What's in this session?

  • Photography > Graphics (1:13)
  • Step #1: Find a beautiful photo (3:14)
  • Step #2: Use an elegant font for the title (5:06)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Alex Mills: Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Daily. This is the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to get a daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus, while we try, and navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer. Today we’re talking about how to design beautiful sermon series graphics.

Brady Shearer: What I want you to take away from this episode of Pro Church Daily, listener or viewer, is the understanding of the fact that you don’t need to be a designer, and you don’t even need to have a lot of time. You only need a couple of minutes.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: You can design a beautiful sermon graphic. We’re going to show you exactly how to do that in this episode, and we’re even going to give you 12, free sermon graphic downloads, you can use, download, use them in your church.

Alex Mills: Look, we’ve both done this. Neither of us were trained in graphic design.

Brady Shearer: Facts.

Alex Mills: Neither of us were trained in any of this stuff. You and I both, at different times, learned how to create sermon graphics, how to create them well. We’ve done it now for years, and these are the tools that we used, and you can use this weekend in literally a few minutes. Anyone can do this, to create a beautiful sermon graphic.

Brady Shearer: Now, to make this happen, there are a couple of core principles that you need to make peace with.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: The first is that all of these sermon graphics are going to be photography based, rather than graphics based. There are two reasons for why we do this. Number one, great photography is wildly more accessible than great graphic design.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: The time it took me to find a designer that was worth paying any money to, was a very long time, because great graphic design is more difficult, in my opinion, and I think I have the approval of the photographer himself …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … Alex Mills. Great graphic design is significantly more difficult than great photography.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Even if you can’t take the photos, finding great photography for free is wildly accessible …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … thanks to some free resources that we’re going to talk about. The second reason and core principle for why we’re choosing photography based sermon graphics over graphics based sermon graphics is, because, when it comes to photography and really good photography, there’s this richness. There’s this texture. There’s this analog nature …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … of photography …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … that I think is very synonymous with the feeling of authenticity …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … and transparency that so many of our churches want to convey. When we’re talking about branding, so much of branding is, what a person feels. You walk into a Starbucks, and there’s a certain feeling you get versus when you walk into a Tim Horton’s or a Dunkin Donuts.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: That is the brand, and so, you can reflect that with your sermon graphics, and that feeling is going to translate to the sermon itself.

Alex Mills: Yeah. I mean, a photo is and was a real moment in time, right? It’s a real person. It’s a real tree. It’s a real, whatever, and people somehow, for some reason, do connect with that on another level. We’re about to get into it right now, some really great, free resources that you can use to find great photos, even if you don’t have the opportunity to take them yourself.

Brady Shearer: It’s a two-step process to create a beautiful sermon graphic, even if you’re not a designer, and even if you don’t have that much time. Even if you have zero dollars …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … you can do this. The first step is to find a beautiful photo. There are 12 different sermon graphics that you can download for free, that accompany this episode of Pro Church Daily. Each of the photos in these graphics are actually a still frame from a Storytape, stock footage, 4K download.

Alex Mills: Nice.

Brady Shearer: Because I’m lazy, and because I know the footage on the Storytape …

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: I went to Storytape, and if I wanted to create a sermon graphic on the Bible, I went to Storytape. I typed in Bible. I found a clip that coincidentally had the Bishop Alex Mills in it. I downloaded it. I brought it into Photoshop. I found a good still, and I saved it as a PNG.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: There was my graphic.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: If you have a Storytape subscription, that’s a great way to go about it. If you don’t, or if you want to go differently, a Storytape still is not going to be as high quality as a photo from, let’s say, a cameral, a DSLR, but we’re talking about 4K versus 6K, sensor differences. It’s mostly the same to the average person that can see it.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Another great resource that has completely disrupted the world, and another Canadian resource …

Alex Mills: Yes.

Brady Shearer: … is Unsplash.com. You can go to Unsplash.com, and you can search in, using their keyword research tool, Bible. You can find an image there, download it, and that is the first step in creating a beautiful sermon graphic. You did it!

Alex Mills: I am a professional photographer, and I use Unsplash for creating sermon graphics all the time. It’s so much easier, and especially if you’re crunched for time.

Brady Shearer: Yeah.

Alex Mills: If you’re trying to squeeze this in between your full-time job and your volunteer hours at church, whatever you’re doing. I know it’s a lot. You don’t have a lot of time. I don’t have a lot of time to go out and take a photo of some foliage. Or, I don’t even have time to scroll through my own catalog, and find one that I like. I’m just going to Unsplash, searching leaf, and downloading that picture, and putting into Photoshop, and using right away.

Brady Shearer: That’s step one. Step number two, the final step in this process, is to use an elegant font for the title. Now, I prefer Serif fonts. These are ones that are like Times New Romans, so the edges of the letters have little rips.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Serifs, is what they’re called.

Alex Mills: Yes.

Brady Shearer: Not rips.

Alex Mills: That’s a technical term.

Brady Shearer: But whatever you want to call it, that’s up for you. Here are some fonts that I’d recommend using. I think I’ve got seven here. Four of them are free from Google Fonts. Three of them are from Typekit. Now, Typekit is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: If you have Adobe Creative Cloud, you’re using Photoshop Premier Audition, you already have all these fonts included in your subscription. If you don’t, we’ve got four free Google fonts as well.

Alex Mills: You didn’t ask me for my recommendations, because you knew if you did, they would be seven handwritten script fonts.

Brady Shearer: That’s right. None of these are script fonts. Those are options as well. Three fonts from Typekit that I love, Calluna, Kepler, and FF Tisa, and then four fonts from Google Fonts, that I love, Spectral, Cardo, which is cardio without the I, Playfair Display, and Lora.

Alex Mills: Lora is one of my favorites.

Brady Shearer: Seven great fonts, four of which are free, that you can combine with your photo to create simply, a beautiful sermon graphic. Now, a couple more tips to consider. I like to make the title of the sermon really small.

Alex Mills: I know you do.

Brady Shearer: It’s just a personal thing that I like.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: In all the examples that you can download, you’ll notice that they were all single-word sermon series titles, just because each of the sermon series tackles a giant existential matter, and so, rather than creating an elaborate title, it’s kind like the paradox of giant topic, and then …

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: … really title title, so …

Alex Mills: Didn’t Hillsong do that recently on one of their album covers? The Let There Be Cover, wasn’t that photo with just tiny text right in the middle of it.

Brady Shearer: Oh, yeah.

Alex Mills: You could barely see it.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I actually came up with it first.

Alex Mills: Oh, okay.

Brady Shearer: Then, well, they … I consulted … Okay, anyway. I just try to take credit for anything I can. The great thing about the free download that accompanies this episode of Pro Church Daily is, you can download all 12 graphics, but we also give you 12 more graphics that are just the stills themselves …

Alex Mills: Oh, sweet.

Brady Shearer: … so, that you can add your own title. If you want to create an elaborate title, or just a different title, you can download them all there. Any final thoughts from you?

Alex Mills: I’m just going to go download those still photos, and throw handwritten script fonts over top.

Brady Shearer: Choose your own adventure, people. The featured resource for this episode of Pro Church Daily is those downloads. It’s part of a blog post I wrote, called 12 Innovative Sermon Series Ideas, plus free, downloadable sermon graphics.

Alex Mills: You don’t only get the graphics, but you get the idea for the whole sermon series itself.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, and each idea for the sermon series comes with accompanying scriptures, data points of why I chose the sermon series idea, why I think it’s important, and ideas about, how do you actually structure that sermon series, so plenty of great stuff. That is all linked in the show notes for this episode of Pro Church Daily. That’ll do it for this episode. We’ll see you next time.

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