Canterbury United Methodist Church came to us for a website redesign. Their website was out-dated, cluttered, and not optimized for navigation, and they wanted a modern update that simplified the information on the site. We recommended that in addition to a website redesign, they should update their logo to match the modern and clean look of their website.
When it comes to logo design, the process looks different for each client. When we redesigned the Canterbury United Methodist Church logo, it was no exception. We’re really pleased with the outcome, so we sat down with our graphic designer, Matt to learn more about his design process.
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE ASSIGNED A LOGO DESIGN?
I always look at the current state of the logo and then evaluate what needs to be changed or updated. The overarching goal is to make a logo timeless—you shouldn’t be able to tell if it was designed yesterday or 100 years ago, which is probably the most challenging part about logo design.
WHERE DID YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR THIS SPECIFIC LOGO?
Canterbury just celebrated its 150th anniversary last October, so they placed high importance on keeping a visual representation of history present in the logo. They loved the font and the look of the shield and the cross, so I started there. I began by researching different shield and cross designs and I stumbled upon the Canterbury cross. The Canterbury cross dates back to 850 A.D. and is one of the crosses that is used to symbolize the Christian faith. It is currently erect at the Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, which is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. There’s no coincidence here—it’s the exact cathedral that Canterbury United Methodist Church got its name from. I thought this would be a great way to preserve that history and still change the look of the logo entirely. Paired with the font I chose, it marries modern and historic style.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROCESS ONCE YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE.
I always start with fonts and I look at what it’s spelling out. Specific letters can look very different, so I look at tons of different fonts that work best for the word I’m spelling. For Canterbury, they didn’t want to change the main font much so I found a secondary font that complements the main font. After I get the general idea of fonts, I start looking at the standalone logo, or the logo mark. For Canterbury, that’s when I went down the rabbit trail looking at different shield and crosses, and that’s where I found the Canterbury cross.
WHAT WERE SOME OTHER IDEAS YOU PLAYED WITH?
I did one design where each part of the cross represented a ministry. Each ministry of the church plays a separate role but still makes up the church as a whole, so this was a cool visual representation of that. This logo, however, would require a larger scale of rebranding for the church, so I didn’t choose this for the final version. I wanted to ensure that the final design aligned with their core brand and the overall feel of the church.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS LOGO?
I like the cleanliness of it, it’s very crisp. I always want to use a mark that’s recognizable on their website, a tshirt, or a car sticker. It’s modern but still has that timeless feel. It can be used with a variety of backgrounds and still look great.
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