Logo — n. An insignia used to make a first impression and promote continued recognition. (Derivation: logotype — a distinctive company signature, trademark. Modification of Gk. logos — dynamic message, word.)
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In the church sphere, what would make a good logo? Although changeable signage offers appealing variety that may pique the interest of passers-by, a single, simple, well-conceived logo is surely best, in order to foster recognition over time, and to identify the group appropriately.
The concept of a logo is, in its origin (Gk. logos), word-based, and I’m much more verbal than visual, so, for at least those two reasons, I’m led to words and not as much to graphic design. I’m talking here about simple, message-based church names more than about anything cool-looking or glamorous. In my book, here are some good, basic church names that might make logical logos (message-based insignias/names designed to lead to an apt first impression):
- Church of God (what a shame a couple of groups grabbed this one and made it a sectarian marker)
- God’s Church or Jesus’ Church (etymologically pure, but possibly sounds too pretentious)
- Church of Christ (ditto note on #1 above … yes, dear, much-loved CofC friends, it’s true)
- Christian Church (ditto again)
- Church of the Nazarene (ditto again, so maybe alter this one to Church of the Galilean, or Church of the Capernaumite?)
- [Anyone have any other good ideas? Please post a comment!]
A church name with the word “Bible” in it may suggest an appealing adherence (see prior post on Bibliodoxy), but the name “Bible Church,” in focusing on printed matter over its Lord, probably doesn’t make the best logo.
Similarly, the ever-popular “Fellowship” focuses the lens on the people rather than on the Savior.
Whatever shall we call ourselves? Whatever shall our logo be?
I know, I know — it’s more important simply to be God’s church, rather than fretting over verbiage on the sign and the letterhead. Still, I will always care about the label. Labels and logos that honor humans (St. Thomas Aquinas, Mennonite, Wesleyan) or theological or practical underpinnings (Lutheran, Catholic, Family Life) or methodological organization (Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal) all seem off-base to me. The church is to belong to the Lord, not to us lopsided lunkheads who loosely lay claim to His throne.