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!
10 thoughts on “5 Print Design Tips For Church Marketing Materials”
I feel that choosing a great font is one thing that really can set your printed design apart from the rest. It really can make a difference between making the project look professional vs homegrown. Font choices, like specific colors, can make a huge difference in how someone perceives the marketing material in front of them
Wow what a great resource for church marketing materials! Your 5 steps are pretty on point and it all starts with a basic concept. Inspiration can be difficult to find sometimes, and I would think for church officials they may need only open the Bible to find out some sources for inspiration and ideas. It can be easy to overlook accessibility, so I appreciate you taking into consideration people with disabilities such as blindness. Combining with digital in today’s day and age can make all the difference, and I think that adding QR codes to leaflets and bulletins is an outstanding idea. I know some folks who are avid chruch-goers and community organizers and I think they would enjoy your site, so I will definitely pass it along to them. Great post and keep up the good work!
Those are five great tips to get good printing material for your local church. In our local church we have a double A4 bulletin, with all mass times and news on two sides and on the reverse we have the Bible readings with an explanation, printed by the Redemptorists. Some of the tips I would say is to keep it concise, relevant and consistent. It is amazing how many bulletins have things in it, which you wonder why it is there. I would also make sure that spelling mistakes are kept to a minimal and not to make it too preachy.
The number of bulletins to print out is another important consideration, as too many you will waste paper and ink, too little and people will start complaining. How is this problem solved?
When it comes to church print designs, there is nothing as straight as being simple in the design and conveying the single predominant idea in it. Jampacking it all with different designs would only make everything worse. Thanks for sharing this. Also, seeking being accessible is another area I feel needs to be well addressed too. This is great. Thumbs up
Churches need marketing too, and the ideas you proposed are great and work for many businesses, I think (although I don’t want to call the church a business 😉
Print design is useful. Even in this digital age not everyone is computer savvy or can easily surf the internet. That’s why I like your ideas, they speak to exactly those people. Great tips about using print design for the color blind, what do you suggest for a print design that will stand out for someone who is color blind ?
This is the best thing I’ve seen online today, not for a very big reason but for the fact that it says some things relating to church, it’s a very common thing to see people run away form writing about anything religious as they think it’s not a profitable niche to invest their time in. It’s true that churches makes use of printed materials as a means of communication and this article will help give a new insight to how these printing works should be done like bulletin, flyers and so on. Thanks for sharing these tips, they are practical and will be very effective. I’ll share this article to other groups with your link on it, they’ll check it out and I know it’ll be of great help.
Where most churches flyers for marketing go wrong is when they use the wrong typography/font which ends up making them hard to read. I’ve also seen confusion when memebrs were unsure of the meaning because it wasn’t communicated in a clear way.
I agree with your points here and if all these are followed then I think the final result will be a better end product and ultimately, a better church marketing strategy overall.
Great points Rodarrick! It’s both design AND content that determines whether your church marketing is doing its job or not. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I think you have said it all. Many churches still make use of the prints even till today and this is because they believe that not so many people can reach social media or most people on the media are only there for fun stuff and this is they use flyers that are visible and people will see to take seriously. This doesn’t mean however that the churches shouldn’t go digital too. Your tips are awesome.
Thanks for commenting Henderson and I completely agree with you – church’s should be wherever people’s attention is at and right now that’s places like YouTube, Instagram, podcasts and so on.
That being said, I still think there’s a place for flyers, maybe even more so because they’re becoming more novel. It’s also worth saying it goes beyond marketing too, the tips I’ve given here can apply to the pamphlets you put into your church welcome pack or event flyers for example.
Bless you! 🙂