Rebranding with Northwest Assembly of God: Coaching Edition #003

Welcome to another session of the Pro Church Podcast: Coaching Edition. In this podcast I'm going to be speaking live with a church and you’ll get to sit in on our coaching session together. Nothing is off limits and everything is recorded.

00:00
July 6th, 2017

Northwest Assembly Of God is the perfect example of a prototypical church. The church averages about 200 in attendance, their website homepage has a giant slider on it, and their domain name is a five-letter acronym. The great news is that they’ve got a young and talented leader on staff named Christian Lamb, and he’s ready to lead the church through a rebrand. I sit down with Christian and together we create a gameplan for his ambitious rebranding project.

Meet The Church Being Coached

  • Church Name: Northwest Assembly of God
  • Church Location: Mount Prospect, Illinois
  • Church Age: 25-30 years
  • Church Size: 150-200
  • On the coaching call: Christian Lamb – Youth Pastor & Graphic Design/Production

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. Introduce an order of operations. Even if it’s not an exhaustive list, putting one together will help you organize what needs to be done first. Knowing where you want to start will also keep the rebranding from being overwhelming and break it down into smaller steps.
    2. Be a branded house, not a house of brands. Keeping a consistent brand across your ministries allows every aspect to be easily recognizable as part of who you are. This especially applies to sub ministries such as kids, youth, etc. keep the names consistent with your brand.
    3. Bundle change. People never like change, so anytime you make changes to your brand you will experience push back. Bundling the change together allows you to handle all of the pushback in a small period rather than making changes and experiencing pushback multiple times.

The Full Transcript


[00:00:30]
Brady Shearer:
Well hey there Pro Church Nation, and welcome to another session of the Pro Church Podcast: Coaching Edition. In this podcast, I’m gonna be speaking live with a church and you get to sit in on our coaching session together. Nothing is off limit, and everything is recorded. Welcoming Christian Lamb to the podcast today. Christian, what’s up?

Christian Lamb:
Not much, how are you doing?

Brady Shearer:
I’m doing extraordinarily well, and this is the third – officially the third – coaching edition of the Pro Church Podcast that we’ve done. And I’ve had a fantastic time on the first two, so hopefully, we keep that going. I know that’s a lot of pressure on you, but I think you can come through.

Christian Lamb:
I’ll try my best.

Brady Shearer:
Well, we’re gonna start easy. We do these 5 rapid fire questions to start and kinda contextualize what your church is struggling with, who you are, and where you’re at right now. So if you’re cool, we’ll start with that.

Christian Lamb:
Absolutely.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, cool. First question: What is the name of your church?

Christian Lamb:
Northwest Assembly of God.

Brady Shearer:
Second question: Where is your church located?

[00:01:30]
Christian Lamb:
Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, where is that?

Christian Lamb:
It’s just outside of Chicago, about 15 minutes.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, cool. How old is the church?

Christian Lamb:
It’s going on 25-30 years. I’m not positive as to when we were actually founded.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, that’s a good enough round about number. How big is your church?

Christian Lamb:
On Sunday, we have anywhere from 150-200.

Brady Shearer:
Perfect. And the role that you play at the church?

Christian Lamb:
I’m the youth pastor as well as over graphic design and production.

[00:02:00]
Brady Shearer:
Okay, cool! Sounds like a very prototypical church. Ya know, most churches are under 200 in size, right around 180 ish, which sounds like, ya know, you’re right around in that. And ya know, you’re the youth pastor, but you’re also in charge of x, y, z, and any other letters after that, sounds like.

Christian Lamb:
Right.

Brady Shearer:
Classic. I love it. I love it. Okay, great. So, we’ve got about 45 minutes together. What is it that you wanna tackle in that time?

[00:02:30]
Christian Lamb:
We are just working towards just a total rebrand of the church, so just wanted to discuss branding – your thoughts on branding and how best to communicate something intangible, like our heart of the church, and translate that into graphics and other media.

Brady Shearer:
Sure, sure. Okay, so we can talk about, like, the current state of your branding right now?

Christian Lamb:
Yeah.

Brady Shearer:
Obviously, you feel like a change is needed. What are things and where are things in their current state?

Christian Lamb:
Right now, it’s just a little scattered. They’ve gone through a couple different graphic designers over the past few years, that have tweaked and adjusted different things. So our website’s pretty basic right now. Our logo is starting to be more dated. It’s a type-font and it has the three icons to the side of it. So it’s just really hard to brand that anywhere because it all –

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, I’m looking at it right now, and just to kinda like hopefully give a little bit of a word picture for it I’m looking at. So, there’s the word mark, “Northwest Assembly of God,” on the right hand side, and the on the left hand side of the logo, there’s three rounded squares. So the edges aren’t pointed; they’re three rounded squares right next to each other – one, two, three. The first one is kind of a red color. The second is a green color. The third one is a yellow color. And you’ve got a person, a leaf, and a cross. Just classic, classic church. For a church of, like, 150-200 ish, Christian, I’ve seen a lot worse. Though the first thing I do see on your website, and really the only thing, is a giant slider!

[00:04:00]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah.

Brady Shearer:
And yeah know-

Christian Lamb:
Love that.

Brady Shearer:
You know how I feel about sliders, Christian. I have a strong affection for them. No, they-they are the worst. If there’s one thing that hopefully we can gain from this consultation is that we can replace the – start going down the route of replacing the slider.

Christian Lamb:
Yeah. Absolutely.

Brady Shearer:
Seems like – looks like your church website was created by a company called Church Plant Media.

Christian Lamb:
Yes.

Brady Shearer:
Why would a church company, when they have a really nice website, burden a church – a nice church like yours, Christian – with a slider? How did this decision get made?

Christian Lamb:
I have no idea.

[00:04:30]
Brady Shearer:
Cool. Alright. So, back to the logo. So, I mean the first thing when I’m looking at this logo is like, it’s very difficult to have a brand going forward when we have three different icons as your actual logo. So, when it comes to redoing the brand, are you starting with the logo? Who are you getting – are you doing it as the designer, or is someone else doing it?

Christian Lamb:
Yeah, I would be doing it, and then we’re open for whatever. So whether that’s a logo mark a logotype, where it’s just the-

Brady Shearer:
Yeah.

Christian Lamb:
Stylized.

Brady Shearer:
Do you have a preference either way?

Christian Lamb:
Um, no. Either way.

Brady Shearer:
Cool. Cool. I’ve always been a fan of a logo mark. I’ve enjoyed that, but there is something to be said about a name such as yours and Pro Church Tools. When they’re that long, it’s sometimes nice to kind of use a word logo, because the name of the organization is already long enough, that introducing a mark on top of that can kind of, ya know, just add a little bit of clutter. But I’ve always been a – I mean would prefer an actual – like personally, I always prefer a logo mark. And then when it comes – like, once you’ve got kind of the logo down, where do you go from there? Are you gonna explore typography and colors and the like?

Christian Lamb:
Right, yeah. Exploring those options as well as rebranding the various ministries that we have. So, rebranding the kids, rebranding student ministries. We’re starting a young adults group, so giving that some kind of brand.

[00:06:00]
Brady Shearer:
And how are they branded right now? Like, does everything have its own kind of unique name?

Christian Lamb:
Yeah. Right now, it’s Upside Down Kids. And we have Amplified Student Ministries. And they all have their own unique logos themselves.

Brady Shearer:
Classic! Oh, man. This is a lot of fun, Christian. This is – you are – and I hope you’re okay with this – but you are the example of the average church that Pro Church exists to help. Because I’m looking at your website and your branding, and you’re sharing like the names of the brands within your church. And I’m like, there are so many big wins that we can accomplish here, which is awesome, like – just a couple small tweaks, and we can take some huge steps forward in our communications, which is awesome because it doesn’t actually take that much. So, is there a timeline on the logo? Is that where you’re starting this rebrand? Like, I’m not gonna change the names of the ministries until we get this logo down?

[00:07:00]
Christian Lamb:
No, it’s kind of just all at once. We’re looking at some kind of like fall, like, announcement. We do something we call like a “Welcome Home” series in the fall, where we just do like, all the staff come up and we preach. So we were thinking of, if we did a new mission statement, a new mission for the church, revitalize all that, announcing all those changes at once in the fall.

Brady Shearer:
I like that idea. You know, you’ve got a couple of months, we’re recording this mid-June. You’ve got a couple of months before that rolls around. And, you know, it’s always a great time, in the fall – kids are back to school, new season to kind of introduce a new season within your church. So I like that timeline. But what I would say is, I think it would be helpful – this may not be the case for your church – but I think it’d be helpful to introduce an order of operations. Like, okay, we’re gonna start with this, and then we’re gonna go to this, and then we’re gonna go to this. Even if it’s not super exhaustive, at least have like the first three things that you wanna tackle, right? Because even right now as we’re having this conversation, I’m trying to think to myself, okay, I mean, we could talk about renaming the ministries, we could talk about the websites, we could talk about the logo, we could talk about the branding – and I’m even right now kind of reeling, trying to figure out where do I wanna start? And, I think because you’ve got a bunch of different things that you wanna tackle for this rebrand, just creating some type of order would be super helpful, but that kind of brings me to this question that I wanna ask you: How much autonomy do you have over this, and who are you working with? Like, is this a church-wide thing that you guys have to have meetings for? Have they given you the leeway to just go for it?

[00:08:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, for the most part, it’s been just given me the leeway. I had a meeting last Tuesday just with our lead pastor and showed him just my first initial designs. And he was like, “Yeah, I like it. Let’s go for it.” So it’s pretty open-ended in that regard.

Brady Shearer:
Alright. Well, that’s pretty awesome!

Christian Lamb:
Yeah.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, great. Okay, let’s say then that, before we move to anything else, we wanna do: the logo. Where are you at with the logo right now? What are you working through? And yeah, what state is it in? It sounds like you’ve done some work on it.

[00:09:00]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah. Here, I can show my screen. Currently-

Brady Shearer:
Great.

Christian Lamb:
I’ve selected a couple of colors to start off with, and let’s see – can you see this right here?

Brady Shearer:
Nothing’s coming up yet.

Christian Lamb:
Okay.

Brady Shearer:
There we go!

Christian Lamb:
Alright. Can you see these logos that I have up here?

Brady Shearer:
Ah, nice! A gradient. Classic.

Christian Lamb:
I know, it’s super nice!

Brady Shearer:
Gradients are always the way to go.

[00:09:30]
Christian Lamb:
Here’s what we have for the main church logo. It’s Proximinova as the main font –

Brady Shearer:
Beauty.

Christian Lamb:
Bold. And then the sub-header of the Assembly of God is medium, all caps, spaced out along the bottom of the word, “Northwest.” And then just to the left, a rounded square with the top left corner pointed and a cross right there. We’re not really set on that icon necessarily, so that’s something that I’m not sure if I’m happy with or not. And then kind of just begun with those two colors: a dark blue for our primary and then a lighter, almost teal color for an accent.

[00:10:00]
Brady Shearer:
Nice, yeah, and I really like what I’ve been seeing right now, and just to kind of give – and you did a great job describing that – what you’ve done a good job of is, your church’s name is kind of long, right? Like, “Northwest Assembly of God.” So you’ve got a compound word, and then three more words after it. And so what Christian has done a good job of in this logo is, like he’s said, he’s using Proximinova font, which is a sans-serif font. And he’s got the word, “Northwest,” as the main word. And then underneath the word, “Northwest,” in all caps, he’s got, “Assembly of God.” And that – those three words together, “Assembly of God,” are the same length as that one word, “Northwest.” And so the main emphasis with this logo is, “Northwest,” which on the old logo, it’s kind of like – on the old logo, it says, “Northwest, Assembly of God, Mount Prospect, Palatine.” Is that the way to pronounce it?

Christian Lamb:
Yeah, we have a second campus that’s in another suburb.

[00:11:00]
Brady Shearer:
Ah, okay. So Christian has already done a great job kind of condensing all of that. And that’s a great tip that if you’re listening to this, you can take away with: If you have a name of a church that’s very long, and you feel compelled to turn it into an acronym in your domain – which is something that we all do, we’re all compelled to do, it seems – what you can do is, you wanna choose a word that you focus on more than anything, right? “Northwest” is definitely the way to go in this case. I love that: condensing your church’s name down to a single word is, I think, always great. And it’s not always easy when we’re part of a denomination, like AOG, or First Methodist, or FUMC – First United Methodist Church – like, FUMC is always tough, like, F-U indeed. And so, condensing down to a single word is great. The church that I’m at right now, we’re just, “Central.” The church that I was at before was, “Engage.” These are easy words that you can mark and that can be super helpful. Okay, I think the logo is good, whether you stay with that cross, which is a little bit cliche, but you have a cool kind of look to it with the inline and then the gap sort of thing, which is nice. What are you thinking for the names of the ministries? Because, for me, I immediately think, Yeah, Northwest is the name in focus on this logo. We’re gonna go hard with Northwest as the brand going forward. It should be Northwest Kids, Northwest Students, Northwest Young Adults, Northwest Women, Northwest Men. That is what I think is the best way to go. What is your plan and what are your thoughts on that?

Christian Lamb:
For me, I like that idea. That’s just gonna be the part that’s going to take more convincing and more meetings to go through. So, currently, we just have those ideas set there, because that’ll be the part that’ll be harder to push through.

Brady Shearer:
People love Upsidedown Kids?

Christian Lamb:
Right, yeah. And a lot of the students love the name, “Amplified.” That kind of idea.

[00:13:00]
Brady Shearer:
Right, right. Okay. Do you think the pushback from that is simply people are just used to it, the familiarity? Or is there a big underlying reason that’s bigger than that, you think?

Christian Lamb:
I think it’s just a lot of familiarity. It’s been there a long time.

Brady Shearer:
Cool, and do you think that the pushback would come internally from the groups themselves or from the leadership?

Christian Lamb:
I think from just the groups themselves most likely, just because it would be a big change for them. And so, change is always a little difficult.

[00:13:30]
Brady Shearer:
There’s a couple layers here, ’cause I always encourage churches that you wanna be a branded house, not a house of brands. And that’s a nice little colloquialism, like a saying that you can bring to your leadership: “We are a branded house, not a house of brands.” It’s interesting – I was talking with my friend Justin just yesterday, we went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I was tremendously disappointed. We went to the late movie, like 10:15 pm, so there’s only two of us in the entire theater. And my friend Justin, he has his siblings that just moved in with him. They lived in Australia, and the interesting thing that’s happening in Australia right now is, Coca-Cola, they launched Coke Zero a couple of years ago, and Coke Zero has blown up to be more popular than the other Coca-Cola products in Australia – even the original Coca-Cola. At least in the region that Justin’s Australian siblings are from. And so what Coke has realized is that, because the Coke Zero can is the color black, of course. Coke Life is Green. Diet Coke is sometimes gold or just plain silver, and then, of course, the main brand for Coke is red. And Coca-Cola started noticing that the popularity of Coke Zero that was eclipsing the original Coke was diminishing their overall brand, their red color. And so what they’ve done, at least in Australia, is they’ve taken all of their Coke products, and they’ve made every single one of the cans red, but instead – and the indication for what type of Coke it is, is now there’s this ring at the top. So if it’s Coke Zero, it has a black ring. If it’s Coke Life, there’s a green ring. But the whole can itself is still red. And so this is Coke looking at what is happening, and then protecting their brand against, you know, just the ebbs and sways of culture and the fact that Coke Zero is so popular, ’cause Coke Zero’s amazing. It’s the best drink ever. We love it in Canada. Went to America – couldn’t find it anywhere. It was diet here, diet this, I’m like, “Gimme the Zero!” Kind of beside the point.

Point being, though, that you want to be a branded house as much as possible, and especially when you’re a church of 150-200, and you don’t have this massive footprint, you want to keep everything as tight and consistent as possible. You know, when you’re Coke, yeah, sure you can start introducing different things and going with different colors, but even a colossal giant such as Coca-Cola realized that – the more you introduce certain things, the more we introduce brands – that even with the same name, even with different colors, it can start to dilute our original brand. They’re like, “We need to bring this back, we need to pull back a bit and revisit our original kind of look.” And so, I would highly recommend that you go forward with Northwest everything because you want to be that branded house and not a house of brands. And knowing that you can – if what you said is true, Christian, if you can get your leadership on board with it, you can kind of use this big change in the fall, and you can bundle change together, and you’re gonna make all these changes, right? You’re gonna have this logo, these new colors, this new typography, this new brand. Couple that with the new names of ministry and what you’ll have is – you’re gonna have some pushback either way, right? Any time you make change, people don’t like change. You’ve gotta be prepared for that. You gotta expect that. But if you bundle the change together, you can handle al of the pushback in one, small period, rather than doing it at a different time. You know, we see this all the time in government. We’ve got this billed that we wanna get passed, and people just tack on other bills to it to make the passing of the bills easy. They’re like, “Okay, well, no one’s gonna be upset if we pass a bill giving more money to poor people” – actually people hate that all the time. Bad example, but you know, no one’s gonna pass a bill that gets people upset giving single, widowed mothers an extra kickback, okay? Hopefully, we can all agree on that. “So if we tack on a more controversial bill to this bill, then maybe we can get it passed easier.” That’s a terrible, terrible description of how the justice and law-making system works, but metaphor hopefully stands true, even if just a little bit. What are your thoughts on bundling the change together? Do you think that you can get a sign-off on that?

[00:17:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, I think we can get a sign-off on that. I think that would go over well.

Brady Shearer:
‘Cause here’s my thought: if you don’t do it then, it’s never gonna get done.

Christian Lamb:
Right.

Brady Shearer:
Like if you’re not able to change the names now from Upside Down Kids, Amplified Student Ministry – if you’re not able to change it now when the big brand change happens, it’s just not gonna happen, and you’ll have missed your opportunity. And, it’s interesting, because I went to a youth group of the exact same name essentially. We were not, “Amplified Youth,” we were, “Impact Youth.” And whether you’re amplifying or impacting, you’re the same thing. And you have one thing going for you that, Christian, that my youth group did not. And that is that there’s no such thing as an Amplify Font. Impact Font does exist, and our logo was just the word, “Impact,” in Impact. And looking back, it’s just like, “Oh, my. Oh, my.” So, look. You’re already a step ahead in that arena.

[00:18:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, that’s accurate.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, so let’s – this wasn’t exactly on your list, but I mean, everything that we’ve seen so far on the brand has got me feeling good. I’m confident in you that you’re gonna be able to put together a great, nice brand. You’ve got some good colors, you’ve got a great font. Proximinova is obviously awesome. Even the logo mark was good. Let’s talk about your church website’s domain name.

Christian Lamb:
Yes.

[00:19:00]
Brady Shearer:
Because, you know what I’m here to say, Christian: it’s a five-letter acronym. And five-letter acronyms are not allowed. There’s just no way we can get away with a five-letter acronym: nwoag.com. I imagine you didn’t have a say in this. This existed either before you were at the church or someone else made this decision.

Christian Lamb:
Yes, this was before I was here.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, perfect. So what do you think – when you do this rebrand, renaming of ministries, what is the state of the websites. Is that also on the list of needed to be changed?

[00:19:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yes, we were looking into doing Squarespace, and then looking at a different domain name as well.

Brady Shearer:
Perfect. Do you have any domain names that you’ve kind of written down, brainstormed?

Christian Lamb:
Yeah, we’ve looked at a couple: northwest.church is taken, but northwestag.church is available, and –

Brady Shearer:
Okay.

Christian Lamb:
Northwestag.co is available.

Brady Shearer:
Northwestag.co?

Christian Lamb:
Yes.

Brady Shearer:
Man, I would – oh, man. I don’t know if we can do this, but I would be just so happy if we could just get anything just “northwest”, but I imagine it’s not gonna happen because –

[00:20:00]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, it’s all taken. I went through all the different domain names.

Brady Shearer:
You’ve done it, nice.

Christian Lamb:
Yeah.

Brady Shearer:
‘Cause Northwest is so much like – like my church’s name is Central, right? It’s just like, Central anything is just like, “Good luck, buddy. You’re not getting anything in that arena.” Northwestag – It’s interesting because anytime I’ve heard Assemblies of God shortened, it’s always AOG. I always hear that. Is “AG” – does that get said sometimes, too?

[00:20:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, I think it gets said a lot more in the US. It’s AG.

Brady Shearer:
Oh, okay. AOG is more – interesting, ’cause we don’t have AOG in Canada. And whenever we –

Christian Lamb:
There’s a Canadian AG.

Brady Shearer:
Oh, really? ‘Cause I always thought the equivalent was just the Pentecostal, like the PAOC.

Christian Lamb:

I think – I may be mistaken – but I’m pretty sure that there’s an actual division of the Assemblies of God in Canada.

[00:21:00]

Brady Shearer:

Okay, okay. Well, I mean, either way – I guess that’s beside the point. Okay, I’m looking at the northwest domains that are available. You just tell me, “No.” Northwest.fashion?

Christian Lamb:

Ooh, probably not.

Brady Shearer:

Okay, northwest.love.

Christian Lamb:

Ooh, I like that one.

Brady Shearer:

Northwest.football.

Christian Lamb:

Ooh, I like football.

Brady Shearer:

How is that not taken by Northwestern or something, like common! Wrap that up! Northwest.band.

Christian Lamb:

Band?

Brady Shearer:

Kind of like a worship ministry? Okay, alright. I’m thinking this is not gonna be a fruitful endeavour. What about northwestchurch?

Christian Lamb:
Northwestchurch as the domain name?

[00:21:30]
Brady Shearer:
Yeah, ’cause I think I would prefer that over “ag”. Because “northwestag”, when said, isn’t so bad, but when you look at it, it kind of looks like “northwes-stag”, and it can be easily misread. I don’t know if there’s a northwest church that’s any good, but that might be something to consider. You know, I’m just kind of looking through this quickly. It’s hard, obviously, to do a deep dive into domains without – you know, over the phone.

Christian Lamb:
Right.

[00:22:00]
Brady Shearer:
Okay, here’s one. Northwest.cc is available, which is not bad. I like the .cc. It sounds like when it gets said, and it’s really easy to remember. I’ve actually started leaning more toward .cc over .co. I like “co” a lot, but there has been some pushback from people that are just like, “I thought it was .com, and then it was .co,” and a little bit of confusion. Northwestchurch.cc I actually really like. What are your thoughts on that.

[00:22:30]
Christian Lamb:
I really like that, yeah.

Brady Shearer:
It’s 26 bucks.

Christian Lamb:
That’s not bad.

Brady Shearer:
So, if I were you, I’d get it, and even if you don’t use it, you know – only get it for a year and then it’s 26 bucks either way.

Christian Lamb:
Right.

Brady Shearer:
But, just in case, you know, someone’s listening to this – some type of Pro Church Troll – and they go and take it from you. You wouldn’t want that.
Northwestchurch.cc. Oh, also available is northwestchurch.xyz, which no one is using, but I love the .xyz domain suffix. I think it’s so cool. You probably wouldn’t be able to get away with it, and in Canada, I should be pronouncing it, “ex, why, zed.” But this is what I said earlier. I said, “I think we can make a bunch of big steps forward pretty easily.” You know, northwestchurch.cc, using Squarespace, new logo, these new colors, you rebrand the names of the ministry – like that’s gonna be a massive facelift, and you can do that in just a couple of months and have it ready for the fall.

Christian Lamb:
Yeah, absolutely.

Brady Shearer:
Is there anything else that we need to consider with this rebrand that you wanna talk about, that you’re running into or you’re struggling with, that you’re concerned about?

[00:23:30]
Christian Lamb:
No, I would just say, what are your thoughts when it comes to creating communication guidelines? Like, does Pro Church Tools have anything that says that, “This is the type of verbiage we use when we communicate?” How do you tile those other facets with your brand?

Brady Shearer:
Well, there’s definitely – I mean, you should definitely put together an actual branding guideline or a style guide. Life Church has a fantastic one if you just search “life church brand guidelines” and it’s in their open.life.church. What’s that?

Christian Lamb:
The Open Network?

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, so they give it away. So you can definitely look into that. That would be great. And that’s definitely something that you wanna put together. Are you kind of the main one who is creating content and publishing content, or do others have the autonomy to do that also?

Christian Lamb:
No, I’m the main publisher.

[00:24:30]
Brady Shearer:
Social, web, print, digital – all of it?

Christian Lamb:
Correct, yeah.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, awesome! So, at least you don’t have that rogue staff member or rogue volunteer that’s going in and gonna use the old logo. But even future proofing, like I said with the renaming of the ministries, if you don’t do it now, you’ll probably never do it. Putting together a style guide, it’s not like a sexy, fun endeavor, but if you don’t do it now in the middle of the rebrand, it’s gonna be a lot harder to go back and do it later, right? You might not be exactly inspired to go back six months after, post-rebrand, and put together the style guide. Another thing that you could do is – and I’ve done this before – is if you go to the Envato Network, whether it’s Graphic River, they actually have a bunch of really good style guide PDF’s that are like templates. I don’t know if like – the Life Church one is a great example, but it’s not like it’s an InDesign file, it’s not a Photoshop file that you can edit, but –

[00:25:30]
Christian Lamb:
It’s just a PDF.

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, so I’ve used GraphicRiver.net before. And if you just type in, “Style Guides,” there’s a bunch of templates that come up that just look really great, and you can just copy and paste your new brand guidelines in there. I don’t know if style guide is the best thing or maybe brand guide, brand manual. But there are a ton of good ones. You just put in 10 minutes of work just kind of looking through them. There’s InDesign ones, there’s Photoshop ones, I believe. Have you ever used InDesign before?

Christian Lamb:
Not a lot, but a little.

Brady Shearer:
Yeah. It’s not super easy, but the templates do make it pretty easy.

Christian Lamb:
Okay.

Brady Shearer:
So, if you don’t want to redesign something from scratch yourself, you can do that, but at the same point, you could also just make a really simple one inside of iBooks or Sketch or something like that if you wanted.

Christian Lamb:
Yeah.

Brady Shearer:
Cool, cool. Alright, well my fear is, Christian, is that – we’ve only been speaking for 30 minutes, but I feel like we’ve just solved all of the world’s problems. Is there anything else that you wanna dive into? We can dive deeper into something that I might have glossed over, or we can take a different direction? I mean, we’ve got another 15-20 minutes here, so –

Christian Lamb:
Yeah, so when it comes to picking colors, you see a lot of churches, a lot of other brands that use pan-tone colors – how do you go about choosing those kind of colors? Is that necessary to do?

Brady Shearer:
Like switching between RGB and CMYK?

[00:27:00]
Christian Lamb:
Well that, and just whenever – I was looking over some different brand guidelines from Nike and Apple, and you see whenever they say their color, they’ll give the pan-tone number as well, and like, this is how it looks in print, this is how it looks in paint, and they go through all those different mediums. Is that necessary to do?

Brady Shearer:
I’ve done this for brand guidelines in the past, but I did it coming from a place, like, not of experience, and basically, I was just Googling online – and this is always a point of contention, where you’re like, Okay, I’ve got this perfect color of blue, or you’ve got the perfect teal color that you love, and then you put it in a translator online through a converter. Okay, so RGB to pan-tone, pan-tone to CMYK. And that is – there’s no reason why not to do that. The thing is, unless you’re super experienced with it – and I know I wasn’t – you know, I put it through a simple converter, and then I printed it, and I was like, “This print does not look like the digital at all!” And I was like, “Oh, this converter isn’t actually the type of converter that I wanted.” So, if you are as ignorant about it as I was, you kind of need to do a little bit of trial and error. So for instance, you know, you can see this Christian, the listeners can’t, but on my microphone on my podcast mic, my microphone is on a boom mic, and on the boom mic is one of those cubes that you see on news anchor microphones. So like, you got a news correspondent that’s out in the field, and they’re holding a mic for Fox, you know, 540 or whatever, and it has the logo on the microphone on that little cube. A mic flag is the technical term, or at least the unofficial term. So I’ve got one for Pro Church Tools on my actual microphone. So it’s the Pro Church Tools logo. And when we were getting this put together – and if you’re interested, it was done by a company called Impact PBS, as in the PBS just like the network, PBS Mic Flags – when we were putting it together, they were like, “Okay, great. So what colors do you want the background to be?” And I sent over the RGB, and they were like, “Yeah, okay. What CMYK color?” And I was like, “Oh, the print color! The same one?” And they were like, “Yeah, just put it through a converter.” So we did that, and then I get the mic flag in the mail, and it wasn’t the exact color that I was hoping it would be, and it was different, and I was a little bit disappointed. And if I had done some kind of tests, maybe I would have known that. When it comes to the pan-tone, are you planning on doing a bunch of painting in the future with the actual brand color?

[00:29:30]
Christian Lamb:
We were just going through a couple different renovations, so I didn’t know if it would be useful to have that as well.

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, you know what, I think it would be. And here’s an idea, one thing that we do at my church that I’ve often recommended to other churches is – How do you do your Connection Desk or your Welcome Desk at your church for new visitors?

Christian Lamb:
We don’t have one right now, so that’s another thing we’re working on.

Brady Shearer:
Oh, interesting. Where – How do you – Do you have a Connect Card? Do you send people to talk to a person at the front, or is there anything at all?

[00:30:00]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, we have a Connecting Card that has about 75 fields to fill out.

Brady Shearer:
Classic.

Christian Lamb:
And you drop that in the offering.

Brady Shearer:
Nice, okay – offering. Perfect. Okay, so what we have at our church is, we have this wall, and it’s painted entirely our blue brand color, which is actually kind of similar to the one that you have working in your mock-up of your logo. And whenever I do announcements or host, we call it (technically) Central Connect. You know, our church is named Central, so you connect at Central Connect. Whether you call it the Welcome Desk, the New Visitors Desk – I’ve always disliked all of those terms, because if you’re a new visitor to a church and you see that person onstage, and they’re like, “Fill out the Connect Card and go to the New Visitors Desk.” You’re like, “I don’t know where to find that.” That’s kind of internal language that’s kind of, you know, internal culture lingo, but if you’re new, that might fly – and probably will fly – right over your head. And so what I always say is, “Go to the big blue wall in the lobby,” because even if you’re new, you should be able to handle going to the big blue wall in the lobby. And obviously we have the people that are color blind, but as far as I know, the brand – the color of blue we’re using is still pretty clear. And so, that might be something that you could consider. It works so well. We never have someone coming up to us and saying, “Yeah, like, where’s the big blue wall?” “Well, it’s the giant freaking blue wall. Like you cannot miss it.” So instead of creating a Welcome Desk, or a New Visitors Desk – and we always wanna put cute names on it, right? And obviously, you’ve probably gotten this from me, I just don’t think cute, fun names are helpful at all. The people that are huge, a part of that culture every single day might think it’s cool, like, “Amplified Youth,” but at the end of the day, it’s still its own separate thing. And so if you create like, “The Red Tent. The New Visitors Thing,” just call it based on the color – that’s what I’ve always liked. And so you could take that pan-tone and you could do the renovations, and you could make your Welcome Desk, less of a desk, and paint one of the walls that color blue. And in all of your promotions when it’s like, “Take the Connect Card here,” or using that as your central hub, you wanna sign up, you want to find a small group, you wanna give – any of those things – just head to the big blue wall in the lobby. Head to the big blue wall in the lobby. Unmissable. So that would be a reason why I think using the pan-tone would be nice, and so I would definitely, yes, I would put all of those colors in there because it sounds like there is a plan for using all three of them. So the sooner that you make sure those three colors are looking the way you want them to, the better, because you will be using them, it sounds like, in immediate to near future.

Christian Lamb:
Correct, yeah.

Brady Shearer:
What do you think about the big blue wall idea?

[00:33:00]
Christian Lamb:
I like that idea. I think it’s easy to communicate that as well, because we’ve been trying to revamp our video announcements and just our live announcements as well, so we’ve been working towards just less insider language when it comes to communicating different ideas, explaining like, “Hey, we’re not just taking offering, but this is what this moment in the service is.”

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, the less insider language, the better, and we always talk about church announcements and how the key is having that clear, single next step, and it always being the same next step. So whether you’re using a central hub digitally like a Nucleus platform, or if you want to use more of an in-person thing, or a combination of both – they need to be functioning and run on the same piece of software, and the big blue wall, or the big red wall, big yellow wall, big giant polka dot wall – whatever you might wanna go with – is a great way of making that consistent.

Christian Lamb:
Yeah. I do have another question for you.

Brady Shearer:
Shoot!

Christian Lamb:
When it comes to editing your photos and your videos, do you have a particular way that you color grade things that matches your brands? Do you think that’s an important part of creating that branding guide?

[00:34:00]
Brady Shearer:
Yeah, that’s something I’ve always really enjoyed doing. If you look in that Life Church Branding Guideline that I mentioned earlier, you’ll notice that they have photo treatment as a part of their brand guide in there. So, for instance, all of our stuff is shot on Black Magic cameras. And so whether it’s the Ursa Mini or the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, those are the three that we normally operate with. Like our big stuff with the Ursa Mini in 4k, the smaller stuff – we’ve got a pair of Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras, so we can use them, like, two angles on one shot – we shoot Ask Brady in the Black Magic Pocket. And so, the Black Magic coloring science and the Black Magic sensors are already gonna give us a pretty similar looking image, and so we make sure that we color it in the same way. So we have a certain Black Magic Lut that we always add and we’re always consistent with that. So it’s not like sometimes we color grade freestyle, sometimes we use film convert, sometimes we use a lut from this person, a lut from this person – we always do it in the same way. And then likewise with photography, I’m not a photography expert, but one of the people in our office, one of our most recent hires, Alex – Alex is a phenomenal photographer, and so he’s kind of now our in-person photographer, and he always colors in Lightroom the photos the same way. And so if you go to our YouTube channel, youtube.com/prochurchtools, and you look at the most recent videos that we’ve been publishing, you’ll notice that all of the videos have – the thumbnails – they have no text on them, they’re photos only, and they’re all colored very similarly. And because we’re always shooting the photos in the same physical space, just like you will be with your church, you’re also getting the same consistent physical look, right? So it’s always the similar lighting of the Pro Church Tools headquarters, the similar backdrops, the similar look, the same people – and so the more consistent you are with that, the better, I think – I think that’s kind of advanced, next level kind of stuff, which based on your intuition and the designs that I’ve seen, I have full confidence that you’re on that level.

But, just like you would use the same fonts and the same colors and the same logo, I think using the same visuals when it comes to photography and videography are equally important, especially when you get to that level. It’s a lot more difficult because you have more variables, right? It’s so much easier to open up Photoshop and put on Proximinova, black, and then use that as your heading for your logo and your heading for your website, and that’s consistent. You got the variables of photo and video: the lighting is changing, the subject matter is changing, maybe you’re using a different camera, even different lenses. Like when we’re shooting on our two Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras, if one of the cameras has a Sigma Lens and the other has a Panasonic Lens, we have to do that much more work in post-production to match them up. We’re shooting both with Panasonic Lenses, exact same settings on the cameras, exact same series of Panasonic Lenses – one’s a 12-35, one’s a 35-100 – then they’re pretty similar, but even then sometimes there’s minor inconsistencies, right? And so when it comes to video and photo and keeping and creating a consistent look, it’s just more difficult because there’s so many more moving pieces and variables, but it’s something I’m passionate about. You can see it in our videos and now because we have someone and I’ve hired someone who fits this skillset, you can see it in our photos as well. So I would definitely aim for that if you can.

[00:37:30]
Christian Lamb:
Yeah, absolutely. And then I have one last question for you.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, let’s bring it home.

Christian Lamb:
When it comes to when you’re choosing your fonts, you can kind of – certain brands will have different fonts when it comes to web UI, prints, digital media – How do you manage all the different font families?

Brady Shearer:
Well, when it comes to – you’re looking at Squarespace as your host, right?

Christian Lamb:
Right.

[00:38:00]
Brady Shearer:
I wonder if they have – I think they actually – Squarespace did announce a new partnership with – was it with Typekit? Did they announce a partnership with Typekit or was it with Typography.com?

Christian Lamb:
I think it was Typekit.

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, I think you’re right, like I think there’s a new – yeah, okay there is. Great. So Proximinova is a part of Typekit, which means that you can use Proximinova on Squarespace, which is a big win, because a lot of the times, when you’re using an out-of-the-box solution such as Squarespace, maybe your global font – your brand font – isn’t a Google font, and when it comes to the legality of a Squarespace, of a Wix, of a Weebly, you know, you have to use a font that everyone can use legally, and if you integrate something that’s a one-off font, you just can’t. And so, I remember when this partnership came up, and I was like, “Oh, great! Typekit is now integrating with Squarespace.” And so they did an actual partnership deal to make that possible. Otherwise, the legality of it wouldn’t have been available. But I remember, Christian, a couple of years ago, Proximinova was one of the – I think it was the first or second brand font that I used at Pro Church tools – and prochurchtools.com runs on WordPress, and I remember downloading the web kit for the Proximinova font family. And I remember trying to upload it, and you’re uploading it through FTP, and you’re trying to configure it, and you gotta set the weights, and you’ve gotta set the color, and it was a freaking mess! It was a nightmare! I just didn’t have the skills to make it happen. And now, you’ve got stuff like Typekit, and you’re just like, “Which Typekit are you using? The one with Proximinova? Great.” And the great thing about Typekit is that I imagine that you use a creative cloud as your creative software?

Christian Lamb:
Yes, I do.

Brady Shearer:
Great, so Typekit’s already there, and so you probably don’t even have to worry about configuring Proximinova on your computer and online because Typekit works on both, so Typekit’s gonna sync your Proximinova Typekit to your local computer, and it’s also gonna sync it to your website through the Squarespace partnership. So you’re golden! I think you’re good to go there; it should be pretty easy. Unless you’ve encountered some difficulties at all?

[00:40:00]
Christian Lamb:
No, not at all.

Brady Shearer:
Yeah, so you’re golden. That should be real, real easy. I mean, I’m jealous and kind of angry and upset at you, because I had to give up on Proximinova because my web skills were not up to par, and now Typekit’s coming in making backdoor partnerships with Squarespace, syncing to your computer automatically. It’s easy for you now, Christian. It’s easy for you kids.

Christian Lamb:
I know. So easy.

Brady Shearer:
How old are you? You might be older than me.

Christian Lamb:
I’m 21, even though I look like I’m 12.

[00:40:30]
Brady Shearer:
See? You got half a decade of better technology in your corner! Man, you’re in a great situation. A 21-year-old with this type of autonomy and this type of skills already? Props and kudos to you, man. It sounds like you’re in a great church situation and you’ve definitely got the talent, so I mean – stick with it and put in some work and patience over the years, and your church is gonna be in a great position.

Christian Lamb:
Thank you. Yeah, I’m really excited for what we have going.

[00:41:00]
Brady Shearer:
Is there anything that you wanna close out on – wrap up – before we sign off?

Christian Lamb:
No, I don’t have anything else.

Brady Shearer:
Okay, perfect. Well, like I said, I’ve had a blast with this. Hit me back up in the fall because I would love to see the new website. I want to see that Squarespace goodness. I want to go to northwestchurch.cc and not have to think of a five-letter acronym. I never want to see a slider again. I wanna see that new logo, those new colors, photography, videography, looking consistent site-wide. Proximinova for the win! Northwest Kids! This is all so exciting!

[00:41:30]

Christian Lamb:
Absolutely!

Brady Shearer:
Big blue wall in the lobby?

Christian Lamb:
Oh, yeah!

Brady Shearer:
Alright, man. Hit up me – hit me up when all those things happen. I’m always able and willing to respond inside that Instagram DM, and thanks for coming on, being vulnerable, sharing and opening yourself up to Pro Church Nation. I know people have appreciated it and learned from you.

Christian Lamb:
Thank you for the opportunity and all your help!

[00:42:00]
Brady Shearer:
Thanks for tuning into the Pro Church Podcast: Coaching Edition. My hope is that, by hearing what’s happening behind the scenes in another church, you can see that no church has it all figured out, and we’re all on this journey together. To that end, if you have a question for me, the best way to get it answered is on our weekly question and answer show called the #AskBrady Show. You can submit your question at [email protected] Sending in a video question will put you immediately at the front of the line, and you can watch every episode of #AskBrady at askbrady.tv.