My DIY Brand Plan for Church Planters
DIY shows are popular. I’ll admit it. I find my inner-carpenter stirred and inspired. A really good show gets you off the couch and into your nearest home improvement store. Why? A clear plan empowers you to both see the finished product and provides a path to get there. If only such a thing existed for church planters.
As a church planter, you know the important role branding plays. As I’ve stated before, “your brand is the visual reputation of your church.” Like a Hollywood couple on the fritz, the ‘church’ and ‘a great reputation’ have not been seen out in public much lately. Seems like the church often shoots herself in the proverbial foot. You’ve witnessed the trail of blood. You’ve cringed at cheesy, corny, outdated church graphics like the rest of us. But what do you do to ensure you don’t add to the mix? You do not have the luxury of running out and hiring a designer.
Good thing I’ve got a DIY Brand Plan for you today. You do not have to be an expert designer to establish a healthy, vibrant, attractive brand for your church. Not to mention, this plan will make your life easier. My plan will help you avoid looking ugly, goofy or indifferent. I’ll share the 3 Steps of my DIY Brand Plan. And I’ll point you to some great resources. At the end, I’ve got a great offer that can help you, just like it has helped other church planters.
Can My DIY Brand Plan Help You?
The plan works whether your in the earliest stage of your plant, or even a year or more in. Here’s how:
- The plan helps you create a compelling brand as you begin your church plant.
- The plan helps you course correct if you’ve already begun, but haven’t been following a brand plan.
- The plan helps you evaluate and tighten up your brand if you’re already down the road a bit, but gotten lax.
Step 1: Choose a Color Palette.
You cannot have a great brand without a color palette. You need a color palette and you need to use it—and ONLY it—over and over again. Think about the colors in some of the great brands you know and love. Coca-cola or Target red. FedEx purple and orange. UPS brown. Apple gray. Google prime colors (red, yellow, green, blue).
Consider these two factors when choosing a color palette.
- Colors have meaning. Our brains attach meaning and feelings to color. Red can mean excitement, danger, redemption. We associate blues and greens with fresh, trust and life. You get the idea. Be aware of this meaning when choosing a color palette.
- Colors have expiration dates. Some colors and color palettes go in and out of style, while others stay relevant. Avoid choosing a complex, mega-trendy color palette. Take a hint from some great brands you already like. No need to reinvent the color wheel.
You don’t have to pull a color palette out of thin air. Use one of these two online resources to get inspired. Check out Coolors or LOLColors for ideas. Or to choose an existing palette and run with it. Bottomline: Choose a color palette and stick to it religiously.
My Church Planter Starter Kit gives you more ammo about picking a color palette. I walk you through choosing the right colors, how many you need, and how to use them. You’ll feel like a champ and look like one too. Get on the waiting list now.
Step 2: Choose a Pairing of Fonts.
There are more font choices (aka type faces) than their are stars in the Milky Way. But a pair of well-matched fonts can get you noticed…much like a pair of good shoes. Another key to a great brand is the ability to say “no.” Like the old advertising campaign against drugs, you should also ‘just say no’ to using numerous different fonts. You only need two fonts that work well together.
Consider these two factors when choosing a pair of fonts.
- Fonts have feelings. In general, a serif font like Georgia or Times has a traditional, trustworthy feel. (A ‘serif’ is a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter.) A san-serif font like Arial or Helvetica has a contemporary, clean feel. (You guessed it. A san-serif font has no serif.)
- Opposites attract. It’s true in marriage and in type. Choosing two similar fonts won’t help you stand out. It’s like wearing two slightly different shades of blue that almost match. Pairing a san-serif with a serif is always a safe bet. (But don’t feel trapped into choosing one serif and one sans. Just make sure there is contrast.)
When choosing two fonts to pair together, use one for your headings and the other for your regular copy/text. Check out Typewolf and TypeGenius for help choosing a pair of great fonts. Bottomline: You want two fonts that work well together. Use them consistently. Want to act like a real pro? Use your color palette from Step 1 and assign specific colors for Headings (I.E. Title, Heading 1, Heading 2, etc) and body text. Use the same colors every time.
For the record, using Papyrus, Comic Sans, (or Times New Roman without a reason) is unforgivable. You will cast to designer hell for eternity. Nobody wants that.
Step 3: Choose a set of pictures that captures the essence of who you are.
Images and pictures are powerful. In my work for Robby Fowler Design, I am constantly working to convince my clients of this. Have you ever noticed how amazing things look in an Apple Store? Go play with a new iMac or MacBook Pro and notice the stunning pictures they use to showcase their Photos app, or Pages templates. Most of us have felt the sting of disappointment when we get home and cannot seem to capture the same magic. Our photos, presentations and documents do not compete with their store sample counterparts. That’s because our images don’t look like a million bucks and theirs do.
Consider these two factors when choosing images.
- Images are moody. They can be whimsical (‘we don’t take ourselves too seriously’), or abstract (‘life is mysterious’). They can be light (‘there is real hope’) or dark (‘life is broken and painful’). Choose a direction you want to go and pick images to match the mood.
- Images are first impressions on the blind date between your brand and your audience. Images and pictures grab people’s attention. If you use bad imagery in your brand (website, sermon graphics, support letter, etc.), you won’t pass the first glance test…meaning people will not give you a second glance.
Here’s a great idea. Use Pinterest to create a “mood board.” Fill it with (pin) images that capture the tone, essence, and mood you want for your church plant. Then use those images, or ones like them every time you include an image. Check out Unsplash or Picjumbo as a starting point. Bottomline: Use attractive imagery for your church plant brand to earn a second glance.
Follow this 3-Step DIY Brand Plan and be on your way to an attractive brand that you are proud of. No more guessing or hoping your stuff looks good. No more staring at your screen wondering what font to use or what color will stand out. Use your color palette, font pairing and captivating imagery to get your message heard.