We tend to think of church as being a place full of traditions, yet plenty of modern churches incorporate the latest cutting-edge technologies into their marketing plan.
You’d be hard-pressed to find many sizeable churches without at least some sort of website or social media presence.
But unless your congregation carries laptops with them everywhere they go, chances are that print marketing still plays a major role in your communication strategy.
Whether you’re creating church bulletins, flyers, leaflets, or other collateral, it’s important to keep the fundamentals in mind any time you craft a print design.
Here are 5 helpful tips and techniques that can help you put forth a more professional image:
1. Start With One Basic Concept
When you already have plenty of ideas for the types of imagery you want to include in your design, it’s often tempting to try and throw all of them at your canvas in hopes that one of them resonates with your audience.
But a design is more than just the sum of its parts—and if you don’t consider how your design elements work with one another, it might end up being less.
For a design to truly succeed, you’re going to have to “kill your darlings.” Instead of trying to do everything at once, choose one central concept and build upon it with supportive design elements.
Any valuable ideas that don’t fit with that concept should be stored away for another project.
2. Seek Out Inspiration
Even worse than having too many ideas?
Having none at all.
We’ve all experienced a creative block from time to time, and it’s seriously the worst.
But one reliable way to dig yourself out is to get inspired by what other churches are doing with their own printed collateral.
Not saying you should bite their style—but sometimes seeing another design in action can give you exactly the creative jump-start you need.
For instance, if you’re preparing new welcome packets for your church and need ideas, do a quick Google search and take a look at some existing samples.
Company Folders, Inc. features an extensive selection of church marketing folders as well as a design gallery that showcases various visitor welcome packet designs and free print-ready design templates, so it’s a good place for churches to start.
3. Choose Your Typography Carefully
Chances are that your piece includes some sort of text, which means you’ll need to choose at least one typeface. Most designs should feature no more than two or three fonts; more than that, and it will start to look busy.
Naturally, the most important aspect of any typeface is its legibility; if your recipients can’t read your words, you won’t be able to get your ideas across.
But a font needs to be more than just readable. It should also communicate the tone of your marketing materials—be it modern and casual or classic and traditional. Consider your audience and choose typefaces that you feel are most likely to resonate with them.
If during your search for inspiration, you come across a typeface you really like but don’t recognize off the top of your head, there are several tools you can use to identify fonts.
4. Keep Accessibility In Mind
It’s only natural to want your church’s message to reach as many people as possible—but unfortunately, many designers fail to make their materials accessible to people with disabilities, particularly color blindness and dyslexia.
People with color blindness are unable to see the full spectrum of color, which may make some of your text or images impossible for them to interpret. Consider running your design through a color blindness simulator and making adjustments to colors as needed.
Many of the things that make your print designs dyslexia-friendly will also make them more readable for non-dyslexic people, as well.
For instance, avoid placing too much text on a single line; use bullets and numbered points to split it up and make your words more scannable.
5. Combine With Digital
Just because you’re working with print doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate digital technology into your design. Look for opportunities where printed and Internet marketing can intersect.
For instance, try adding QR codes to your leaflets and bulletins, leading viewers to sites or apps with more information.
This way, you get the best of both worlds—tech-savvy audiences get a way to instantly engage, while more traditional audiences can rely on mediums they’re more familiar with.
Over To You
Do you have more tips for designing great church marketing materials in print? Share them in the comments below, we’d love to hear form you!