If someone were to ask me, Should my church care about graphic design?, I would answer with a resounding, “YES!”
And that answer might be met with, But Amanda… You’re a graphic designer. Of course you think a church should care about graphic design. You think EVERYONE should care about graphic design.
To which I may say, “Touché.”
But I stand by it!
However, I think the question would be better phrased as this: Why should my church care about graphic design?
Well, I’m so glad you asked, cause I’m about to tell ya!
One: The Bible commands it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, lady. The Bible does not say anything about graphic design.
Okay, you’re right. The words “graphic design” do not appear anywhere in the Bible.
But there are principles in the Bible that we are supposed to follow in our lives, and therefore, in our work (which may include graphic design).
Some that are reminders to me as I design are these:
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40
“…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
So technically, you’d be correct in that the Bible doesn’t specifically mention graphic design.
But we should make our Sunday bulletins decent and in order. We should design our sermon slides and live stream services to the glory of God. We should work with our might to produce all the things that represent our church (which—side note— represents Christ).
Two: God is creative.
Anyone can take a look around this world and agree that God is creative and wants us to be creative.
Watch the sunset as it paints an autumn sky. Smell the fragrance of a newly blooming flower. Listen to the twittering melodies of a bird on a quiet morning.
After each day of Creation, God looked upon what He had made and called it “good.” I imagine that His original design, before man’s sin, was “decent,” “in order,” done “to the glory of God,” and “with [His] might.” If we think Creation is amazing and beautiful now, I can only dream what it was like then!
In my personal Bible reading awhile back, I encountered the building of the temple by Solomon. It piqued my curiosity to read the descriptions. The construction was intricate and exact. There were overlays of gold and silver. Beautiful draperies were hung. Statues were carved and displayed.
With help from these descriptions, my mind wanders to a place that was stunningly beautiful. And God gave these designs to David who passed them on to Solomon for the construction. Well, of course, it was beautiful! God designed it!
We are made in the image of God, so we should design things that reflect the creativity He’s given to us.
Three: Our message is important.
We’ve all been to a restaurant and viewed a menu full of mouth-watering photos of burgers that are too big to bereal; where you can see the individual flakes of salt on the french fries; where ice cubes splash into a tall glass of ice-cold Coca Cola; and the menu items practically beg, “Buy me!”
We’ve all also been to a restaurant where they quickly typed up the menu, printed it on a piece of copy paper, tossed it on your table, and smudged it with a bit of ketchup. (Am I right or am I right?)
Does the quality of the menu necessarily reflect the taste or the value of the food served?
No. Of course not.
Sometimes the best food is served at the places with lousy menus. And sometimes the prettiest menu in the world couldn’t make up for the nastiness that was served on a plate.
But when you get a mix of a great menu combined with the most delicious food, you’re left with an enjoyable experience all around. The places with both a great menu and great food believe in the value of what they’re selling and want to present it in an appetizing, enjoyable way.
If we are sharing the most important message in the world, shouldn’t we present it in a way that accurately reflects how much we value it?
Please don’t get me wrong. The Gospel can obviously stand all on its own. It doesn’t need theatrics, pretty fonts, artwork, or a designer to help it achieve its purpose.
However, I believe it deserves to be presented in a way that is orderly and beautiful and creative, as it represents God.
Whether that be a tract, our own church materials such as calendars and bulletins, or even the signage around our church building, the way we present the truth is a valid indication of how much we value it.
Now, you tell me — should YOUR church care about graphic design?