Bethany logo design BRANDING
This was an interesting exercise.
There is a long history behind the lack of "traditional" Christian iconography among protestant churches with a shorter, but no less important history behind the lack of virtually any symbols in the Plymouth Brethren movement.
While the issues may be debatable...with 135 years of PB heritage behind me, if Bethany was desirous of breaking with that past you came to the wrong artist! (my great grandfather was kicked out of his parent's house in Scotland for joining the Plymouth Brethren--those Methodists are harsh!) I understand it deeply. It's in my bones.
As much as I appreciate the motivation, I believe that the absence of any logos, unique visual identifiers or "branding" (as distasteful as that might sound) among the Plymouth Brethren assemblies is a mistake that puts these chapels at a definite disadvantage.
Businesses figured out long ago that if they took their pickles out of the common barrel and packaged them in their own jar, decorated with relevant and compelling "story-telling" graphics, dividends would be paid.
As everyone is familiar with the icons and images used by mainstream denominations, I thought it would be valuable to survey current PB chapel graphics from around the country. It's obvious that most still see themselves as "pickles in a barrel" from a branding standpoint:
Uninspiring "tombstones" (an industry phrase for branding that uses type alone), "me too" crosses that diminish PB uniqueness and overly-literal images that could also be used for a local nature club.
This isn't a criticism--it's not a simple matter. Most "top-down" churches just take what's given to them from on high and call it a day:
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As independent entities, each chapel interested in a logo must reinvent the wheel by taking a hard look at itself, understand what it wants to communicate and then find an artist to express that in a visually unique and creative way. Fortunately, Bethany laid the groundwork by drafting a valuable mission and vision statement.
Successful logos must have real meaning behind them. Additionally, they should be abstract, multi-layered, friendly, inviting, contain subliminal elements...while also being SIMPLE.
Digesting your documents, I latched onto a few key ideas: COMMUNITY, WORSHIP, GROWTH, all based on the authority of SCRIPTURE.
You probably don't have to know how the sausage is made, but I thought you'd be interested in my working process and how I arrived at this solution.
Taking Bethany's main concepts, I searched for "inspiration pictures" (a small sampling above). I then studied these visual representations, internalized them, synthesized them, abstracted them and then further simplified that abstraction.
Out of this process I was able to craft a logo. click here >