The solution to the issue with "traditional" religious symbolism is to employ God's creation as a metaphor to communicate the message. While the concepts of COMMUNITY (leaves), WORSHIP (squint your eyes and imagine the leaves as faces and branches--negative white space--as arms extended upward in praise) and GROWTH are most evident, there are other things included that should be noted:
Evangelism and discipleship that vitally connects with the life of the church: leaves to branches, branches to trunk.
believers for ministry:
imagine each leaf as a
follower leaving Bethany
to spread the Word
far and wide.
Intergenerational community that is committed to and open to diversity in the body of Christ. represented by the variety
of leaf size and color.
Preaching and teaching the whole Bible and emphasizing the infallibility and authority
of Scripture. If you look at the tree truck a different way, it's a very abstract open Bible. I had to strike a balance between looking like a tree trunk and looking like an open book, I personally have never liked obvious open Bibles in church logos, but as it's "hidden" here, I like it.
Of course, this may be too much to go into when explaining it to people, so I'd just stick with "a diverse community of Christian worshipers growing together" as an explanation. I did, however, want to communicate that Bethany, in all that it strives for, were considered and included. The best logos don't give away all their secrets at a glance.
Multi-layered meanings add to its intrigue.
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I understand that a new sign is being considered. I created this mock-up to give an idea of the impression this logo will give the public. I believe it will strike most as contemporary, inviting, friendly and open on the surface, while stamping concepts of: life, community, and growth on an unconscience level. It might even prove to be a point of discussion which would offer the opportunity to talk about the chapel and its qualities.
Additionally, by literally integrating the logo with the words that inspired it, the tree graphic can be effectively used as a design element for a variety of applications: signs, banners, bulletins and website.
Speaking of the website, I've designed a sample non-functioning homepage (with mostly Greek text) to show how this branding will work in that milieu. If executed properly, I think it could wind up being one of the best chapel websites I've ever seen.
I envision it being clean, simple, well-organized and visually immersive. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a series of short, video vignettes should be worth even more. In place of the stock video you'll see of musicians on this sample site, I'd like you and imagine a similarly shot, high-quality, naturalistic video showing actual snippets from the life of Bethany: worshiping, learning, fellowshipping, growing, This will "demystify" Bethany for website visitors. Viewers will be able to envision themselves being a part of this small, (meaning not a mega-church) welcoming community of believers. Click here to see sample site.