It was likely my favorite design this spring - the ALL IN initiative for Anthem Church in Oklahoma. We set out late last fall together on this long-term project that turned out to be a complete joy to design.
Their photography is stellar. (Side note: in case you're coordinating communication efforts for a church or ministry or non-profit, please do yourself a favor today and find yourself a really good photographer!)
The color palette they suggested was bold and bright and high contrast to really attract attention. Plus, we were able to use the script font from their church brand and grayscale photography to tie everything together cohesively.
This design package included vision page, commitment card, invitations, save the date, 52-page main print piece booklet, banners, tee shirt, and about a dozen slides for weekend worship.
Year-In-Review Report Design
We dearly love designing for church initiatives specifically. It is, after all, our bread and butter. But creating a year-in-review recap complete with web animation has been one of our favorite projects to date!
The Father's House, a multi-site church in California with five campus locations, reached out for help on their fiscal year-end report design this summer. The goal was to design individual "slides" that would eventually be used in animation on their website.
They started sending the stats and wording for their design, and I was immediately so thankful to be able to partner with these people. They're doing incredible work day in and day out. I needed no further proof.
Design aside, their photography is completely amazing. Those faces. There are few things more rewarding than the result of design work that starts with phenomenal imagery. Enjoy!
A pastor in North Carolina wanted to challenge his people to be a part of building something that has eternal value, and leaving a legacy of hope for generations to come. To imagine what that would be like. To imagine what it means to be on mission together. To imagine what it feels like to never turn anyone away. To imagine the change in their lives as they reach new levels of generosity as a church.
The Imagine initiative design package included a custom logo, vision page, commitment card, banner, generosity toolbox, invitations, and 48-page main print piece.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina has seen the start of a church just seven years ago grow to the point of needing to build a worship center and reach out more into their community and around the world.
They knew it would take everyone's help and that it needed to be a personal journey they would all take together, and that's how #MYNC came to be. Using the church brand and colors, we created this striking collateral to help communicate and inspire and encourage the people of New Church.
The #MYNC initiative design package included a custom logo, vision page, commitment card, save the date magnet, invitations, and 36-page main print piece.
Cornerstone UMC Initiative
Cornerstone United Methodist Church recently launched an initiative called Dive In. They are challenging their people to grow in generosity in order to reach more of their community, provide resources for the next generation, and leave a legacy of faith.
To do this effectively, they needed high quality graphic design to creatively and clearly communicate their vision and encourage their people through a unique initiative logo, vision page, various invitations, commitment cards, and main booklets.
This one was pure fun to create!
The Dive In initiative design package included a custom logo, vision page, commitment card, save the date, and multiple invitations.
Based on Ephesians 3:20, the leadership of Revolution Church wanted to challenge people to dream big and act boldly through their new Imagine 3:20 initiative in order to make an impact in their church, their community, and beyond.
Using imagery of the sky and infinite possibilities coupled with photography of their church, these initiative materials was a super fun design to put together. As the leaders plan for the next step for their church, it was an exciting time to come alongside them in a creative way.
It's here! It's here! It's finally here!
Well, I say "finally," but it really didn't take that long in the world of illustrated children's books. The printed proof arrived late last week, and guys. It's. Beautiful.
I'm completely in love! (Can you tell?)
Yep - over the moon!
I mentioned a couple months ago on the blog that I had taken on a new and exciting kids book adventure - a children's book about adoption. And now all the revisions, the research, the late nights, and the countless I-desperately-need-more-coffee moments are paying off.
Having turned over the manuscript to my watercolor genius of an illustrator around the first of November last year, she has now brought this book to life in ways I could not have imagined on my own. (That's exactly why I'm the author and she's the illustrator, right?) We worked so well as a team, and it shows.
So as soon as it arrived last week, I made plans to meet up with my illustrator that very same day to share it with her as well.
She loved getting to see the proof, of course. And with this being both our debuts in children's book publishing, we savored the moment!
And so, without further ado...
Family By Love: A Story of Open Adoption is now available!
In case you didn't catch my last post about it, this book tells the story of sweet and spunky Sophia on her journey to become a big sister to her newly-adopted brother. Through this family adventure, Sophia learns a bit about herself, a lot about God's love, and what really makes a family.
The ideas in this book touch on a wide range of adoption-related topics, including:
This book was uniquely written from the child's point of view in order to educate and encourage the child already in the family at the start of the adoption process. And that's really why I wrote this book. (You can read more about the birth of Family By Love here.)
TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
Here are a few sneak peeks at the cover and a couple inside spreads.
Not long ago I decided to do something I’d never done before. And, as new adventures often prove, it was an exciting journey of research and discovery and learning. A time of stretching and trusting and praying.
It all started during our adoption home study process. My husband and I began asking our adoption agent for resources to share with our young daughter. We were looking for books to help educate her about the adoption process, encourage her through the waiting, and help her understand the idea of open adoption. And we were really hoping for something with Christian themes and values.
Although there are several beautiful adoption-related children’s books available, we found nothing that matched this description for the child already in the family. Instead, we found a chasm between what was available and what we needed for our family - and we knew we couldn’t possibly be the only parents looking for this type of resource.
And so, with a tug on my heart from the Lord and encouragement from my husband, I wrote a children’s book.
Yes, it was a daunting project to undertake, but I have not-so-secretly loved every minute. The pieces of the puzzle have fallen together almost seamlessly. The outline and script came quickly. I secured an amazingly talented illustrator. Encouragement came from everywhere. And now, it’s almost ready for sale!
Family By Love: A Story of Open Adoption is the story of sweet and spunky Sophia on her journey to become a big sister to her newly-adopted brother. It covers the topics of domestic adoption, transracial adoption, birth mothers and birth families, preparing to adopt, waiting for placement, and the ongoing relationships of open adoption.
I have completely fallen in love with these sweet faces. (I mean, look at them!) And I smile to know what happens in their family and in their hearts as they adopt a precious baby boy.
Full disclosure: one of my very favorite parts of this story is that it’s told from the perspective of the child who is already in the family at the start of the adoption process. I don't know of a more effective way to reach children and help them understand what adoption looks like from their vantage point.
My ultimate hope is that you will share this resource with anyone you know who may benefit from a sweet story of adoption, unconditional love, and what really makes a family. I can't wait to share it with you soon!
Christmas Came Early This Year
I just love this middle spread. The pop of color, the subtle gray imagery, the logo that appears larger than life to help introduce their project theme. And I love the quote on the right... "Let's trust in God like never before." That's definitely what I did when I started this freelance work (that I'd never change in a New York minute now). It makes me wonder what it would look like if we all trusted God's leading in our lives like never before.
And I loved this spread below as well. It's just this simple image of giving in a series of steps. Earlier this fall, my husband and I were asked to lead our church during the worship service in communion and offering. I mentioned before praying for the offering that when I started giving, I didn't start tithing. In fact, I started giving five percent - technically a "half tithe" if you will. Now, I didn't do it out of willful disobedience to God. Rather, I did it because I knew I needed to give, and I wanted to ensure it was a positive experience so I would want to continue making my way to a full ten percent tithe and beyond. And it worked. God doesn't always call us from start to finish in one giant leap. So often he calls us to take step after step in obedience to Him toward the goal. And that's exactly what this image reminds me of. What a beautiful thought - taking the actual steps of obedience.
This one was a treat, folks. To communicate stories and encourage people at churches across the country to follow God's leading is a complete and total blessing. And every time Christmas comes early, I'm reminded of that very thing.
Here are a couple texts I received a few weeks ago:
Man... talk about starting your day off right!
I recall seeing these messages come through that morning as I sat down to work. I immediately felt I was so fortunate to have a client/friend who was that happy with what I had designed for her. If even the very first proof garnered that kind of reaction, I knew we were on the right track.
I work mostly with churches across the country, but my client/friend is a (quite amazing) wedding photographer. She requested I create a 24-page booklet for her to serve as a guide for the brides and grooms she works with. And I wanted to try my hand at something different - you know, stretch my skills a bit. But my success in creating a beautiful design for her wasn't completely reliant upon my own design chops. Take a look at the imagery in this piece!
Now that you've seen this, you know a subpar graphic designer could have likely created something breathtaking - simply due to the quality of imagery. I could have slapped comic sans on this baby and it would have been beautiful! (Ok, I went way too far on that one... but you get the idea.)
I can easily say I have never worked with more stunningly beautiful imagery in all of my professional career. (And I'd tell you how many years that includes so you'd get the full gravity of that statement, but that would give away my age, and we all know a true lady never does that!)
Suffice it to say, this was the dream design project of the year. I told my client/friend I anticipated that during the very first conversation we had about this booklet, and my hunch turned out to be right.