There’s a reason people say that church marketing sucks…. uhm…cause, it generally does!
Don’t get me wrong – I totally understand why. Unless you’re a big church that can afford to hire professional designers, you are probably left using a couple people in your congregation who took a graphics class back in ’92. So while you would love some high dollar sermon graphics for your Sunday message or website, your left with a take-it-or-leave-it situation… and you would rather take something than have nothing.
Totally understandable, if I was in your situation I would do the same thing. Use what you have. However… there’s no reason why those talented volunteers can’t make some amazing graphics for you with a little coaching. As long as you have a drive for excellence and a teachable spirit, your church can be producing some rock solid graphics in no time!
Pick the Right Photo
The foundation of any good graphic is picking the right photo. The photo should be clear, and relevant to your graphic topic. If you don’t have the ability to take photos, or don’t want to spend lots of money buying professional ones, I recommend checking out Unsplash.com and Pexels.com – both are amazing repositories of free, high quality professional photos that you can use in any situation you’d like.
Clear and Legible
Now that you have your photo, its time to start adding your message. Choose a font that matches your message and theme. If you are making some promotional graphics for a women’s retreat, script or sans serif fonts might work best such as Trajan Pro. Or if its a general purpose graphic, a clean and crisp modern font like Bebas Neue or Myriad Pro might work well. Regardless of what you choose, any text you add MUST be legible. This means no white text on a very light background!! After all, what’s the point of creating a graphic that no one can read?
Make It Modern
Graphic trends change just like clothing trends do. What looked great then will NOT look great now (I’m talking to you, hot 80’s pink!!) Nowadays things tend to be clean and colorful. Steer away from the tendency to over complicate your graphic with lots of little flairs. Less is often more effective. You want the focal point of the graphic to be your message, NOT the million other things crammed in the space vying for your attention.
Keep It Relevant
Somewhere in the graphic design process, you need to ask yourself: is this message (or graphic choice) even relevant to the conversation? Does the final product convey a message that is beneficial to your church brand and direction, or is it just a meaningless distract? If you make an awesome graphic on kindness right when your church is gearing up to launch a huge evangelism crusade, does it add to your church’s message? If the focus of the graphic is to encourage city-wide acts of kindness, then yes it could. If its just a pretty flower with ‘Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit’, then no it probably doesn’t help your cause very much.
In order to create these amazing graphics, you need to have the right tools. Depending on the skill level of your volunteers or staff, there are several options. Adobe Creative Cloud (including Photoshop and Illustrator) is the professionals choice. However if you aren’t very well versed in a professional solution, Adobe Post may be the way to go, offering professional grade graphics developed right from your smart phone. Bam!
If you take these tips to heart and be prepared to practice, you will be on the road to better graphics in no time! Don’t get discouraged. Look at what other people design. Emulate, and practice as much as you can. It will pay off big time in the end!