Case Study: Identity, Branding and Signage for St Luke’s Church
This is a case study for logo designs, identity, branding and signage I produced for a local Church Organisation, St Luke’s. It is one of my older projects, but I didn’t author a blog when I produced the designs, so now is a great time to talk on the brief and design processes.
I was asked by Pastor Martyn Sullivan at St Luke’s Church, South Elmsall UK, to design a fair few logo design concepts for them—and the additional organisations that were affiliated with St Luke’s. These were The Family Centre, The Hope Centre, The Rainbow Nursery (and Rainbow Preschool), LifeTime Ltd, LiveLink and The LiveLink Shop.
The challenge of the brief was to create a set of designs that were both individual, yet obviously part of a branding and identity structure. For example, if “someone” saw both the St Luke’s logo and the Rainbow Nursery logo, they had to know that the designs were part of the same organisation.
Fortunately, the project had a decent budget (obviously not revealed because of designer/client confidentiality) so I could go ahead and design many pages of designs, along with an explanation of how the designs were to be unified.
Initial Logo Designs
Here are the pages/designs that I attained from the printers, produced in A3-size for Martyn and other relevant staff members to view:
1◥ This design was based on the St Luke’s logo inclusive of the image of a Bible with a bow tied to it. This bow was then used to promote the St Luke’s brand throughout the rest of the logo designs.
2◥ This concept was based on uniting the church and subsequent organisations with bands of colour. A horse and rider with a flag were used as a way to show the Church moving forward. In this concept, the actual church name was included in all the organisation logo’s too, making the connection very clear.
Sidenote: This logo set was really well-received, but wasn’t chosen as it was noticed that the horse symbol could be seen as a “crusading rider”—and subsequently be offensive to some religious groups.
3◥ The idea behind this concept was to utilise simple shapes to unify the shop, centres, charity and church. All the “button logo’s” were branded with the “Part of St Luke’s” tagline.
4◥ The classic shield concept. I gave quite a few options on the designs of this Shield Logo set. Each part of the organisation contained a symbol of its own to accompany the dove, which was used on the main St Luke’s emblem.
5◥ In a very similar flavour to the shield-concept, but utilising the box shape, colour and river to unify the organisation and church. As can [just] be seen, the connection works in Black+White also.
6◥ This concept was based on the Christian Fish Symbol, with each of the partner logos containing the fish that “spearheads the set”. This was the chosen concept—and the rest of this article is dedicated to exploring it…
Concept 6: The Logos chosen for development
As stated, logo design concept 6 was chosen by the client, as basically, it embodied the whole ethos of St Luke’s—which is a contemporary church that was “on the move”. Other “religious” churches in the area bore the crucifix, but St Luke’s wanted to stand out and be different, using a different symbol of Christianity.
◥ After some reasoning and variations on the main church logo designs, these two were chosen. Gone is the rigid, square box the previous logo was contained in. Now, the design is more fitting with the brush-stroke-centred design of the rest of this “logo family”. Two designs were created, with one bearing the tagline “A Church on the move“.
◥ The Rainbow Nursery logo. This, like all the logos in the collection, uses different weights of Helvetica Neue. There’s nothing ground-breaking about this font—there’s no need for it to be. It works well, with different, varied weights combined with tight tracking are used to create a contemporary look, whilst reducing the line-length of longer names.
TYPOGRAPHY ◥ The Rainbow Preschool logo. Similar as the previous one, except for the wording that creates a slightly longer line-length. All these logos displayed here show the “signage-versions” of the church logo designs, with a coloured-bar at the base of the logos. The stationary versions do not include this addition.
FORM & SHAPE ◥ The Hope Centre logo. As can be seen, the Christian fish symbol is contained in a circle in all the additional logo designs. This “device” is symbolic of a brush which “paints” the varied shapes. Here, a flame is used to symbolise Hope.
COLOUR ◥ The Family Centre logo. The business logo colours for each logo have been chosen to best suite either the notion or shape design. The Hope Centre utilised yellow—and this one a “Royal Purple”, I would hope for obvious reasons.
LOGO BRANDING ◥ The LiveLink logos. LiveLink, The LiveLink Shop and Lifetime Ltd are all part of the same sub-organisation within the St Luke’s organisation as a whole. Yeah, it gets complicated, so I decided to to make the logo branding match in regards to colour and form.
◥ I treated Lifetime Ltd slightly differently to the other two logos, as requested by the client, as it was the “head” of the sub-organisation. a “river” concept was chosen to emphasise “life” is a very gentle and non-direct manner.
◥ Here is the signage design I created for The LiveLink Shop. I have included the tagline “Part of St Luke’s“, as there was room to do so—and added to the purpose to the sign.
◥ I drove past the shop recently to take a photo of how the sign looks. Apart from the telephone wires hanging in the way, I think it does the shop justice. I’ve made the rest of the photo B+W to highlight it better—it was a poor photo from a low-res phone camera!
◥ This is the sign that I designed and handed to the client, ready for print. However, somewhere down the line, more text was added at the base before printing, which I didn’t do.
◥ Again, I tried to take a photo of it on my dodgy camera, after forgetting to charge my proper one, D’oh!
◥ This is the signage design for The Rainbow Nursery, although I don’t yet have a photo of this sign yet.
Letterhead Designs, Business Cards & Stationary
For each logo, I created a business card design with the usual business and contact details contained on them:
ST LUKE’S CARD, FRONT ◥ The front of this card is designed using just one spot [Pantone®] colour.
BUSINESS CARD, BACK ◥ The reverse is full-colour, as it is inclusive of all the Church, Charity and Organisation logo branding.
HOPE CENTRE CARD, FRONT ◥ Rather than display the designs for all the church logo designs, I will focus on the Hope Centre stationary. As can be seen, each business card is branded with its corresponding colour; fused together with a the partial fish symbol formation on the right.
BUSINESS STATIONARY, HOPE CENTRE ◥ The envelope design, compliment slip and letterhead designs all used the same colour scheme and graphical-orientations to promote a unified branding structure throughout.
BUSINESS STATIONARY, ST LUKE’S ◥ Unlike the business card design, the rest of the stationary just used one Pantone® colour to reduce printing costs. However, the whole branding still looked professional and coherent.
Overall, this was a fantastic project to work on. At times, it was rather challenging; keeping track of all the logo iterations, files, folders and paths/non-paths file versions—and not the mention the numerous design decisions made.
It was a much bigger undertaking than I originally thought, and I have progressed and learned much with the experience of the whole project. Not all the stationary is as yet printed, nor the web URL’s up and running.
When I look back upon the work I undertook for St Luke’s Church, related organisations and charities, I believe I have created a useful, coherent and original branding structure that stands-out from the crowd.
What do you think of the designs? In what ways do you think I could have improved upon the designs. Is there any aspect of the project you would have done differently? I’d like to hear your opinions…
Amazing… Simply Amazing!
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I really love the final outcome, the brush stroke used on the various designs really ties them all together and the type is great. Nice work!
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@Ivan & Danny → Thanks for the compliments 🙂
That’s great you learned a lot from the experience. Not surprising given the scale of your task. Kudos for keeping track of the iterations, and for sharing them with us.
Of course it’s understandable that you don’t want to say how much your client paid, though here’s something I’m curious about from a business perspective — given that the project was more work than you initially considered, would you charge more if quoting again for the same job?
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@David → Hmmm, that’s a thinker. If this was just a business I was designing for, then yes I would. However, I’m pretty pro-bono minded when it comes to both charity and Christianity, so in that respect no, but I would have held back on the amount of initial designs, and just designed rough mockups for the most part.
All-in-all, experience is what I delight-in. I don’t ever want to devalue myself either, and maybe this makes me a poor business man, but I have little interest in earning big-money. Although, I wouldn’t turn down a large proposed budget, lol.
PS, Mac OSX made the file structuring super-easy, not to mention spot-light. As a Mac user, I assume you’ve already witnessed the benefits 🙂
I had a feeling you’d be more flexible with this one, given the Christian aspect, and I hear you about not looking for the big-bucks. I’ve yet to meet a graphic designer who’s in it for the money.
As for the Mac operating system, I find it so much smoother than Windows. Just more pleasing to use really, with certain tasks made a lot simpler than on a PC.
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@David → Hehe, yeah, one way “not to get rich” is to follow any creative path for income unless you cut cows in half and display them at Tate 😉
I used to use PC’s, and despised Macs until the third year of Uni. That was when the new OSX aqua interface was released. I used it in class and was hooked ever since.
Wow Andrew, this was a great breakdown (and amazing comps!). Isn’t it crazy how much unity rounding the corners on the box can bring to a design? That was a big improvement, imho. The way you worked the final fish logo into the other logos is creative—great job! Hehe, “fish logo” reminded me of Logos, Word, Jesus. Interesting how that all comes together in your identity design for St. Luke’s. Definitely one for the portfolio and an excellent case study for prospective clients to see how your process works.
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@LaurenMarie → Thanks for the review. Yeah, the rounded corners of the main St Luke’s logo box brings a whole new dimension to the entire setting, mood and projection of final outcome.
It’s in the portfolio, now, and I hope to be able to get the chance to more stuff like this. I’ve just completed some Church website templates for a client, but no more Church logos, yet…
That was a great look into your process. I think it’s fantastic that you offered six different concepts right off the bat, and they were all very strong. Great job.
Every one of them looks fresh & clean. Top work!! love the use of colour in the designs.
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@George & Jamal → Thanks for you’re kind words…I’m just using my God-given design skills 🙂
Nice work! Love the way you nailed it.
These are great! I am starting on my church’s logo and came across your site looking for some tips and inspiration. I love the whole set of designs that go together–awesome work.
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I like the choise of your client, new brand ID sounds very fresh. It perhaps very modern church which thinks about new generation. Is it so?
Brilliant design! Thanks for showing us the process and the initial comps! Very helpful to newbie designers.
Very nice design concepts, process and implementation. This was not only a look into you logo design process but a tutorial on the right way to present it to a client.
Daniel & Jessica → Hay, thanks.
Eve → Yeah, the church is quite forward looking: “A Church on the move” is their motto as it were.
Dave → No worries, glad it could be an inspiration!
Mark → Presentation is key, so thats one tip I’d always recommend to designers 🙂
Thanks everyone for commenting…
This is the most creative way I saw the creative process of a logo design!