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FEB / 2004
Repeated from 05/03
What is an Effective Logo?
by David Gagné, R.G.D.

Why am I repeating this advice from May 2003?
Simple. I decided to post this previous article simply because those of you that write in have so many questions regarding your new logo that this article may answer quickly. I am always here to answer you additional questions and do look forward to hearing from you.

The importance of an effective logo.
Too often too many churches, ministries and Christ-centered businesses settle for a logo that is "good enough." Your logo represents who you are and what you do within your local community, within your territory and so on. If your logo is a poor reflection of who you are you may be communicating to a new visitor to your church that you are not welcoming. If your logo reflects poorly what you do then you may be losing potential business to your firm. People are bombarded with nearly 1000-3000 visual messages per day in our North American societies and logos play a key role in clearly communicating to them who you are.

Perceived or not perceived. That is the question.
Let's say you have a church in a middle-class family suburban community. You need a logo that speaks a welcoming message. If your logo is designed as sample (A) and placed on an exterior sign, chances are you would not have too many families come and visit based on the logo. If designed as sample (B) then you would be welcoming the community through the doors on a regular basis. That being said - God will call those whom He calls to any and every church. The point I am making is, if your logo misrepresents your objectives, targets a different demographic than what your target market is, then your logo will not achieve the results you are seeking.

Logo (A)

Logo (B)

A logo really only has three parts to it - shape, colour and text. Sometimes not all three are a whole logo and other times possibly two elements are used. No matter which elements are used the importance of how they work together to communicate your identity is crucial. Take for example the following two logos. Logo (C) is for a Christian Bookstore and Logo (D) is for a Missions Ministry. Both logos look fine but when the elements are not used properly the clear message is lost and possibly the next person through your door.
We solve your identity crisis.
As a professional graphic designer I cannot stress enough to you the importance of hiring a professional to design your logo and other materials as well that communicate your identity and message. Whether it is Ministrybeehive Christian Communications or another reputable design firm, it is a step that you will thank yourself for taking. In particular, Ministrybeehive was established to provide design excellence to the global Christian community at very reasonable rates. Some firms will charge, as much as $5000 for a logo design when in comparison ours is $100USD. Why so low? First, we believe in the ministry of design. Secondly, if we were to do for free as ministry we would surely be taken advantage of and thus we have established a value to our service.

When we design a logo, we will ask questions first. Just as an architect must gather their facts before planning to draw up the plans, so too do we as professional graphic designers require important information to begin the sketching process. Once we have our questions answered, we begin to do pencil sketches to stimulate the creative process. Contrary to some designers that simply hit the keyboard and click the mouse, the pencil, paper and yes, the eraser are a designers most indispensable tool. Before we ever touch our computers (which by the way we are bi-lingual - PC and Mac) we spend time sketching, doodling, call it what you will, but time is spent on developing the idea. This is where the magic happens - ideas come to life for your logo. Next you will see what you hired us to provide - your professionally designed logo. We work closely with all of our clients to ensure they are involved in the design process. Some design firms take complete control and sometimes deliver results that were never discussed or asked for. At Ministrybeehive, we ensure that our clients are at the driver's wheel - we are the engine. This way, we create the logo that you will take pride in its appearance and also have an understanding how it functions as a communication tool.

Your logo is the heart of your identity.
It is your logo. It is the most powerful tool that you have to communicate visually, instantly. It is important that you understand the importance of its communicating power. If you are unsure about any aspect of your logo, corporate identity, please contact us with your questions and we will be glad to provide the answers you're seeking.

David Gagne, R.G.D.
Creative Director
Ministrybeehive Christian Communications


David and Isabelle Gagne have over 20 years combined experience in marketing and graphic design. He and his wife operate Ministrybeehive Christian Communications serving churches, ministries and organizations the world over with excellence in graphic/web design and marketing strategies. They may be reached for Media Ministry consultation at thegagnes@ministrybeehive.com

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