Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Unsexy, but Important

Normally I like to share about projects I'm working on that are directly related to student ministry because it's easier to communicate how my job connects with transforming lives with the Gospel. However, over the past few months and in the coming months, there's one major project I'm working on that, well, in so many words, is unsexy.

A glimpse at my work flow for the new Black Campus Ministries logo

"Brand" is basically a person or group's reputation based on public opinion. It involves what people think about them or associate with them (high-class? fast? cheap? great quality?). When it comes to a company or organization like InterVarsity, a large part of how you inform the public and shape that brand is by your visual standards. Think about Coca-Cola, Apple, or Nike. Immediately you can picture their logo and products. That means they've got a strong brand that helps you associate certain values with their organization.

When it comes to a non-profit ministry, we don't necessarily have products, but we do have a mission along with a set of values that are integrated into everything we do for that mission. My job as a designer for InterVarsity is to help shape the way our brand is communicated visually - using logos, colors, fonts, specific layouts/proportions, etc.

Exciting huh? 
My progress on the new Graduate & Faculty Ministries
Why It Matters
Despite the decidedly unsexiness of my current work, I think it is very strategic and important to be developing a more cohesive and consistent brand for InterVarsity. Why? It helps the public associate what they see and hear with who we really are. And who we are is an organization committed to seeing students and faculty transformed by the Gospel. It's a compelling mission, but can get confused if we're not clear and consistent with how we communicate it. By using a better standard of visual design, we're making Jesus more accessible to the very people we are trying to reach. We are giving our alumni and ministry partners a clearer reason for continuing to partner with us. We're telling our story more effectively.
Work on the new International Student Ministries logo

So, despite the fact that I will never be able to directly connect my hours of work on logo design and template layouts to any measurable results of students coming to faith or ministry partners joining our ranks, I press on.

Thanks to all of you who have been a part of me getting to do this important, albeit unsexy, ministry work.