How to Avoid a Cliche Church Logo Design

church logo design

Does your church’s logo represent the essence of your church and congregation?

Does it welcome new people through your doors?

If the answer is anything but a resounding yes, it’s time for a new church logo.

With less than 20% of Americans regularly attending church, every little detail is crucial in helping to drive participation.

You need a church logo design which accurately represents your church, works well on a variety of platforms, and isn’t cliche. If you’re envisioning anything involving your church’s name cleverly intertwined with a cross… just stop.

It is possible to avoid cliches when designing a church logo. We’re here to tell you exactly how.

Ready to create a logo that helps promote your church to the world?

1. Don’t Rely on Religious Symbols

Everyone knows that churches are religious. This is a not a point that you need to drive home in your logo design. Avoid going overboard with the religious symbolism.

Instead, think about the mission and values of your church, and how your congregation sets itself apart. Look for symbols which represent them.

For example, if your church prides itself on being very family-oriented, a logo which includes a child’s handprint or a family tree could be perfect. For a church which is very focused on study, an image of a book or pen could work well.

People don’t need to see a cross, bible or pair of praying hands to understand what a church is all about. Instead of relying on tired cliches in your design, use your logo to communicate valuable information about what makes your church special.

Here are some symbols you should probably avoid if you don’t want your church logo design to look cliche:

  • Bibles
  • Crosses
  • Praying
  • Church buildings
  • Stained glass
  • Doves

It’s not impossible to create a good logo using these elements, but you need to know exactly what you’re doing.

2. Avoid Copying Another Church’s Logo

Copying the logo of another church is a bad idea for so many reasons.

It’s immoral, could bring up legal issues, and makes your church look bad. On top of that, a logo which you’ve copied won’t say anything about what makes your particular church stand out.

If you’re feeling really stuck, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other church logos. However, instead of copying directly, take notes about why you like certain logos.

Are the modern? Memorable? Unique? Colourful? Versatile?

Write down all the attributes you admire in other church logos and use them to inform your own unique design.

3. Take Inspiration from Current Design Trends

You don’t have to take inspiration from religious logos alone. Looking at current trends in the wider design world is really helpful.

Some of the most popular logo design trends in 2017 include hand drawn images and text, broken letters, simplified forms, geometric shapes, and repeated patterns.

Try starting with a basic idea for your logo, then applying different design trends to it. For example, if you want your logo to include a globe, try a hand-drawn globe, a geometric globe, and a very simplistic two-tone globe.

This is a great exercise in comparison. Plus, you might find that your initial design is vastly improved with a few small stylistic changes.

4. Keep the Logo Simple and Memorable

Trying to include too much in your logo is the fastest way to make it look cliche, tacky, and unprofessional.

Your logo should be simple enough for a child to memorize and sketch. If it’s any more complex, people won’t remember it – or even understand it.

As a general rule, your logo should focus on one main value. This could be something all-encompassing, like, ‘Unity’ or ‘Hope’, or it could be more specific, like, ‘Helping the poor’, or ‘Connecting with young people.’

Think of your logo as shorthand for the most important values of your church. It needs to be short, sharp, and memorable.

To keep your logo simple, you should avoid too much detail in any icons or images you choose. Limit the amount of text that’s included, choose the right fonts and stick to a basic color palette.

If you’re really struggling, start with a complex design and remove aspects one by one . You’ll eventually be left with only the most important parts of your design.

There’s no point in trying to create a logo that says everything. Save that for your mission statement.

5. Include What Makes Your Church Unique

What do you love about your church? If you asked the congregation why they chose this church over any other, what would they say?

Finding out what makes your church unique is key to creating the perfect logo, no cliches needed.

If you’re not sure yet, don’t worry. Try gathering together members of the church to brainstorm words and phrases that represent your church for them.

You could even send out an email survey, then create a word cloud to see which words resonate the most. Look for ways to incorporate those words and ideas in your church logo design.

Including the entire church community in your design process helps ensure that everyone is happy with the finished logo. Plus, it helps you avoid cliches. It’s a win-win!

Your church is one of a kind. Make sure your logo reflects that.

6. Make Sure It Works Online and Offline

Ever seen a logo that looks great in print but just doesn’t work online?

With more and more churches and pastors embracing social media as a communication tool, that’s just not acceptable.

Create a church logo design that works well online by choosing a shape that fits into avatar spaces on social media. Ensure that it’s easy to see when it’s small, and stands out clearly against a white background.

How to Create a Successful Church Logo Design

If you want to create a logo that represents your church without relying on cliches, you should avoid too much religious symbolism. Instead, focus on what makes your church unique, and aim for a simple, memorable design.

Look at current design trends and other church logos for inspiration. However, make sure you stay true to your church when creating the final design.