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Resonate Church Austin

Branding • Resonate Church Austin • January 2017

Resonate is a church plant in Southwest Austin, seeking meet unique, progressive, post-Christian population of the area with “An uncommon church for uncommon people sharing uncommon love.”

In developing a brand with Nick, the planting pastor, we tried a number of things in order to communicate the physical properties of resonance in a logotype. There were radio waves, concentric waves as in water, and eventually, there was Nick’s rad sin-wave idea that led to the final concept below. It was really fun to see the brand take shape, we love how rhetorically packed it is while staying visually clean.

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Park Kids Brand

Branding • Park Church • October 2016

Park Church approached us about creating a logo for Park Kids, their children’s ministry. The logo needed to be a clear sub-brand of the main Park Church brand for two reasons. First, because it passes the trust that parents already have for Park Church down this important ministry of Park Church. Second, because it demonstrates that their children’s ministry is an important part of the church as a whole—that Park Kids is “of” Park Church. This may seem obvious, but historically in the American church, children’s ministries are easily “siloed,” hidden in other parts of the church, staffed by a separate team, and given a different, unrelated brand. Using the “bench” element of Park’s main brand and similar typography, we have a brand that both references and represents its “parent” brand.

Now for the fun stuff about this brand. Park Church is a very arts-focused church. Whereas it’s not unusual for a church to feature music as a form of worship, Park Church seeks to demonstrate how the whole realm of human creativity is useful for experiencing our creative God and worshiping Him. For this reason, our Park Kids logo is deeply colorful, playful, and expressive, while balancing an abstract, asymmetrical jumble of shapes inside the outline of the Park bench.

The rhetorical value here is rich—kids of all kinds, who each experience God differently, can keep their uniqueness and blend with the uniquenesses of their peers, all under the direction of the bigger Park Church organization, through the teaching of the Gospel. They together make up a community and young congregation that’s deeply important to the rest of the church body!

Lastly—and admittedly by accident—a staff member at Park noticed that in the middle of the logo there was a sort of “mountain” shape. The large purple polygon meets negative space towards the top of the logo that creates a sort of snow cap. After this was pointed out to us, we did the work to make it a “useable” or “readable” part of the logo. It’s obviously pretty subtle, and we want it to stay that way and not become a gimmick. However, upon a little studying, the mountain pops out. This is rhetorically useful. Children growing up in Denver will see mountains as one of their first experiences of God’s majesty, and we know that as their childhood home rests in their hearts, they’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the greatness and creativity of their God. They’ll likely not remember this logo, but we do hope they’ll remember what they learned in Park Kids about the wonderful, loving God who both created the mountains and is willing to move them for the regard of even one of His little ones.

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The Neighborhood Church

Branding • The Neighborhood Church • October 2016

Through a connection with the Sacred Grace church, we met the Neighborhood Church. They were in the middle of a rebranding project with a different company, but things weren’t clicking like they had hoped, and they wanted to achieve more meaning with a simpler brand.

We loved our time working with them, and are proud of where the brand wound up! The big idea rhetorically is that the Neighborhood Church exists not on a separate “church” plane up away from society, but right in the middle of society in real neighborhoods, amongst real people and in the course of real lives. The logo depicts three houses and a church. The two houses directly “adjacent” to the church are either “lighter” or “open,” in comparison to the “darker,” closed house. This is to demonstrate that the proximity of a church in a neighborhood has a direct, actual effect on the neighborhood—precisely the vision of the aptly-named Neighborhood Church.

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The Heights Brand Update

Branding • The Heights Church • October 2016

Art /Rhetor has had the joy of working with the Heights Church during the early phases of their launch. Towards the end of 2016, with regular Sunday services coming up in just a couple months, they decided to adjust their logo to communicate some new things. They loved the typography and colors created by the designers they worked with before us, but the icon part of the logo (the mountains) wasn’t standing out or doing enough to catch eyes or create recognition.

We’re really proud of what we came up with. In a city like Denver, where mountains are in three out of four organization’s logos, it’s hard to break away from “easy” designs and stuff that people have already done. Admittedly, even the minimalism-and-polygons approach is not that unique, but as our client’s favorite idea, we’re so pleased with where we took it. We love the cognitive dissonance created by the first mountain being “opaque” in a way, with the two mountains behind it being “transparent” and in uncertain order.

Rhetorically speaking, mountains are an easy way to see the glory of God. It’s not only that they’re really big and have remarkable ecosystems and you can see them from hundreds of miles away, it’s that they show us how small we are. Why is it good to know that you’re small? Why do so many people crave being in the mountains? One answer—my favorite answer—is that the greatness of our God is magnified to us as we realize our smallness, and the even greater cognitive dissonance of “Yet He knows me perfectly and loves me even as He loves His own Son” awakens my heart and affections in an even wilder way than the mountains themselves.

Additionally, like every good gift that God has given us, the mountains are a lovely thing to look at, yet they do their true and full work for us when we look through them, seeing the work and the grandeur and the dangerous, expansive God Whose hands formed them. For this reason, and because we are in great tension with this principle, the mountains are both opaque (the front one) and transparent (the back ones).

After completing this update to the Heights’ brand, they asked us to create a unique version of it for their children’s ministry, The Heights Kids. Using primary colors and a bolder, slightly-softer version of their main brand’s , we created a fun, more-approachable sub-brand that references the main brand while working a lot better for kids.

Rhetorically speaking, we believe that every child is different, and that a children’s ministry must be engineered to teach the Gospel to all kinds of kids. Furthermore, one of the coolest things about children’s ministry (and church community in general, for that matter), is that the Church does more than just accommodate kids and adults who are different than each other. These difference create a context where we can see the Gospel through each other’s eyes and gain perspectives we’d be blind to if just left in homogeneity. For this reason, the mountains in this logo are almost all on the same “plane” in the depth-of-field (it appears more 2D than 3D), and new colors are formed where the mountains each overlap—the multiplication of the two colors. For example, the entire base of the blue mountain and yellow mountain combine to make a shared, green base. On the one hand, it’s fun and inviting, but on the other hand, it’s a picture of what happens when we expereince the Gospel together.

To demonstrate how the main brand and the sub-brand interact, here are two nametags we designed for the Heights side-by-side.

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The Table Community Church

Branding • August 2016

Formerly All Saints Church, the Table Community Church worked with us on branding for their new identity. The table is a place where stories are told—where people share their lives with one another. Following after Jesus’ example of setting a table, whether with tax collectors or for His closest friends on the night He was betrayed, the Table Community Church seeks to be based around devoted relationships, learning and teaching Jesus’ ways, and living lifestyles of service. Even before becoming the Table, table-centered events had been a common pracitce for them.

The idea of a script logo that played between soft and strong, messy and clean, and elegant and distressed was made possbile through a partnership with Becky Waggoner, an incredible Houston-based calligrapher who also happens to be our real-life sister. Art /Rhetor directed the project, adding the distressing, the fade, and the “Community Church” subtitle. The brand artwork shows an image of an actual Table event of theirs. We loved how the image illustrates their diversity, with young and old, black and white, gathered together to enjoy one another and revel in the goodness of God.

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Lacuna Coffee Co.

Branding • Eastern Hills Community Church • August 2016

Eastern Hills is building a coffee shop into some underutilized space in their lobby. The term “Lacuna” loosely means “a gap or margin in a text or narrative.” They wanted to create a space that was (a) a physical “margin” in their building for interactions that wouldn’t normally be easy in a church space, and (b) a gap in the narrative of a person’s day—a place for rest and a conversation.

We’re excited to see the place when it’s completed, and were thrilled to be a part of the process by doing the branding. Rest and relaxation was an important thing to the Eastern Hills team as we put this together. We feel that Regina Black, this masterpiece of a font by Charles & Thorne, really helped made that happen. The gap between the overlap of the “u” and “n” create a margin within the type itself. Two letters that wouldn’t normally overlap merge in the same place and create a gap, not unlike two people making time for themselves to converse over a cup of coffee during the week.

— We’ll be adding more photos here as the rest of the project begins. —

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Bailey T. Hurley

Branding & Website • March 2016

Our first full branding and website build as Art /Rhetor leaves us proud and excited for the future.
Visit Bailey’s new blog here.

The goal was a bold femininity, with a script look that was still entirely readable. In the search for Bailey’s color palette, what stuck the most was the natural “watercolor” blending of blues, greens and yellows.