Graphic design skills can take several months or even years to develop, and you’re never really done learning. Many people even attend school and take intense classes to master this growing area of expertise. But when you’re working in the church, you’re mostly focused on your community’s mission. You’re not just looking to learn some Adobe InDesign keyboard shortcuts—you’re looking to create beautiful, attention-grabbing work for your church to use in promotion, communications, and around your city.
It’s one thing to learn how to use Photoshop or Canva, but it’s a whole other thing to build a coherent plan for your church’s visual presence. It’s not something that can happen overnight... but with this guide and starter kit, we are gonna try.
We’re here to teach you the primary skills you will need for your church’s graphic design—and how to do them all well. With a few shortcuts here and there to help you out, you’ll be making beautiful, unique graphics for your church in no time. This includes templates, how-tos, icons, and other things you’ll need to ramp up your church’s visual presentation.
Feel free to use this starter design kit in any way you’d like. We’ve laid it out in an order that may make sense for you if you’re starting a design overhaul or re-branding for your church from scratch.
Here, you’ll find all our comprehensive guides on graphic design, as well as a downloadable link to get all the free templates, icons, graphics, and more!
Now that you’ve picked a starting color, you might be asking yourself, “Where do I go from here?”
Remember the color wheel from elementary school art class? There’s actually a use for it. Color theory creates a structure for color; it provides a guide for color combinations. A good way to visualize color theory is by using the color wheel.
We have primary colors (red, blue, yellow), then secondary colors (green, orange, purple), and tertiary colors (yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green). As you see how colors relate to each other, let’s look at some ways they can be used.
Now that you have a method of selecting colors, it’s a completely different beast to use those colors. Here are a few suggestions about using color on your site:
With this how-to, we hope it can help you stay organized as you think through:
If you’re in charge of the logo design process, ask your staff questions to define goals in order to create your own design brief:
Research other church websites and even check out our Top 7 Design Trends to get a few ideas. Keep in mind what trends can be translated from other unrelated fields to ministry, and bring those ideas to your designer.
Idea Generating Practices For Logo Design
Once you’re done creating sketches, turn them into fully realized logos!
Once you get designs back from the designer, make sure you're comfortable with the designs and then show your team your favorites. Oftentimes, your team may like your least favorite, so try not to show any you don’t like. Also try not to overwhelm them with too many options, or you’ll all be arguing over every single one!
No design is perfect. As much as we creative types hate to admit it, sometimes feedback from others helps. More times than you may care to confess (we feel the same way!), another pair of eyes with a different background than your own can add valuable ideas to the original design.
Let other people speak into your logo choice and brainstorm ideas for tweaks. That means asking other creatives within your church and others without a design background, too. If they have good notes for the designer, share them with him or her, but don’t forget to trust the designer’s experience too.
Make sure your church has all color modes (CMYK, RGB, Pantone) and file types (ai/
Looking for more tips on designing your church website, but feel like your site is all sorts of outta-whack? Download our eBook!
At the end of the project, take time to celebrate! All of the hard work is over! Don’t forget to take some time to mourn pieces of the logo you may have lost along the way, it’s completely normal to feel that way after working so hard.
The design team at Ekklesia 360 loves using icons to create a visual story, and we want to pass some of our unique ministry icons on to you—for free, and all the rights to them belong to you. But with 48 new icons, it can be overwhelming to think of how to use them.
Icons are not just a graphic way to make your site more interesting, they serve a real purpose. When icons are used to supplement text, they actually help site visitors comprehend content faster. Visual cues (used well) create a quick overview of content and make content easier to scan.
We believe that there is no detail worth ignoring in good design, so why settle for icons that “kinda work” for ministry specific content?
You can easily find quality sets of icons online, but finding ministry-specific sets is still a little trickier. We value website design that attracts new visitors, builds engagement, and creates lasting connections with the body of Christ. With that in mind, we set out to make a set of free icons that could be used alongside ministry content to help foster growth.
We’ll start with the easiest fix of all—adding a link! We see this simple mistake all-too often, and it’s one that might cost you. Each slide should link to a page with more details on the event or series. Even if it’s a simple message (like, “Happy Easter from your church family” with your Easter service times), the slide should link to a relevant page. Every time someone is interested enough in the content to click on the slide but it goes nowhere, you’re much closer to losing that person as an attendee. That’s a bummer you can easily avoid!
Finding a great rotator image can be a tricky thing. You need to strike a balance between getting a clear image with finding one that actually represents what you’re trying to communicate. We see a lot of images that are simply not large enough (in pixel size) for the size of the rotator.
Speaking of images, we found a few rotators that gave the photos or words in them odd cropping. This means you can’t quite read the full sentences or see the faces of the people on the edge of the photos—which is a very common formatting problem many of us have in website design.
At the time we’re assembling this Design Kit, we’re seeing a lot of Christmas red and green around the web. And while it is tempting to channel those seasonal colors into all of your homepage rotators, that might not be the best match with the rest of your church website’s design, branding, or colors. This holiday color lesson applies year-round. It’s easier than you might think to have a clashing homepage with a rainbow full of colorful rotator images.
This usually happens accidentally as a result of formatting. Or maybe, you know that it’s happening, but just don’t know how to change it. The image you uploaded into the rotator already had text on it, like a date or a time for an event––but the rotator is also pulling in the slide description as well. This results in double text that overlaps and confuses visitors.
You work in church communications, so you know the information on the homepage rotators like the back of your hand. But for new visitors and members who only come to the site once or twice a month, they’re seeing everything for the first time. This means that when you have more than a handful of slides (or when those slides move too quickly), your information is not being seen.
Imagine if movie theaters didn’t update the show times every day. That’s just madness! While your church might not have as many daily events as the local cineplex, your rotators should talk about the things going on in your church this week and this month to be timely and relevant. We see too many churches with outdated information for events that had happened days or even weeks earlier.
Think about how many pairs of eyes are on your church website every day. Say you have 100 daily visitors, each one of them seeing that beautiful rotator promoting a candlelight service that happened 4 days ago. Those short days may pass quickly for you as you’re busy in the operations and communications of your church, but that’s 400 people you’re “inviting” to an event that’s in the past! That’s 400 times you looked just a little bit silly.
From your Facebook page’s cover photo to your Christmas Eve posts, you’ll need some beautiful images to capture the spirit of the season. Let the hand-painted graphics shine as a great alternative to stock photos this year. (Remember: If you don't need the whole design kit, you can get standalone free Advent graphics here!)
Welcome your church website visitors with a warm, eye-catching display of your Christmas service times and locations. If it’s the first thing they see on your homepage rotator, they’ll remember how important it is to come together as a community at this time of year.
Your small groups and fundraising events bring a sense of closeness to your church as everyone mingles and wishes each other season’s blessings. So why not promote your events with some of the same Advent images you’re using throughout the rest of your communications this season? It just makes sense to use them on posters, online event listings, or local advertisements!
Accent important holiday newsletters with graphics that contain inspiring Bible verses and images. You’ll have a lot of eyes on your church communications during this busy season, so make sure they look inviting and engaging.
Incorporating imagery is a great way to make sermons stick in our minds. While your pastor is speaking (or when the sermon is displayed online), include some of the images that best illustrate the power and hope of that particular message or use the same background images for the text slides.
You want your service invitations to make their way into the hands of everyone around––the more, the merrier during Advent and Christmas celebrations. Use some of these images on those invitations to give guests a sneak peek at the loving, beautiful environment you’re creating for the actual services. This will also help new visitors to feel slightly more comfortable by seeing a familiar graphic.
You’ve got information for your members even before the services begin. This is a perfect place to include some of these graphics! For example, include a listing of all of the upcoming week’s events for everyone to see as they fill up your space. This can help boost awareness and attendance of some of your Advent events.
There are many sites with inexpensive, or even free icon sets. I suggest picking a set or series of icons for your site. That will help give a cohesive look. Here are some of our favorite resources:
Now that you’ve seen the lay of the land, download the rest of your Church Graphic Design Kit—packaged neatly in a .zip file—and let’s get to work!
We hope you found this design kit useful and that your fresh, new graphic presence brings your ministry to new heights! We’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions you have about this kit. Or, maybe you have some questions about your church website design; we can help with that, too. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you’d like to chat.
Think you’re ready to take your design chops and make an overhaul on your church website? Download Getting Your Church Website Back on Track.