Great graphic design is one key to a successful ministry. It creates brand awareness and helps you stay in the forefront of people’s minds. Graphic design is needed in multiple areas: logos, bulletins, newsletters, prayer cards, and more. Here are six tips to help you get started with any graphic design project:
Hire a graphic designer Designers spend years in school for a reason. Plus, it will save you time and is worth the money.
Know your file type If hiring a professional graphic designer isn’t in your budget, we recommend starting with the end in mind. For example, will this be a digital file (something you post on social media, for example) or are you printing hard copies for mass production? If digital/web, think small—72-150 resolution. If your file is for print, go larger—300 resolution is best. Graphics can go from big to small without losing quality, but never from small to big. If you are creating for both print and web/digital, start with print size and then resize down for web/digital. This is a great site to reference for social media graphic sizes.
Choose your platform Most designers use Adobe software to create materials, but if you don’t have access to that, Adobe Creative Cloud Express and Canva are free tools to help you create your perfect design.
Pay attention to fonts Fonts are key to good communication. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to use one font throughout your document. Some font families (Helvetica) have multiple iterations (bold, italic, condensed, etc.). You’ll want to use as few of these as possible. Use bold iterations for headlines and drawing attention to text. Make sure you use fonts that represent what you are trying to communicate. If your material is light and fun, maybe go with a san-serif font or a display font. If it’s all business, serif fonts look professional and clean. Sites like DaFont and Font Squirrel are good for free fonts. Just remember, Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Curlz MT are usually bad ideas.
Focus on color Multiple colors are beautiful, but not for your project. Choose a basic color pallet of 2 or 3 colors and stick with those. One primary color and 2 secondary colors can help add intrigue and break up the text, but too much color makes it hard to read and too busy. Adobe Color Wheel is a great resource for choosing colors that go together.
Use graphics appropriately A picture paints 1000 words. With most people being used to quick information on hand-held devices, and attention spans getting shorter, it may be best to use a picture rather than more words. Just remember that a picture should represent the diversity of your audience and go with your chosen color scheme; be mindful of copyright and royalties for images. Most images you find on websites are not royalty free and it is not okay to copy/paste an image from a web site to your document without permission or acknowledgement. Websites like Pexel and Unsplash offer high-quality images that are royalty free that you can use for your designs. If you find that you are in need of images more regularly, or need extended license for use of selling merchandise, paid subscriptions to sites like iStock and Pond5 may be a great resource.
GCFA is pleased to offer graphic design services to local churches and ministries. For more information about GCFA’s graphic design or other communication services, contact Connectional Relations at ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org or call 866-367-4232.