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SS Gospel Centre

Brand strategy, full-suite print and digital brand identity developed and designed for SS Gospel Centre, an evangelical church in the heart of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

To read an excerpt from the SSGC visual identity proposal where I write about the overarching principle of branding a church—click here.

 Before embarking on creating a new visual identity for SSGC, it was essential that we first identified the aims, needs and problems currently faced by SSGC in terms of its image as a whole, and the opportunities that are available. This sets the stage for designing an appropriate solution and deciding which aspects of the visual identity and communication strategy will be of higher priority.  Of these, upon brief observation, these are three challenges/problems that are the most apparent:  1. The absence of a logo or visual identity to represent the church and communicate who we are.  2. Lack of a coherent visual language across different aspects and ministries of the church and communication channels being used.  3. Slow, or behind in the effective use of digital media— web presence and online identity are virtually non-existent. This is, in fact, a major tool for today’s churches to reach out and bring awareness to new visitors or church seekers.  Through well-considered communication strategy and design, there is the opportunity to further communicate the identity and values of SSGC.

Before embarking on creating a new visual identity for SSGC, it was essential that we first identified the aims, needs and problems currently faced by SSGC in terms of its image as a whole, and the opportunities that are available. This sets the stage for designing an appropriate solution and deciding which aspects of the visual identity and communication strategy will be of higher priority.

Of these, upon brief observation, these are three challenges/problems that are the most apparent:

1. The absence of a logo or visual identity to represent the church and communicate who we are.

2. Lack of a coherent visual language across different aspects and ministries of the church and communication channels being used.

3. Slow, or behind in the effective use of digital media— web presence and online identity are virtually non-existent. This is, in fact, a major tool for today’s churches to reach out and bring awareness to new visitors or church seekers.

Through well-considered communication strategy and design, there is the opportunity to further communicate the identity and values of SSGC.

 What is the church? It is the body of Christ, a gathering of those saved from sin by God’s grace, serving the Lord and one another, edifying each other as we prepare ourselves for eternity with Him.  Having established the core fundamentals, what is the unique identity of SSGC itself? The main attributes of SSGC can be categorised as four points:   The community; The people; The location; The history   Having been established and growing for the last 36 years by God’s grace, a new visual identity for SSGC should be rooted in and be acknowledging of this maturity— not only in the number of years but a maturity in Christ.  The danger faced by newer churches is the tendency and hastiness to visually represent a church as “hip, relevant and modern”. Such a visual identity and voice of communication is one that loses touch with the history and richness of how God designed the way a church body functions.  We cannot have an image that serves only to attract, appease and represent only one select group of people and yet neglect another—that is not how a body works. It is crucial that we have a visual identity that is representative and inclusive of the rich diversity that is the SSGC community, and equally relevant to each individual. Echoing Paul’s sentiments in 1 Corinthians 12, just as a body is inclusive of all members, so should a visual identity for a church be reflective of this truth.  However, it would also be ignorant to not acknowledge that we live in an age where capturing attention is crucial to initiating engagement. Thus, the challenge is to create a balance between having a visually appealing identity, yet not drawing attention to their own merits as a church, but solely to draw people toward Christ.

What is the church? It is the body of Christ, a gathering of those saved from sin by God’s grace, serving the Lord and one another, edifying each other as we prepare ourselves for eternity with Him.

Having established the core fundamentals, what is the unique identity of SSGC itself? The main attributes of SSGC can be categorised as four points:

The community; The people; The location; The history

Having been established and growing for the last 36 years by God’s grace, a new visual identity for SSGC should be rooted in and be acknowledging of this maturity— not only in the number of years but a maturity in Christ.

The danger faced by newer churches is the tendency and hastiness to visually represent a church as “hip, relevant and modern”. Such a visual identity and voice of communication is one that loses touch with the history and richness of how God designed the way a church body functions.

We cannot have an image that serves only to attract, appease and represent only one select group of people and yet neglect another—that is not how a body works. It is crucial that we have a visual identity that is representative and inclusive of the rich diversity that is the SSGC community, and equally relevant to each individual. Echoing Paul’s sentiments in 1 Corinthians 12, just as a body is inclusive of all members, so should a visual identity for a church be reflective of this truth.

However, it would also be ignorant to not acknowledge that we live in an age where capturing attention is crucial to initiating engagement. Thus, the challenge is to create a balance between having a visually appealing identity, yet not drawing attention to their own merits as a church, but solely to draw people toward Christ.

The Right Balance

The Right Balance

As mentioned previously, the challenge was to create a brandmark that provides SSGC a fresh and exciting visual identity, while also being a nod to the history of the church and its growth over the past three decades—and more importantly, being simple, clear, and effective.

The overall aesthetic of the brandmark is slightly reminiscent of logo designs in the late 70s to early 80s, which is apt, knowing that SSGC was first established back in 1980.

The typeface also evokes a similar feeling as Serif Gothic— an iconic typeface of the same era. At the same time, this selected typeface is a fairly new geometric sans serif, a popular choice in contemporary design.

In short, this brandmark has been designed with the past, present, and future of the SSGC visual identity in mind—with hopes that this can faithfully represent SSGC for the next three decades and even beyond.

Designing the Logomark

Designing the Logomark

While the symbol of the cross being used as a logomark is fairly common among many churches, what makes this unique is the typographic construction of this symbol.

The letters ‘SS’ are used to form the cross symbol, signifying Christ as the very center, reason, and goal of SSGC.

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