it usually is a one-time task the logo likely won’t need updating for several years. On the other hand, some churches use an in-house designer to create their logo. You wouldn’t put somebody on your paid staff if they only had one temporary job to do. However, you might benefit from some of the other services that a church designer can offer.
In addition to creating logos, church designers can help with website design, internal updates, and the overall brand image for your church. They can create captivating marketing and outreach materials as well as newsletters and pamphlets for weekly sermons. If you are delegating these sorts of tasks to a variety of different people without the proper experience, your products are likely to be sub-par.
Of course, adding someone to the staff requires a long-term commitment and more money in salary than what you would spend on a freelancer for a single logo. But if your logo is just one item out of many that need updating, adding a designer to your payroll could be worth it in the long run.
A freelancer is a person who works for themselves, taking on projects from a range of different customers as their schedule allows. They do not work for a larger company, though they may have a sole proprietorship or LLC in their name.
Freelancers provide certain benefits over in-house designers. They are often cheaper to hire because they have less overhead and don’t need to pay out multiple employees. There are a variety of websites that can easily connect you to freelancers across the world. Since they can be easy to find, helping you start the project more quickly than with an agency.
Unfortunately, there are some potential downsides when hiring a freelancer. Because they are a “one-man shop,” the turnaround maybe a little longer, as they will likely be working on other projects simultaneously. You might have some issues with communication if there is much on their plate. The quality may suffer from their lack of bandwidth, in addition to the fact that they may have advertised themselves as being more qualified than they actually are.
There are plenty of excellent freelancers out there who can design fantastic logos, but you need to do your due diligence in interviewing them and reviewing their work. You will be working closely with them and monitoring progress, so you want to be sure to hire someone with strong communication skills who you trust.
Agencies are companies that can handle whole projects from their clients, often assigning entire teams to get the work done. That doesn’t mean an agency can’t work on smaller projects as well. When you hire an agency, you are getting some of the most qualified and experienced designers in the industry. You will likely have project managers and account executives working on your logo and branding. They will take on all of the responsibilities of logo design, allowing you to walk away from day-to-day operations.
When you look at some of the larger, more well-known design agencies available, you may be turned off by the seemingly higher price. However, there are many smaller, often local agencies that offer budget-friendly logo design services and will be happy to accommodate your needs. Even if you spend a little bit more than you would on a freelancer, you are far more likely to get satisfactory results, saving you more time and money in the long run.
When working with an agency, you will often find that they provide superior communication, more flexibility, and an overall better product and service than working with a freelancer or an inexperienced in-house designer. You will be given more options and the agency will put you in control of the decisions, allowing you to customize your logo and revise it until it is perfect for your church.
No matter what route you choose, there are plenty of high-quality design services available, and you should be able to find a person or company that aligns with your values. You just may need to spend a little extra time at the beginning of your search to make sure that your priorities will be met.
Now that you know some of the different options, you are ready to start the hiring process.
Hiring a Church Design Freelancer
If you’ve decided that a church design freelancer will suit your logo needs, you will need to utilize several different avenues in order to link up with one. You can always search for logo design freelancers in your area, but that will likely bring up a long list of results – many of which are not relevant to your needs. There’s also a chance that some very talented freelance artists won’t rank highly in the search results.
The best way to get in contact with freelancers is to post your requirements on a variety of job posting sites. You can use ministry specific sites like Ministry Fit, and make sure you are thorough and professional in your job description. If you are upfront about your budget (which you should be), you’ll also save time by weeding out freelancers who would be looking for a significantly higher amount.
Once applications start to come in, you can take a look at the portfolios and websites provided. You can also request them if the freelancer didn’t include them. This will give you an idea of their work. It will also help you determine if their style will work with your church.
Make plans to speak either on the phone, in person, or on a video call. Email and chat interviews simply don’t work as well. They don’t give you a chance to really judge if you have a strong rapport with the candidate. It is also just easier to explain your requirements when real-time questions can be asked.
Another benefit of the interview is being able to ask about any experience the freelancer might have in working with churches or ministries. This doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. It can, however, provide some insight into whether or not they would be a good fit.
Once you’ve found a worthy candidate who you trust, you can go ahead with hiring them. Freelancers will usually have their own contracts to fill out to ensure payment. Still, many will be happy to go through more secure services such as Upwork where funds are placed in an escrow account until the task is completed.
Hiring an In-house Church Designer
If you want to bring someone on board as a permanent employee, you will have to go through a more detailed hiring process than you would with a freelancer. You’ll need to make sure that they aren’t only able to design a particular logo, but also that they will be able to become part of the church culture and provide excellent work on a daily basis.
Much like with hiring a freelancer, you can post your job online to a variety of different sites. You can also go a more traditional route and place physical fliers on a bulletin board in the church. You may find that members of the congregation are interested in coming on board as employees.
No matter where you find your candidates, you will have to set up interviews. You may start with a phone interview and decide to move forward with an in-person interview if you like what you heard. Try to interview a variety of candidates with diverse backgrounds – you want to get an idea of all of the different types of designers who might contribute to the success of your church.
Hiring a Church Design Agency
While design agencies are usually more expensive and are more suited for churches that take design seriously, there are a good number of small agencies that may be able to provide reasonable pricing. If you do your research, you should find local, faith-based agencies that specialize in church branding and design. There are even some non-profit organizations that focus on helping churches market themselves and grow their following. Companies such as Luminate Marketing (https://www.luminatemarketing.com/services/) offer a wide range of marketing services for churches, including branding and logo design.
Whether you are choosing a corporate agency or a non-profit firm, you will want to make sure that you are confident in their abilities and that their goals align with yours. You can find a list of quality agencies with a simple search, and you can refine it if you want to focus on those who specialize in Christian church marketing.
You’ll probably sit down with one or more representatives from the agency to educate them on your church and your needs. This may be done in person, but if you are just hiring them for a logo, it might be a video call. They will pitch you some ideas as well as a proposed budget, and you can determine from there if you want to move forward.
An agency may seem to be the more expensive way to go but you will likely find that it is worth it to help improve your church’s overall branding and to create a stunning logo.
How to Work with Your Church Designer
Whether you hire a freelancer, an in-house designer, or an agency, you will still be responsible for communicating and ultimately approving the design. A talented agency may create an ornate, breathtaking logo, but if it doesn’t represent the image that you want for your church, then it is all for naught.
Make sure to tell your designer about your church and let them know the image that you want to show the world. As previously mentioned, some churches are more traditional and stringent while others are modern and progressive – your logo should reflect this. Don’t feel bad if there are aspects that you don’t like about the initial design. It is better for you to explain these early in the process instead of getting an end product that will have to be thrown away.
Remember that you chose a designer because you trusted them after your interviews. This means you should be comfortable communicating with them and letting them know what you like – or dislike – about a logo. Honesty and forthright communication will go a long way in ensuring that you get the perfect logo to improve your church’s brand.