This is the blog entry where I show you the logo we have for the new church.
This also seems to be the blog entry where I start things off with the least creative opening line ever.
Full confession: On the metaphorical list I have long carried with me that lays out important items concerning the life and ministry of Reunion, a logo has never been near the top. To be clear, I’m not at all saying church logos have no importance. I’m merely saying I don’t see why they deserve the place of importance we often offer them in the church world – a pedastal that had several people asking me in the first month of our stepping into the world of church planting, “Do you have a logo yet?” I know, I know — “But we’re such a visual society, Brian!” This is true. What is also true is that we’ve always been a visual society. I suppose if you have a lot of time on your hands you could prove to me that we’re more visual than ever, but I would probably just shrug at the end of your presentation (which would surely include PowerPoint) and say, “Okay. So we’re more visual than ever. Either way, we’ve always been visual.” Which would probably be maddening, seeing as you spent all those hours on that presentation.
The immediate and obsessive emphasis on logo development makes a great deal of sense to me in the business world. In the business world you’re often pushing an inanimate product, so you do whatever you can to gain an emotional draw, ranging from hiring an endearing spokesperson to designing a logo, which, in its own odd way, serves as a “person” with which to identify. This is why I think designers are incredibly talented and much needed. Sure, their work can be so good that I’m snookered into unnecessary consumerism, but the beauty and power of their work can catch my attention and draw me toward something I actually might need in life, be it insurance or counseling or medical needs or you name it. But with the church we are already hoping to have people deal directly with a person and a people. The need for a stand-in and other marketing trappings aren’t as key – or they shouldn’t be as key. I feel like we can all at least agree on this, whether we love the idea of church logos or feel a bit cool toward them: The key visual for a church — the key logo, if you will — will always be the Logos, the Christ. (I’m really not trying to be cute in my wordplay. I actually think that’s a significant thing to think on from John’s Gospel, but it requires another blog entry entirely.) The second key visual for a church — the second key logo, if you will — will always be the people. We know this is true, because if you remove a logo from a local church and Christ and the people who comprise that local Bride remain in stunning display, everything is well and good. That seems to put a logo in its place. So as things have continued to take shape with Reunion, I have spent the vast majority of my time continuing to sharpen my understanding of Christ, with the rest of my time devoted to working with and working on the people, allowing them to work on me, too. As I’ve done so, I’ve thought from time to time, When we get to the logo, we get to the logo.
All that being said, when it came time for designing the logo, I did take it seriously, because in this day an age, the blurring of the lines between the business world and the church world means you can’t escape the gravitational pull of a logo, even if you want to. But I’m cool with it. Because a logo can be but one more way to tell a story, the story. It is one more thing – though, again, less important than displaying as incarnationally as possible the Christ and the Bride – that will have a draw to Christ and the Bride. Besides, I have a deep, abiding love for the world of art, in which logo design falls. And besides, I know several brothers and sisters who are incredibly gifted as artists, and I love setting them loose to help us find but one more way to tell the story, to help us as we’re out and about doing the grittier work of incarnationally telling the story.
I didn’t go into the process with a whole lot of convictions. I wanted it to be simple. I wanted it to tell a story — a story of reunion, of coming together, of movement toward reconciliation and the recreation that comes about in the overlap of that. My final conviction was that we not lose hours of time or serious money to a design process. In the end, here’s where we landed:
I suspect that 1/3 of you will like it all right, another 1/3 will be kind of “meh” about it, and the final 1/3 will think, This confirms my suspicions that Brian is terrible at decision-making. There were other ideas and iterations, but this one just worked and works for us. It’s certainly simple. It also simply and subtly tells a story of reunion, of a coming together of two things and a new reality in the overlap between the two—two bars (blue and yellow) coming together, with a new reality or union at the middle (the green box). And I am quite happy to report that we did not lose hours or much money at all to this. In fact, with that whole “yellow and blue makes green” element, I’m hoping Ziploc will rejoice over us and become an official sponsor. We might actually make money off of this. And if that happens, I will tell you that there are few things more important than your logo.