5 Tips to Improve Church Design Work

If you’re reading this, your church might be suffering because of its design work. Is the quality of your church design work putting people off your ministries? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk.

Firstly, we need to begin by remembering that the Holy Spirit can work in such a way that all design work is irrelevant…and we pray for it! However, that doesn’t mean we can underestimate the impact of design on the church’s ministries and evangelism. It’s a big deal.

I’ll never forget the couple who came to our thriving and vibrant church and were surprised because, at the time, the website was so bad that they almost avoided it completely! What the design of the website lead them to believe the church was like was very different than reality. As I said, it’s a big deal.

There are countless examples of church design gone wrong, but we’re not going to dwell on those. If your church is stuck in a dastardly-design-dirge, here are 5 tips to jumpstart your church design output:

1. Simplify your church design

You might be tempted to throw everything you have at your design, but as of 2017, simple is where it’s at. Flat design is still in. Draw people’s attention to the key information. The fewer words, the better. The less in general for that matter, the better!

2. Find inspiration

Look around for inspiration. Don’t completely rip off something, but find a design that really works and see if you can learn from how it’s composed. Create something similar, then experiment. See “The 4 Steps to Creativity” for more information on this.

A website that I have generally loved for inspiration over the years is designspiration. Otherwise, search up some churches that have great design output and learn from them!

3. If text is hard to read, block it out

This is a tip I probably overuse, but it is incredibly valuable. Your text needs to be readable. So what do you do if your background isn’t ideal for the text? Well, you put a rectangle behind it to create contrast. Problem solved. It really is that simple. Here’s an example:

Church design example: Creative Team Night

4. Pick two fonts and stick to them

It can be incredibly tempting to throw a bunch of fonts together and see what happens, but that very rarely ever works! Why not trust the professional designers? Simply google “Best fonts for [insert current year here]” and see what the clever creative people tell us.

If you’re feeling particularly creative and want to go it alone, try and use two different families of fonts. For example, pair a serif font with a sans-serif font. As a general rule, two fonts from the same family doesn’t tend to work.

BONUS TIP: Unless you are feeling really, really brave and have some incredible idea in mind, stay away from the following fonts: Comic Sans, Papyrus, Brush Script, Arial and Trajan.

5. If all else fails, use Canva for church design work

As someone who lives on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro etc., the concept of Canva was not something I was particularly optimistic about. It’s a website where (either for free or for $12.95USD a month for the full version), you can either design from scratch or use one of their countless templates for your own work. I have to be honest.

It’s fantastic.

For those of you who haven’t got experience with Photoshop, or for those who just need to get a good design out fast, this is for you. This is my number one tip for anyone who doesn’t have hours to learn about graphic design. If you’re a pastor and there’s no one on the horizon who can do design work for you, this is the way to go.


Of course, these rules are popular but entirely subjective. Feel free to break the rules if you are incredibly confident that it will serve your church well! Would you add any other crucial tips? Comment below and let us know!

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One thought on “5 Tips to Improve Church Design Work

  1. My tip would be, minimise the amount of time you spend faffing so you can spend the most amount on creating.
    By faffing I mean all the things you have to do to enable you to create such as picking project settings, sourcing assets like fonts, backgrounds, textures etc.
    If you use photoshop/illustrator (btw check out these guys https://affinity.serif.com very similar functionality for fraction of cost) and there are types of projects you regularly do such as graphics for screen on sundays, graphics for instagram, a4 posters or postcard prints then create template projects that are right size, right resolution, correct colour space etc and preload them with regulalry used items like logos or contact details. Put them all on dropbox/google drive so you (or your team if you have one) can access them anytime.
    Same with fonts, choose several go to fonts of differing styles/weights and put them into a font library (again on dropbox/drive). If they don’t fit/work with what you are doing then go looking for alternatives.
    These may only save you say 5-10 mins per project but cumulatively that’s an extra hour of creating time over 6 projects for example.

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