Here are five insights about the meaning behind the new mark at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, where I work as Creative Director:
- The circles of the logo represent the cross section of a tree trunk. The concentric rings of a tree’s trunk reveal a tree’s strength – the larger the trunk, and the more the rings, the longer and stronger the tree has stood the test of time. Peachtree is grounded as a strong community of believers, having stood for over a century, shading Atlanta with the grace and love of Jesus.
- A tree has biblical and cultural meaning. A tree is both a part of Georgia locale and a powerful spiritual symbol, with roots deep into the history of the church of Jesus Christ, a strong trunk in Scripture, and branches that generously bear the fruit of life changing ministry.
- The logo contains three concentric rings, which capture the Trinitarian nature of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The breadth of the trunk and strength of the outer, “bark” layer connotes that we are mature yet growing.
- In design, a circle represents community. An imperfect circle suggests an imperfect community. We as imperfect people need God’s grace and the community of others.
- The logotype acknowledges our rich intergenerational character. The iconic “p” in the center has serifs and thin lines, acknowledging our rich tradition. Our name is represented in lowercase, sans serif type, connoting that we are not looking backward but are moving forward, engaging our culture with the love of Jesus Christ.
We are a congregation of Christ’s Church, learning what it means to follow Jesus. We are a church for metro Atlanta. We are an intergenerational church. We are grounded, growing and generous. We live in the grace and truth of Jesus.
Welcome to Peachtree, a Presbyterian community. Inviting people to follow Jesus in heart, mind and strength.
A Little Logo Theory
A logo is any organization’s best opportunity to make a statement in succinct, visual fashion. The best logos become iconic representations of the core values of the communities they represent. Like with any design, good logos create solutions. They solve problems. Our logo will help tighten our congregational identity and focus us for more effective ministry in a changing church and cultural context.
Here are five ideas about what makes for a successful logo:
- Great logos represent a company’s values and character. The Peachtree logo represents the core values of our church, including a grounding in scripture, ministry fruitfulness, and the strength of intergenerational growth.
- Great logos tell a story. The meanings behind our new logo are rich, as outlined above.
- Great logos are simple. Complex logos get out of date quickly. Simple ones last for decades. A good way to test a logo is to let it sit with you for a while before coming to a decision about it.
- Great logos are distinctive. They’re memorable and recognizable. If they look like something else, then they’re not doing their job.
- Great logos are scalable. They look good in color and black and white and in small and large sizes.
We have not been without detractors or immune to negative feedback. But the level of negative feedback is small relative to a typical logo launch. CreativeBloq notes that most people are not fans of redesigns:
At Creative Bloq, we regularly report on new logo designs for well known brands, and one thing that’s surprised us is that immediate feedback is normally at least 80 per cent negative. People don’t like change and react strongly to it.
How We Did It
The process has taken six months; through it I learned a lot about branding and more specifically about branding in the church. Coming soon, I’ll post six insights I learned about church branding.
The challenge of a new Peachtree logo was immense. Unlike many growing churches, we have a 100+ year legacy in ministry that we cannot just jettison. Nor do we want to – there is much about our history that is a core part of the church’s story. So we had to find a mark that owns our history while at the same time doesn’t stay in the past but pushes us forward in ministry.
To help us work through the process, we employed a local firm, eyespeak, which is owned by my friend Benj Miller. Benj and his team were great at helping not just with the design for the logo but with the deeper and more substantial work of identifying the essence of the chuch – a branding statement. I’d recommend them if you’re looking to redesign your church or organization’s identity.