Friday, December 04, 2009

The Word is worth a thousand pictures...

Andrew Clarke from St David's Presbyterian Church Toowoomba has been quietly pumping out some top quality pre-sermon advertising images. They're all good, and well designed for a more traditional style church. Here's one of my faves...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Promoting Jesus

Here at MPC we're working on a campaign for 2010 called "Promoting Jesus." We've been looking for a simple and engaging logo, and with Matt Allan's help, we think we've found it. Thanks Matt!

Design Showcase

More great work from Queensland, this time from Mike O'Connor in Rockhampton, who is trying to decide between two potential designs for the upcoming Central Queensland Christian Convention. Feel free to express your preference in the comments...

Design Showcase

Some nice design examples are finding their way to my inbox. This one from Matt Allan at Freshchurch, Queensland, advertises Garnet Swann's cheeky sermon series "Why I am NOT a Christian."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Already?

"I was quite pleased with this little flyer to promote our family service," says Stuart Atkinson from Brisbane's Wilston Presbyterian Church. "I initually thought - Christmas - that means lots of colour doesn't it? And although we could probably add some colour here, the little bits of reddy/pink actually stand out more when you're not overloaded. I was most pleased with the amount of depth I could get by resizing the star and using shadows. Interested in comments - I think I've probably broken every layout rule here, as basically nothing lines up, and the kiddy photo probably could have used some treatment. I just wanted to let people know as well about the rihac conitnuous ink supply system which I've been testing. It's basically a system that connects reservoir bottles to your inkjet printer, which massively reduces your costs. It's particularly useful with flyers like this. These days the inkets do a particularly good quality prints, especially on glossy paper, and If you just want to do a small run (a hundred or so) flyers for distribution within church, it's handy, as commercial printer companies don't really cater for this. Here's the site"

Stu also wonders where you can get a good range of papers for this kind of printing? He says it seems easy to get the very heavy 230gsm glossy photo paper, but it's harder to get the 130-170gsm stuff which seems to work better for flyers - particularly double sided gloss/semi gloss paper. Any tips?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

More fonts for free...

Titillium is a clean looking, free font family with a useful range of weights. Download the family here or drop by the Campivisivi website for a closer look. Maybe useful for a full corporate makeover. It looks much more promising here than in my previous post (below.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

The value of Aesthetics

Thanks to Wayne Connor and Bryson Smith for this insightful article on why aesthetics matter...
"We’ve all seen arguments in the design community that dismiss the role of beauty in visual interfaces, insisting that good designers base their choices strictly on matters of branding or basic design principles. Lost in these discussions is an understanding of the powerful role aesthetics play in shaping how we come to know, feel, and respond..." Read more at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some great new free fonts...

Smashing Magazine has again featured a bunch of fresh free fonts.  Titillium is my fave so far... multiple weights, and oh-so 2009ish.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Village Church

MPC is launching a new church plant on the edge of Kelvin Grove Urban Village. We're calling it "The Village Church" and aiming for students and young urban professionals. We threw around a few ideas for logos, and settled on the second, grungy version. I still kinda like option 1 though...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

MPC Style Guide

Steve Cree from Southern Cross Presbyterian suggested that we post the MPC Corporate Style Guide here on design4church. While there's maybe a bit of 'yuk factor' in juxtaposing the words "church" and "style", the guide is simply an attempt to standardise the use of fonts and logos across our church organisation. Otherwise, left unbridled, everyone will have a 'word from the Lord', and they'll all be in the most ostentatious fonts they can find. Now we've got a style guide, the challenge will be to get people to stick to it!

Click here to download the pdf.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Font makeover

Here at design4church we're often pushing the importance of font consistency in your church publications. Finding a consistent and coherent set of fonts with nicely contrasting weights and sticking with them relentlessly is the challenge. Every few years, though, it's time for a total refresh. At mpc, we've moved from the Eras font family (with lots of useful weights from ultra light to ultra black) to a slimmer Bell Gothic phase, which we're now - after about 5 years - retiring in favour of a new font family based on Bitstream's Humanist 777 Condensed. I was looking for something slim, sans-serif, modern and clean. Apart from the unlikely name, the only problem with the Humanist777 family was that it looked a bit 'sterile' on the page. Clean, but too clinical. So with the help of the excellent Type2.2 font editor (and its freeware partner TypeLight), I set about making some mods. Putting it simply, I slightly bent the stems on abdgmnpqr and u. The results? A little bit of swing, and a subtle warmth on the page. Here's a sample...

After working the same minor surgery on the light and extrablack fonts and renaming them to a more corporate-friendly MPC Black and MPC Light, it was time to start work on a matching serif font. Painstaking - but no worse than knitting. All my TV watching time in the past week or two has been spent adding carefully styled serifs, and the result is a very tidy body text that fits perfectly with the sans serif fonts... MPC Serif.

Finally, our favourite handscript face - Desert Dog - got a makeover to raise the x-height to match the rest of the MPC font family as MPC Hand. Here's the final result...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Pantone Colour of the Year - Mimosa

Actually, white's not so 'in' after all. In fact, Pantone recently announced that wattle-yellow 'Mimosa' is their colour of the year for 2009. Look around and you'll see it in all the style-leading places... the Rove Live credits on Australia's Network 10, Brisbane's La Boite Theatre, and many more. It's officially PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, which according to the press releases is "a warm, engaging yellow." Need more persuasion? "In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow." Or so they say.

Rechurch09 Video Promo

Our second promo video comes from Mitchelton Presbyterian Church, from the launch of their rechurch09 theme earlier this year. White is so 'in'.

Design4church goes video...

About time too, I hear you say. The whole world has gone video-crazy, so it's time D4C jumped on the me-too bandwagon with links to your best church-promo vids. We'll start the ball rolling with this nice "Got Questions" advert from Southern Cross Presbyterian.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

More Black than Black

Just learned something I never knew over at Check out their 3 Deadly Sins of Print design to find out how to make your blacks print really black. Simple really - just add a dash of the other CMYK colours to punch your blacks right out of the page. Simply specifying K100 (100 percent black) gives a slightly grey look when the ink runs thin on the paper. That gets my tip of the month award!

Font resources

On a roll here - ready to share some more good font resources. This list points to a load of free font websites. One it doesn't mention though is the excellent Font Squirrel site, which seems way more selective than most. They're all good... though none better than Vegur from

Free Stuff at ThinkDesign

Get free fonts, vectors, textures, tutorials, and loads of inspiration at thinkdesign. Another design blog worth a link. Best feature? A great list of 20 free pro-quality serif fonts if you want to stand out from the pack. In a subtle way. 

Thinking about Logo Design

PositiveSpaceBlog runs this useful primer for thinking through Logo Design. Wordmarks, letterform marks, pictorial marks, abstract marks and emblems are all explained and exampled. Seems Positive Space   may well be worth some positive space in your favourites, or your feedreader.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wonderful script logos...

Some wonderful logo designs specialising in script styles is featured here - worth a click!

Minimalist Communication

Check out the guided tour of the new ipod shuffle at 
"I reckon its (yet again from apple) a beautiful example of clear minimalist communication," says Bryson Smith. EVERYTHING has been thought about: the colour scheme and style of what the girl is wearing, the choice of music you hear, the absence of any backdrop, the way the girl introduces herself and then uses really plan speech...  the whole thing says "relaxed, friendly, cool style."  Simply beautiful communication.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uncle Sam Needs You

"Here's a 'propaganda flyer' that'll be handed around my church to recruit people to evangelise on university campus," says Tommy Wong. It's an oldie but a goodie, Tommy - and perfectly executed. Thanks for sending.

Ephesians Makeover

"Any quick thoughts on improving this," asks Alan Radloff?

It's a nice idea, and looks pretty good. But my first suggestion was to move the globe to the right, eliminating the untidy black area of 'trapped space' between the right edge of the text and the edge of the planet. There's one less alignment too - all the text follows straight down the left edge.  That helped. Now what about making the planet REALLY big by blowing it off the page?

Praying for the Australian Bush Fire Crisis

Jens Norved says, "At our church we are doing prayers for the Victorian bushfires and also gathering donations. We will be using the following slide when praying about the situation." Thanks Jens.