Tag: Graphic Design

“Life of Parson” – A Comic Based on the Humor of Everyday Faith

Life of Parson Title

“Life of Parson”

a comic based in the humor of everyday faith

I’ve had an idea in my head for a long time.  It basically goes like this: There are two things that you don’t see in PopCulture very often these days; people going to the bathroom and people going to Church.  While the first I understand, the second I don’t.  Faith plays a huge role in life, and I’ve particularly felt its impact on my own heart and my desire to love and do good in the world.  While I don’t own a Television Studio or a Movie Production Company, I do have friends that are excellent illustrators and I absolutely love to write.  In this case, I’ve partnered with my friend Mark Marianelli, of New Hampshire, who has an amazing illustration style.  I’ll be doing all the writing.  We love to laugh (as you may have experienced with our projects at Six AM Comics) and we are faith inspired people, so why not base a comic on the life of a good young pastor trying to do good.  I think this could push against some of the faith based stereotypes I’ve encountered and explore the silliness we all experience in community in general.  There is a huge chest of goodies that our pop culture doesn’t explore a whole lot these days.

For your pleasure, here is our first ‘Life of Parson’ Comic (Click Comic to Enlarge):

Life of Parson Comic

I hope this interests you?  And if so, once I have 50 interested people signed up on thisSpecial Persons contact list, I’m going to send out the second comic and the scripts as well as some interesting “Making Of” materials.  We’re not going to publish this like we do with our other webcomics because we want to test the interest in this kind of endeavor.  If the newsletter grows, Parson will flourish and the content will flow.  If it doesn’t, then we have many projects in the works.  Take a moment to let us know this is something you would like to see happen.  If it takes off, we’ll try and publish in different venues, but this is a test.  Lets see where this goes.  Sign up now below:

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Please share this blog with anyone you think will be interested.  Thanks in advance.

Youth Ministry Logos I have Developed and the Theology/Philosophy that Created Them

I attended Flagler College originally for Graphic Design, with a Youth Ministry Minor.  Over the course of my studies I became a Religion and Philosophy major with Graphic Design and Youth Ministry as my minor.  Over the course of the last 11 years, I have worked on several logos for the Youth Ministries I have worked on.  They started out as hand sketches scanned in and used, then I improved over the years, but maintained a love of simplicity.  Here I’ll show you my various logos over the years (from oldest to newest), and I’ll have a brief explanation of the development, theology, and philosophy that went into developing the particular logo.  I do this particularly for the thousands of youth ministers who have checked out my previous post on YM Logos which was a response to someone talking about tacky youth cultures.  This blog is particularly for contemplation and development of your own logo.  So lets get to it.

The Logos and How they were developed

As an intern at Anastasia Baptist Church in Saint Augustine, Florida; I was asked by our Youth Director to develop two logos.  One for “Oasis” the middle school youth ministry, and another for “Powerhouse” the high school ministry.  The Oasis logo was to have a Jesus fish in it and the Powerhouse logo was to have a cross in it.  The ethos was beach culture (since this youth group was near the beach) so we developed the Palm trees, the pond with the fish, the hut and the surf board.  The ideas were sketched in one of my design notebooks (and being a busy college student) I literally scanned the sketches inked out into the computer, transferred them to everything we did via .png and .jpg and boom – Logos.  Surprisingly, despite the hand drawn nature, these logos went well on just about anything, though didn’t do well on stationary and official documents as you might imagine.  I don’t believe that they use these any longer.

As a new hire at Grace Chapel in the High School Ministry, I began working with the HS Pastor who had a vision for communicating the values of the youth group into a logo.  There had been several sketches done by students trying to find an ethos for the already selected name “Gravity” and the slogan, “Experience the Pull”.  The values of the youth group were to grow deeper, higher, wider, lower and the like, coordinating with values such as worship (higher), discipleship (deeper), wider (outreach), and lower (humility).  There were a few more values, but that is the basic flow.  My original concept was a Tree (following the “growth” ethos), but as I doodled for some reason I began experimenting with arrows (probably at the HSP’s insistence, he didn’t like the tree idea much – too Arbor Day like).  We settled on one that had an arrow going down, and an arrow going up connected by a vital stat – to symbolize life.  It was something that just arose in the sketching.  Not having a whole lot of experience with illustrator, I just roughed up my sketches with some filters, and found the font “Broken15” which would become the logo font.  The symbol could point students to the values of the YM, and boom, it was a hit.  It was placed on bumper stickers, all official communications, sweatshirts, tshirts, giveaways and on projected screens each program.  The logo was (and I believe still is) everywhere at Grace’s High School Ministry. I’m pretty proud that this logo has been enduring.  I love to see something that lasts.

Coming to Saint Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church after Seminary (did I mention that, lol), I walked into a youth group that had previously been titles SURF (an acronym for Serving…well, I can’t remember the rest…I’m not an acronym kind of guy).  The ethos of Hilton Head Island, where the church is located is very tropical and beachy, so I thought that the title Surf still made sense as an ethos.  Surfers are confident, they enjoy God’s creation, the waves are a reminder of God’s awesome power, and water is such a strong symbol of the Holy Spirit that it had to stay.  But there was no logo, so I started doodling, like I always have.  Over time, and after getting feedback from students in the ministry, we settled on this three wave format with a semi-circle completed by a solid foundation. The word Surf (in Gipsiero font) and the deep blue color were most favorable over many other selections, and despite my wife’s opinion to the contrary, I believe that the Three Waves symbolize the Trinity (God Father and Holy Spirit), The Arch above is a symbol of Noah’s rainbow which was a covenant from God that he would not use Water to destroy mankind and his/her evil ever again, and that the bottom was a surf board.  Perhaps real surfers out there can contend with me, but I felt the bottom looked like a short board.  Again, my wife contends.  Regardless, this used to be for our whole youth ministry, but as the High School Ministry became more differentiated from the Middle School Ministry it was clear that the HS students needed an identity all their own, so this is primarily used for our Middle School Youth Ministry today.  And guess what, it looks great on just about anything.  I love it.

Here is the last piece, and try to see beyond the added tags. At the moment I cannot find a clear logo .png (merely because the computer I’m currently using), but look at the actual ACDC part.  As the High School Ministry began rising out of missions and service in our state of South Carolina, the High School Students came to me to start up something new for them.  I was quick to meet with them and nudge them in a few directions.  (1) We needed a time and day that we could meet for Christian Fellowship (Food, Fun, Friends, Faith, etc.).  (2) We needed a format, I had one, and I presented it and they were digging it, so we have gone with that and it has been good; and (3) They would need a Logo for communications and promotions that surmised the ethos of the group.  I challenged the two main girls who were at all the meetings to think of some ideas.  While I was at a yard sale (actually having one), I received a text from one of the girls that had a picture of a napkin with ACDC with a cross done in red ink on it.  It was beautiful, the handwriting was brilliant, the bleed was textured and it was balanced. I loved it through and through.  She told me that she wanted the name of the youth group to be ACDC or “Awesome Christian’s Digging Christ” and I think the rebel nature of the band name (which we are reclaiming for ourselves – it is two types of scientific current after all) had something to do with the choice.  I lifted the handwriting with a scan, colored the logo a deep red, and gave it a nice shadow to pull it out, and boom – we have LOGO.  So good, and youth created it.  They own it and have grown the HS youth with it.  Such a cool ethos, and the cross clearly communicates who we are as a Christian Youth Group trying to be disciples of Christ.

Well, those are the main ones I have been involved in.  I’ve done countless calendars, trip art, tshirt designs, fonts and series slides over the years, but for some reason the logos are so satisfying, and it is cool when you see them drawn on a youth’s notebook or see them playing with it and asking what it means.  It adds an element of unity and cohesion in a visual way, and that is such a neat element to have for any group.  Feel free to drop a note if you’re struggling or need some help thinking a logo out on your own.  Peace.

(Image Source for Title Image: http://www.theartcareerproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/graphic-design.jpg)

Pass It On: The Sleek Sheen of Darth Vader in Typography – Beautifully Done

I often peruse Gizmodo blog, and this really caught my eye (I was a Graphic Design major in college before switching to Religion/Philosophy).  Full pic below, and here is some info from the Giz article (click to jump)

Evan Travelstead has created this poster of Darth Vader using only typography and all his famous quotes, from I find your lack of faith disturbing to ***SPOILER ALERT***Luke, I am your father. The results are… remarkable. Here’s the full poster:

Old and New Media Distribution Methods – Picture

I Just scribbled this using the Pencil Tool in Paint.  It is a picture I saw in my mind today while reading about the tanking of Hulu, thanks to the Networks that bought it, then decided rather than build a platform and pioneer it, just take lots of money from Netflix.  A kernal in that article is about how Networks are losing ground and revenue to open distribution of media (easily downloaded media).  I’m a history kind of guy, so I naturally thought of “The way things probably used to be.”  I may be wrong, but this is what I pictured in that moment.  !

See the Article I wrote on Multempire using this Pic.

Anniversary Poem Collection (First Draft)

As I left New England after graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I wrote five poems (which I felt was a strong number of poems to have) about  particular facets of New England that I thought really stood out in my mind.  They may not be masterpieces, and I don’t mind if no one thinks that, but they are important to me.  I’ve dedicated these poems to my wife, Amanda, in thanking her for the 7 years of marriage she has spent with me (7 being a Biblical number of completeness, many more 7’s to come!), and for her willingness to freeze in the Great Northern Wilderness (*cough* north of Boston area *cough*) with me and experience true winter Four Years in a Row.  Bless her!

I’ve asked my friend Mark to illustrate these works with his rendition of what he saw when he read them (he did a great blog on how he sees this project), and I am very grateful for the time he took out of his graphic design career to put these together for me.  I know that they were not slapped together, and they are fine works in their own right.  I will be compiling them with the poems more properly in the future in a small paged book if anyone is interested in seeing it in the future (just let me know).  Right now, I’ve placed the poems on top of the images, but in the future I will place the poems on pages next to the images so readers can flip through them.

Again, thank you Amanda.  I hope you enjoy the works (presented below).



A Thought on Youth Group Names/Logos

Here are some Youth Group Names/Logos I’ve been involved in:

(1) Gravity

(website) – Gravity was a student chosen name, the tag line is “Experience the Pull” and the Logo represents all the values of the Youth Ministry.  The Logo is always in the background reminding the students of the values each time its explained.

(2) Surf (website) – Surf was in place at my current youth ministry as an Acronym, but it matched the ethos of the Island that we live on, full of beaches.

Here is the blog post I’m responding to: Why I am Sorta Against Youth Group Names by Architecht

I recently read this article on Youth Group names and I didn’t think it was a big deal to me until I realized as I wrote my response that I didn’t agree.  That perhaps it was a matter of perspective, and seeing a name and logo in its proper context, you might be able to utilize it well.  (I’ve included two Logo/Names I’ve worked on developing, and then added the link to the blog I’m responding to, and then my response.)

Here is my response:

For branding purposes, it isn’t an issue of whether you have a name, or don’t have a name.  The key is to have a vital ministry that meets needs.  If you are doing a great job, the name won’t matter, people will call it what they want to call it.  It may be called “An awesome place” or High School Ministry, or “Powerhouse” – whatever.  As long as your space is a place where students feel comfortable, your ministry has stable leadership, and the purposes of youth ministry are being met, does it really matter?

In the long run though, youth ministry names sometimes do make a difference.  After about four years of a stable youth ministry, it is good to have a brand presence so that students who are thinking about their discipleship (and especially for creative/visual) students, to have an anchor point in their mind as to what is the place they are working out their identity.  Say your youth ministry is called “Refresh” and the logo is the word, with a symbol of water (for baptism or the holy spirit or being refreshed experientially), and it is effectively utilized on letterhead to parents and students, it is on tshirts for trips, on calendars and informational packets, it is on posters around the youth room, and on web presence (facebook, youth website, and downloadable images).

When you hit that saturation point, students can draw the logo on their book covers at school and it fulfills two good purposes.  (1) They remember the goodness and fullness of your program.  They know they belong somewhere and that symbol denotes that relationship.  (2) It advertises to others the fact that your ministry exists.  When another student asks what the logo means, the student (if you’ve spent the time to explain the name and logo to the kids) can tell the other what the ministry means to them.  “It is my youth group.  It is where I have people that care about me.  It is where I meet Jesus.  It is where I grow as a person.”  All these things can be associated with a visual element to your ministry – and denoted in a name.

I believe that is very important, and if stuck out, becomes a vital part of a ministry.  If your logo gets used by the church in promos for youth group, the youth see that they are part of the overall church, and that their presence matters.  All because of a name and a logo tagged to an experience.  Then again, if your group is not a good experience at all, then why promo it at all?

Don’t rely on a logo or a name – make it part of the whole – the good – and let it be associated under the banner of Christ.

Pass It On: Mad Awesome Mario Brothers

I saw this pic recently, and couldn’t help but pass it onto everyone.  I’ve never seen Mario in such an amazingly tough rendering.  All I have to say, is that I want to see this made into a Street Fighter/Mario Brothers fighting game like they did with the DC Universe and Mortal Kombat Recently.  These Mario renderings could be used as an add on pack for the new Super Street Fighter IV.  Why not people?  Let me know what you think!