Life. Place. Meaning: These three words describe our journey. They embody the characteristics which shape us into who we are. We all have life, a place in it and a meaning to attach to it. It’s the perfect compliment to its predecessor, Terra Nova, or fresh ground / new earth. Therefore, placing emphasis on this phrase, in an effort to drive a campaign, seems to organically fit the bill for Terra Nova Church.
This past January, Terra Nova celebrated their 5th year anniversary. This presented them with a particularly good opportunity to not only step back and reflect on their growth, but to also give thanks for their blessings and begin to anticipate what the future holds. What better way to celebrate an event such as this with some new, bright and shiny graphics?
The concept started small. We thought it’d be great to create a t-shirt that in some way reflected the past 5 years. The solution, came quickly: Turn the tagline that has had such an impact on the church into some sort of organic type treatment. So that’s exactly what I did. Doing so, however, paved the way for a bunch of other graphics and needs to follow shortly after: presentation slides, posters, post cards, various advertisements, a wall graphic and a 2010 annual report (which will be reviewed later).
An Evolving Brand
Keeping up with the branding behind an active church is a full time job. Not only are churches constantly going through different series (which all require their own set of graphics), but they’ve also got plenty of separate ministries, missions, classes and in this case, celebrations which all require the same amount of attention. Each separate ‘event’ typically carries it’s own separate feel, but for obvious reasons, still needs to work cohesively with the foundational church brand. It’s a tall order to say the least. With that said, it’s always good practice to create graphics that can both stand alone but also play nicely with others.
In a way, this was part of the ration behind the already obvious decision to use “Life. Place. Meaning.” as the t-shirt graphic. Doing so, proved to be not only effective, but really efficient in the long run.
I’m a t-shirt guy. I’ve always been one, too. So anytime someone comes to me and requests a shirt design, I’m more than happy to accommodate (even if the payment is only a few size mediums). If there’s one thing I like more than t-shirts, it’s simplistic t-shirts. These days, there are so many graphic tee’s that are beyond cluttered, it can be hard to tell one brand from another. With that in mind, I wanted to keep this design minimal. I wanted to place a focus on the text, while putting an organic spin on the concept.
After a few rounds of sketches I had a good idea of how I wanted to break up each letter in an effort to create something that, at first glance, seems abstract, but then becomes more apparently clear over a time.
The resulting design seemed to do the trick. As planned from the begging, it was also versatile enough to be reworked for the needs that came shortly after completion – presentation slides, posters, post cards, various advertisements and a wall graphic (not all shown here).
The Next Phase
The beauty of this project not only lies within the fact that I was pleased with the results, but also the fact that I’ve got some more ammo in my church design arsenal that I can reuse when appropriate. Shortly after the completion of this project came the need for Terra Nova’s 2010 Annual Report (as I mentioned above). The Annual Report required it’s own sort of feel, but still needed to be connected to the Terra Nova Roots. Using the “Life. Place. Meaning.” treatment as a prominent element throughout the report acted as the visual glue that held the whole campaign together. More on that later…
This is what design and brand is all about: Creating a path for an organizations visual identity to follow, while contemplating how that visual treatment will pan out further down the road. What direction will it take? How long will it last? How will the organizations internal changes affect the path you’ve set them on? All of these questions (and more) are worth considering when working on any project you care about. Doing so ahead of time, will most likely save you many hours when directional changes inevitably surface in the future.