Are You Reaching Your Audience?

No matter how many times I create a logo, the journey is always different. Each one has its own unique message and personality. This journey started with a facebook message from the pastor asking for help. He had discovered the DIY logo that he was currently using wasn’t actually legal and upon further reflection, was probably communicating entirely the wrong message.

So we started from scratch and drilled down to what the church’s core message is, (true freedom is found in knowing Jesus). Then we looked at the audience (blue collar, outdoor loving, small town BC, and a large First Nations representation) and how to communicate the message in a way the audience would recognize and understand. It is easy to forget that how we say something is just as important as what we say. If a message is not understood, there is no point, no matter how much you personally like how it looks.

The church is located in Campbell River which is a beautiful, small, oceanside town surrounded by forest with mountains on the horizon. We wanted to create a symbol that would identify with the community it is located in as well as communicate the core message.

One of the challenges was how to create a symbol that was understood by First Nations without actually using First Nations art which would give the wrong impression. After research, I discovered an eagle would fit the bill perfectly. (pun unintended 🙂 ) It is a clearly identifiable symbol for both cultures. A soaring eagle is symbolic of freedom and touches something in all true nature-loving, outdoor-oriented people. In First Nations culture the eagle has a strong tie-in to God and symbolizes freedom. It is believed to be the creature with the closest relationship with the Creator. “By soaring to great heights, he can travel between the physical world and the spiritual world. He is said to be a messenger to the Creator.” Unlike the raven’s ability to send messages down, the eagle sends messages and prayers to the Creator.

We wanted the colours to also represent the local environment, so although the initial request was to stick with the DIY logo colours (green and red), in the end it didn’t work. We went with a palette of natural colours; a beautiful blue-green to tie into the ocean and trees, a goldenrod yellow for the cross and a deep blue for the name.

Kudos to the pastor who wisely went with the concept that best communicated the message to the intended audience, even though it wasn’t his personal favourite. The one he loved the most would be best understood by fellow Christians (who weren’t the intended audience).

And this is the end result. It not only communicates its message clearly to its audience, but it is also legal and usable in every format. Form and function they are so much more important than you think and only become apparent when you try to actually use the logo in various applications.