Is your website responsive? Is your logo up-to-date with today’s trends? When was the last time you looked at updating your weekly bulletin? Here are a few things to look at when deciding whether it’s time to rebrand your parish.
Do You Even Have a Logo?
The purpose of a logo is to visually tell the outside community what your parish is all about. Years ago, the most often used image was a hand-drawn depiction of the parish. Thankfully, we’re starting to move away from that to more contemporary imagery, simple words, or taglines.
If your parish doesn’t have a logo or is still using a pencil drawing of the parish, the time is right to start thinking of what your refreshed logo would look like. Ask yourself which one of these sounds more appealing:
• Typographic: Typographic logos are created by incorporating your brand name into a unique but deliberate arrangement of letters and typefaces.
• Iconic: Iconic logos are often compelling yet uncomplicated icons or symbols that convey a literal or abstract representation of your organization.
• Illustrative: Illustrative logos contain a variety of shapes, colors, and images that accompany the organization’s name.
• Painterly: This logo type displays a more artistic style or a hand-drawn interpretation. They usually contain different textures and a more abstract approach.
How’s Your Website Looking?
There are two different schools of thought for websites: they should either contain as much information as possible, or as little information as possible. When it comes to parish websites, people tend to visit when looking for three things: address/phone number, Mass/Confession times, and staff contacts. So, contrary to what you may have on your site, you don’t need to add the entire “Catechism of the Catholic Church” to your website.
Apart from the above three things, it also is vital that you have a responsive website. Have you ever been surfing on your phone and come across a website that requires you to pinch and move the screen in order to see the content? Chances are that you didn’t spend a lot of time doing that. So, making sure you have a website that will readjust for the user depending on what device they have is an important aspect.
Is Your Bulletin Compelling?
There are so many companies out there that offer bulletin assistance. Everything from attractive templates, print-ready images, and assistance with printing (shameless LPi plug here). So, if you’re struggling with how to get people to take your bulletins home and actually read them, you need to treat it less like a PDF document of minutes, and more like a weekly publication that should be proofed before it goes to the presses.
Here are a few tips to use in your upcoming parish bulletins:
• Group Content by Category: Rather than placing announcements wherever they fit, organize pages or sections by category. This helps readers to find what they’re looking for more easily.
• Decide What Information to Include: As a staff, you need to consider the criteria for including events in your bulletin, as well as the amount of detail. If a program recurs every week, it probably needs less detail than an event that occurs only once.
• Use Attractive Imagery: What we see matters! Attractive bulletins feature beautiful imagery that draws the reader in and are neatly laid out with complementary colors and fonts.
What types of signage are you using to attract people who walk or drive by the parish? When they look at your sign, will they see correct Mass and Confession times? What about a way to contact the parish via phone or email? Or a message of welcome?
Take a look at what your parish is using. Consider adding feather flags and A-frame signs as a way to signal to others that the church is open (either for Mass, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration, or a public event). For anything that the public would be invited to, set out the flags and signs and prepare to greet them with a smile!
Are you still using that Sunday Pancake flyer template from 2006? It’s time to update. Update your marketing materials so they are more in-line with current trends such as complementary colors, fonts, and attractive images.
If you have multiple documents you work with — such as welcome cards, pew cards, ministry newsletters, and event flyers — try to keep them matched using similar fonts and colors. While they don’t need to be exact replicas of one another, they should be recognized as belonging within the same “family.”
Branding your parish can be difficult to do. Let LPi help you along the way! Visit Branding & Design to see all that we have to offer.