During my tenure as the in-house graphic designer for Asbury, I had the opportunity to develop a new proposed branding package for the church. Since Asbury is a fairly large church with a rich history and a congregation made up of all age groups, this project posed unique challenges. How do you attract new congregants while being sensitive to the older generation that still makes up a good percentage of the church?
Giving Asbury a Refresh
Asbury’s current logo no longer matched the ideals, direction, or focus of the church. The goal was to change the perception of Asbury as being only a traditional church, to refresh the church’s brand in a way that would reflect the church’s future while paying respects to its roots.
1. The Shape Has Meaning
Asbury’s current logo focuses on the “A” in Asbury while not separating it from the rest of the church’s name. Because of this, the “Asbury A” has become something of an unofficial mark for the church.
The proposed logo does not attempt to completely deviate from this but push it further and enhance it.
Practically speaking, it would be useful for Asbury to have a symbol to represent its brand. There are use cases where it is not possible to clearly represent the church with the current logo, especially at a small scale or where space is limited.
The concept behind this symbol is two-fold: it is stylistically the shape of an “A”, and it is the shape of a door. The purpose of the “A” shape has been touched on. The purpose of the door symbolism reflects aspects of Asbury as a church body and a church building.
As a body, the church's goal is to welcome people; what better symbol than an open door? This reflects the basic message: “Come in! You are welcome here.”
As a building, the symbol hearkens to the architecture of the building itself. There are many doorways and entrances of this shape around the campus.
There are also scriptural associations to doors, such as Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2. Honoring the Generations
The symbol is made up of four main columns, representing the four generations that make up the Asbury congregation. Each generation has its place in the church and helps to form the whole. This is a part of the church’s DNA that is unique and should be highlighted.
3. Reflecting the Journey
The four main columns are each split at a different level. This reflects the fact that each of us are at a different stage in our walks with Christ. This is a church with a focus on discipleship and development, and that is highlighted here.
Regardless of our experience, the destination is the same: a greater knowledge of and deeper relationship with God. This goal is what the cross-like structure at the top symbolizes.
Brand Color Options
Asbury's Director of Communications (my boss) and I were able to work with a great writer to develop a tag line. We needed something that was short, simple, and crisp while being engaging and interesting, flexible but focused. That's a tall order!
"See what develops" fit the bill for us. It points to the changes taking place at Asbury and invites the community to take an interest. Asbury's leadership is very focused on discipleship; this tag invites people to see what develops in their own hearts and lives by attending Asbury. How will they grow? How will they change?
Logos for Ministries
While the main logo would serve to cover most of the church's ministries, special versions of the logo were developed for the children and youth ministries. The goal was to tie them to the church while giving them some space to be themselves.
This was a wonderful project to work on. The challenge of capturing the spirit of Asbury—its past, present, and future—gave me a great sense of satisfaction. The church's leadership responded well to the presentation, however the new direction has not yet been implemented.