To finish up our series of posts on how to take your church media design to the next level, I simply want to point you in the direction of some sources you can use to find inspiration for your designs. We’ve talked about helpful principles (Parts 1 & 2) to keep in mind as you design, but principles can only take you so far. You need tools to help you as you work. The best thing is, there are many ways to get great media, fonts, pictures and other design elements for absolutely free. So be sure to bookmark these links and check them regularly for inspiration and free elements to save for your next design project.
Ever find yourself stuck and looking for inspiration or just want to see what other ministries are doing in their media design? I recommend heading over to the Church Marketing Lab on Flickr. This group includes designs from all different stripes of churches and ministries, so whether you’re looking to design something classic or something a bit more edgy and eye-popping, you’re bound to find some inspiration and ideas here. Some of the designs are finished products and others are updates on designs in progress. You might even want to post some of your designs and ask for honest feedback on ways you can improve.
For ideas on website design, make sure to check out Instant Shift’s list of 70 Excellent Church, Ministry, Worship and Outreach Website Designs. As I was updating our church website over the last year, I went to this page regularly to get inspired and see what was working and attracting attention for other ministries with great design work.
Creation Swap is another great site to check regularly. Many of the logos, pictures, videos, sermon slides and other designs posted on the site were made by other church media designers and are available for no charge at all. Other designs can be purchased for very reasonable amounts.
If you’re looking for more sermon title slides, motion videos and other great design elements, and you’re willing to spend some money, Graceway Media is a site you need to check into. They have over 10,000 graphics and motions available for a yearly fee. They also offer other tools like banner printing. If you’re a member, you can download any of their designs and retitle them any way you see fit. They even offer a retitling service where they will retitle a design to fit your needs. If you’re interested, make sure to check out their free downloads page to see what kind of products they offer.
One of the main elements a church should consider getting up to date is their ministry logo. A sharp logo can leave a great impression and every church should have a sharp looking logo that is included on everything from flyers to their website. To get ideas for your church logo, make sure to check out three sites that I love and check regularly: logooftheday.com, logopond.com and logomoose.com. Designers submit logo designs and users can vote and judge the logos. The best logos are recognized monthly. You’ll be able to find all sorts of innovative ideas for your upcoming themes and ministry logos. Looking through the submitted ideas always reminds me how subtle, simple design choices can help me get across big ideas in my media design.
Of course, every good media designer needs lots of great stock photos at there disposal. The list of places where you can find high quality stock photos for free would take too long to list here, so allow me to simply point you in the direction of a few sites that have compiled lists of sites that offer great images. My brother does a great job with the media design at his church and has a page on his website with recommendations and suggestions on how to get lots of free images on istockphoto.com and other sites. Check out his “free stuff” page here. I’d also bookmark inspiks.com. They offer great ideas and design tutorials for Christian ministries. They also have all sorts of great “recommendation” pages to point you in the direction of tools that you can use, like this one with their recommendation on where to find free stock photos.
As you design, you’ll find that one of the biggest elements to a good design is a sharp looking font. Make sure to bookmark sites like dafont.com, fontsquirrel.com, losttype.com (http://losttype.com/browse/) and 1001freefonts.com and check them regularly. You’ll be able to download all sorts of great free commercial-use fonts to use in your design projects.
Know of any other great links to free design elements that we missed? Make sure to share them below in the comments and let us know if anything offered here has been a help to you as you take your church media design to the next level.