Last year, my church was desperate for a new logo. We’d had the same logo for over five years, and it was starting to wear on us.
To be fair, it was a huge step up…
Anyway, we opted to simplify our color scheme even further and focused on making the imagery/symbolism even simpler:
We weren’t going for something easy to draw, but we did want it easily remembered.
Those two aren’t always the same thing, as Signs.com recently demonstrated in an incredibly interesting research project: Branded in Memory.
You can read the research there for yourself–and I think you should–but here’s the summary: they asked a bunch of people draw ten “famous logos from memory as accurately as they could.” The results were pretty stunning.
And that’s just two of the brands! There are 8 more, and the post at Signs.com also has done a visual plotting of how these attempts stack up compared to the real logos. Here’s one example:
So what should we take away from this? I think we should feel reassured and released from the pressures put on us by a design-heavy world. Branding, design, and all of that stuff is great. I personally love it, but let’s never forget that it’s supposed to be a help to us, a tool as we spread the Gospel. The moment we become a slave to design trends or even the pressure to continually update our branding, it has outlived its usefulness and has become a hindrance.
Let’s not let anything hold us back, no matter how cool we think it might be. Besides, I’d rather my church have a terrible logo and a sterling reputation for loving God and loving others.
So, next time you sit down in a staff meeting to discuss your branding, remember that if these mega-brands can’t get everyone to remember their logos, maybe you shouldn’t stress so much about it? There’s no way that your church puts as much time and money into branding as these companies do, so don’t feel like you need to craft the logo of logos. Because, in the end, the true brand you represent, the eternal banner you carry, is Christ.