- Praise God
- Please be praying...
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Final Thoughts: If you don't pass the people test, nothing else matters
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Part 3: Marketing is about People
- What Every Church Needs To Know about Marketing: Part 2: Marketing is Everything
- Getting Your Current Members to Invite Friends
- Through the eyes of a visitor
- Encouraging progress
- Please be praying
- Bootstrap Faith
- Know Our Hearts?
- Seldom Read But Always Evaluated
- Creating an Experience
- The Bond Between Music and Design
- The Church Exposed
- The Value Principle
- The Nike Effect: Part II
- The Nike Effect: Part I
- Starting New This New Year
- Christmas Revelation from Charlie Brown
- The Video: Speaking Starbucksian
- And The Winners Are...
- The Video: A Treasure Hunt
- The Video: We're Not Like That Church Down The Street
- The Video: Signs of Neediness
- The Video: Death to Papyrus and Comic Sans!
- The Video: Inconsistent Artwork
- A Thanksgiving Thought
- The Video: The Culture Crime
- The Video: Reserved for Barista
- The Video: Real Men Love Java
- The Video: Marketing is more than you realize
- The Video: The purpose of the video.
- What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church? A Parable.
- re-Branding on Momentum
Does anyone remember parachute pants? They were this 1980's phenomenon (and I mean phenomenon) alongside leg warmers, Thriller, black lacquer furniture and Nagel prints (you get extra points for remembering those). It’s funny how things go in and out of style. Parachute pants are not-so-much in style anymore. That doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be popular again, but it does mean that if they do come back into style, they’ll always be referred to as “80s style.” Parachute pants aren’t the only things that go through that product cycle. In fact, if you’re more fashion forward, ten years from now, you’ll probably be looking back at what you’re wearing today and the same thing will go through your mind.
Amazingly enough, in the same way that clothes and decor become dated, so do fonts. We placed a number of over-used and dated fonts in the video to showcase this point. I’m sure many of you savvy designers out there immediately caught the Papyrus and Comic Sans. (It’s almost like our eyes are trained to identify it and point them out instantly). Well, fonts experience the same product life cycle that all style elements do—the early adoption period (where only the cool people use them), the market saturation period (when they are at the max of their popularity) and their popular decline (when we have all "been there" and "done that" and find ourselves moving on). In the video, we used a number of fonts that were dated in this way.
Same thing goes for the use of beveling with a drop shadow. This was on a banner or two in the video. It was a style that became extremely popular when Photoshop added it into the effects menu—go figure! It became very easy and therefore very overused for a season about ten years ago. If you’re sporting this look now, you probably don’t realize just how much you are tipping your hat to the style of the past. The viewer might not ever say anything, but subconsciously, many will put what you are showing them in the "out-dated" category.
Think you do not need to know this stuff if you’re a pastor? If you’re not going to know it, someone on your team needs to know it—and don't expect all designers to know these things either. The thing is, there are designers out there that don’t have enough background knowledge to keep from pulling out a font from last decade without knowing that it was a font from last decade. As a result, you end up being the church that is wearing leg warmers when no one else is wearing them. You don’t always have to be the cool kids, wearing the cool clothes—that might not be your church’s style. But it’s important to know what you’re telling people—you might be telling them you’ve lost track of your decades.
This goes back to wooing your target with your design. Only wear the parachute pants if you know they’ll get you the attention you want.
© Richard L. Reising
I'm really enjoying the blog. I just across it the other day after seeing the Sbux video.
Your talk on Hammer pants coming back in style isn't very far off either. MC Hammer just had a link to some recent fashion show where they're sporting the hammer pants.
Thanks for the videos and the blog.
Posted on Wed, Dec 3, 2008 @ 2:49 PM CST
I'm one of those pastors who doesn't know the first thing about design, but find myself having to do it from time to time. Is there some place folks like me can go to find out what the hot fonts are?
Posted on Wed, Dec 3, 2008 @ 3:42 PM CST
I'll back up Scott's comment. I'm a pastor first that often has to moonlight in design...where can I go to sharpen things up a bit??
Posted on Thu, Dec 4, 2008 @ 7:40 PM CST
Regarding resources for fonts...
A core need for anyone getting into design is to get a categorical knowledge of fonts. You can find this via a number of books from Amazon. Once you have font basics down, learning to distinguish how fonts transition over time simply takes exactly that... time. Anyone who offers a "down and dirty" cheat sheet to which fonts are cool or lame would have to update the list monthly and could never take into account the literal thousands of perspectives that make a font lame with one psychographic and simultaneously cool with another. You simply have to consume a ton of design resources and sharpen your skills over time--taking into consideration your specific target audience. The challenge is that the time it takes to get good at design will take away from time with people. This balance becomes a natural tension for anyone who has a heart to be in both design and in people leadership.
Posted on Mon, Dec 8, 2008 @ 9:21 AM CST
I think Comic sans and papyrus should be uninstalled from every computer! I remember when Papyrus was cool but it wore out its welcome a few years ago.
Scott: Pay attention to ads, magazines, etc, things you see everyday (outside of the church) notice what their fonts look like. Also you need to think about your desired message and design, one font might be great for one design but out of place for another. personally i like to use http://www.dafont.com. You can browse the Top 100 to see the most popular fonts!
Hope this helps a little but like Richard said it takes time and practice,
Posted on Mon, Dec 8, 2008 @ 12:12 PM CST
Richard – thanks for the reply. Sorta what I thought – I don’t need to be the design guy, and don’t have time to even get passably competent. I need a design hero who will volunteer or work cheap. I do know what looks fresh and appealing to me, but can’t judge the masses by that.
Do the graphic art/design programs teach this stuff? We are surrounded by colleges that might be a good source of staff/volunteers.
Posted on Mon, Dec 8, 2008 @ 1:47 PM CST
I wish people would believe me when I say EXACTLY what this blog post says. I have put comic sans, papyrus and curlz on the "ban list" as well as bevel and emboss. The staff thinks I'm just being ridiculous and its a "personal problem."
Posted on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 @ 9:10 AM CST
Scott, You bring up a really good point! One that has been resonating in my spirit for some time now... one that I have had a hard time convincing my pastor is reasonable. Why aren't we taking our volunteers and training them? A professional designer will charge $100+/hr for their work.. and well worth it! OR we take someone with a bit of talent and lots of desire, spend a couple hundred bucks to educate them, and use that new found knowledge to more effectively advance the Kingdom of God. In my mind, that's just good stewardship.
Posted on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 @ 3:01 AM CST