The site to frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate, with uncompromising clarity, the truth of Jesus Christ

Top 20 Church Logos

July 25, 2007 by

Church Relevance has compiled a list of the top 20 church logos. According to Kent Schaffer, blogger and co-owner of Bombay Creative, a good logo is:

Distinctive. Memorable. And timeless.

It is aesthetically pleasing.

It is scalable, looking good while as large as a billboard or as small as a dime. It looks good in color as well as black and white. And it is simple enough that it can be applied to a media spectrum as broad as paper to plastic and t-shirts to websites.

Most importantly, a good logo communicates the unique qualities of its brand.

What do you think? Do you agree with his definition of a good logo? Do you think these are good selections for the top 20? Who would you have included?

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

19 Responses to “Top 20 Church Logos”

  • Matt
    July 25, 2007

    I’d definitely include Mosaic – a beautifully named church with a logo to match:
    http://www.mosaic.org/


  • ChristophR
    July 26, 2007

    Maybe it’s just me, but the logos he selected seem to be just the logos of his the Top 20 most influential churches. A bunch of those logos I don’t feel meet his own definition of a good logo. I had hoped to find some really innovative marks that told a real story about the church it represents.
    What does Houston NW’s logo say about the qualities that make them standout? Is Landmark’s mark really memorable? Isn’t Imago Dei’s based on a photosoftware pacakages mark (I can’t think of which, or maybe it is good that it makes me think photo, photo=image=imago)?
    I think of all 20 the one that really says something about church in Bethlehem Baptist. All the individual dots coming together around the cross to form community is a great concept. But does it uniquely identify Bethlehem Baptist? For churchified folks some star imagery would be a link to Bethlehem. Maybe if yellow dots came together around the cross in a star burst pattern? Harvest Church’s logo is interesting and shows some movement and tells a bit of a story, but it is hard to connect highway imagery with the name Harvest.
    As a standalone mark I like Mariners Church. Mountain Lakes color choices (like the image, not the colors) have me craving a quarter pounder with cheese!
    Kaleo is a cool mark but looks more like a upscale resort hotel chain. And a bunch of them look like generic marks and names of housing developments.


  • Kent Shaffer
    July 26, 2007

    ChristophR,
    Only 3 of the 20 churches have ever been on any of the most influential churches lists.
    I created the list by first looking for church logos with decent aesthetics and design skills. Sadly, I only found 50 logos.
    Although alignment with the brand is the most important element of a logo, I could not fairly judge this aspect since I was not familiar with all 50 of the churches. Consequently, I narrowed the list down to 20 based on the other criteria I listed.
    Since you are disappointed with the list, could you offer some better logos. I am looking to keep it updated over time as I come across better logos.
    -Kent
    P.S. I like Mosaic’s logo too, Matt. I almost included it.


  • ChristophR
    July 26, 2007

    Kent,
    Sorry to be so quick to judge! I guess it was just the churches at the top of the list (Bethlehem and Granger) that had me thinking that. I thought it would be easier to find solid logos for churches . . . boy was I wrong! It’d be easier to find a bottom 20. A simple google image search for church logo brought up all sorts of generic cross images.
    When you said it was too hard to narrow to 10, I respectfully (sorry about earlier tone)disagree. I think there are some that could be culled out as too generic (Landmark,Houston NW) or too nondescript (Stonebriar,Bethel Temple, Valley, West Coast). Though based on the most influential churches list a strong identity isn’t crucial to these influential congregations, who they are as a church is much more than a mark!
    As for other examples, a couple that have had exposure in the flickr church marketing lab that I like include: The Sanctuary in Minneapolis, MN; Oasis is a new brand for a church (still waiting to go public I think, so I won’t say more); The Church at Trace Crossing; Driven (I think it’s a ministry within a congregation); not a church but a denomination that is doing some nice work with adapting their logo to ministry areas is the Charismatic Episcopal Church.
    Again sorry for the tone of my first post! (note to self: think before you post!)


  • A.B. Dada
    July 26, 2007

    Looks like Bombay Creative’s site is now “slashdotted” oops.
    Those are some really, really great logos. It is so sad that the typical church logo is so bland that it is easily forgettable.


  • Ismael Burciaga
    July 28, 2007

    I agree with A.B. Dada that so many church logos seem to be so bland. So bland that they are forgettable.

    In a book by CAPSULE called Design Matter // LOGOS, They have describe the three main design criteria by which to build standards: SIMPLICITY, UNIQUENESS and METAPHORIC SYMBOLISM.Simplicity is described as strength. The less complicated it is to understand, the more memorable and effective it is.

    Uniqueness establishes visual separation. This could be very helpful when your brand is vying for attention in a crowded marketplace.

    Metaphor is used as the core element of brand storytelling. CAPSULE mentioned “the stronger the metaphor, the stronger the story, And the stronger the story, the more memorable the logo.”

    If these 3 criteria are highly incorporated into church branding, then the brand would have a far more better chance in being unforgettable.


  • Ismael Burciaga
    July 28, 2007

    Another thing i forgot to mention was that the logos that were picked on the top 20 were probably not the designers best logo for that church. Every designer usually designs more than two logos for the client. It is then up to the client to choose their logo. As the creative director for Church Media Group, Inc., I have realized how many churches lack or do not strive for excellence when it comes to branding. I excuse those due to budgeting & staffing, however, I believe every pastor should try to learn more about how to better brand the church. While good branding helps attract people to the church, ultimately, its the power of the gospel that changes lives.


  • Ryan Forkel
    August 3, 2007

    While the designs are good, I don’t know if the top 20 all fit your own criteria: Distinctive – some perhaps, Memorable – mostly no, and Timeless – only time will tell.
    Now you said the top 20 – the top 20 where? In all the US? In all the world? Or just created by Bombay Creative. I don’t remember seeing anyone say that. Anyway, I know that good design is all those things and more. But shouldn’t the church be about the “more”
    That being said, I don’t think that most of those selected really tell much about the church at first glance. Logos are designed to capture your attention but if they look like a hotel (from another post) or large corporation, or just a squiggly line, where does it stand out? I’m not one who wants all church logos to have crosses, and doves, and steeples, and typical church icons, but I do think they need to stand out more.
    To me (my opinion) I think the logos from Church on the Move, Four Corners, Lakewood, and Word of Grace qualify as being a top logo (maybe not top 20 but possibly top 100). The others simply don’t stand out as unique. For instance, the Valley Community Baptist Church logo looks like a modified Willow Creek logo (with a V instead of a W)
    I’m not trying to put anyone down I am 100% for being cutting edge. But we also need to stand out not blend in. Make a difference!
    Thanks for listening to my rant


  • Kevin W
    August 13, 2007

    I saw in one of the posts above that “ChristophR” mentioned our church’s logo as one that had exposure in the “Flickr Church Marketing Lab” was The Church at Trace Crossing. That’s the church I pastor and am just curious – in a good way – how our church’s logo found its way into that grouping. I LOVE OUR LOGO – of course I’m biased because I helped to create it – but what is the flickr church marketing lab and how did our logo end up in it? Just curious… that’s all.


  • ChristophR
    August 16, 2007

    Kevin,
    It was a Freelancer that posted a piece they had done for you. You can find the piece HERE and the Church Marketing Lab can be found HERE It is a great place to run designs by church marketing professionals.


  • ChristophR
    August 16, 2007

    Opps! HTML run amok. flickr.com/groups/cfcc is the Lab address and from there search for “Church at Trace Crossing” to find the piece.


  • jordan fowler
    August 20, 2007

    I like the one Josh Williams of firewheeldesign.com (think blinksale and iconbuffet company) did for us….www.northwoodchurch.org or
    http://mynorthwood.northwoodchurch.org/?p=28


  • MacQuarrie
    February 1, 2008

    For some reason your tags weren’t closed.
    Hopefully this fixed it.
    This site is the best thing ever. We’re in the process of redesigning our church’s identity and starting a new marketing campaign, and Church Marketing Sucks is the most helpful thing I’ve found on the net yet, especially when it comes to trying to educate the Board and staff as to what we’re trying to do and why. Thanks!


  • michael kern
    March 10, 2008

    The logos I most admire are usually found in places like LogoLounge.com (or their books). It doesn’t take long to discover firms that consistently deliver outstanding design for churches – and yes there are more than 50 great church logos there.
    On a larger scale can you objectively choose the 20 “best” logos for churches?. Is it the best because it’s memorable and distinctive, or because it successfully communicates what the church hopes it will. Example: In the Graphis book LogoDesign6, a logo is featured for St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church. It’s of a rooster holding a cross. It’s clever, well designed and I remember it a year later. But there’s no way I would want my church associated with a rooster – a symbol of the denial of Christ. Would an unchurched person even understand the symbolism?
    Second, what’s “best” for one church isn’t “best” for another. The biggest lesson to be learned, really, is that talented designers consistently produce well designed logos.
    Like Ismael stated earlier, churches don’t always choose the best designed logos. Our company, Church Logo Gallery, focuses on church identity and have found that we’re only half the equation – the pastor doing the choosing is a valuable part of the process. They also know their church better than we do, so while the final design might not be what we think is the strongest design, it may communicate their message the most effectively. If it does, award or no award, it’s a winner in our book.


  • GerryB
    September 17, 2009

    I don’t care how relavant the logo is because a dead church will always be a dead church.


  • Top Church Logos
    September 25, 2009

    Christian Church and church are used to denote both a Christian association of people and a place of worship.


  • Camnio Media
    January 24, 2010

    a logo can only do so much.


  • Ryan Gear
    October 24, 2010

    Not to be negative, but I didn’t think the logos on this list were that great. I would nominate some of these:

    Lifechurch.tv
    United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
    Mars Hill (Rob Bell)
    Solomon’s Porch
    Lakewood’s logo is good.
    I agree with the first comment that Mosaic’s logo is effective, as well.


  • Rick Baker
    May 22, 2012

    I know that I am biased but there are a couple that we have done that we feel should have made the list. Consider the logos found at http://www.redrockschurch.com and http://www.elevationchurch.org



Leave a Reply

POST CATEGORIES:
Brand & Identity


 
Show CFCC Bar
Courageous storytellers welcome.
Hide the bar