Canva

8 Church branding tools for beginner graphic designers

8 Church branding tools for beginner graphic designers

Ever feel like it would be nice to design something that looks beautiful, but you just don’t have the tools or the know-how to make it happen?

I felt the exact same way in year 9 art class. I wanted to create a beautiful painting of a glorious sunset, and instead, I found some watercolour pencils and scribbled out a quick sketch of one, then painted some water over the top to make it look like a painting. Essentially it was a painting, and it did look like a sunset, but even my teacher said, ‘I think you can do better than this’. Now, I am no artist by any means, but I knew that if I’d bothered to choose the right tool (oil paints) for the job, I wouldn’t have failed my own vision so dismally. 

Attempting great feats of graphic design can land us all in the same hot water. Especially when we take into account our beginner skill set and a limited budget. If you want to use professional tools and are willing to learn to use them, check out the Adobe Suite.

However, if you want free tools that will help you achieve some graphic design projects quickly and beautifully, I’ve listed the cream-of-the-crop below. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Creating beautiful sermon graphics with no design experience

Now is not the time for Clip Art! I grew up using Clip Art, and, just like my childhood, Clip Art is in the past. Let me introduce you to Canva, where you can create beautiful sermon graphics with ease using templates and my secret stock photo websites. I’ve even got a video tutorial for you + you can take home the graphics I create in the video. Sound good? 

Sermon graphic in 5 minutes

Today we’re talking all about putting together beautiful sermon graphics with zero graphic design experience. Don’t fret, it CAN BE DONE! I promise!

With a couple of simple tools and a few ideas under your belt, you’ll be designing great graphics in no time! However, before I jump full steam ahead into a tutorial video, I first wanted to lay down a couple of things that you should keep in mind while designing sermon graphics. 

1 | Versatility

This may seem like a strange principle to put first, but let me explain its importance. See, if you’re doing a sermon series, its really worth putting together some great graphics that you can use for weeks and weeks to promote the series both on social media and at church. This will save you SO much time and effort, guaranteed. The easiest way to do this is to create one graphic with interchangeable elements (such as texts, photos or backgrounds) and then reuse that graphic for each different sermon. So, when you’re designing, don’t make life difficult for yourself! 

I like to stick to a simple formula:

2 constant elements + 2 versatile elements = versatility

So, I may not be a formulaic genius but this formula makes it super simple to keep the graphic versatile. You’ll see in the tutorial video that my two constant elements are the title of the sermon series, and the transparent box that sits behind the subtitle. My two versatile elements are the subtitle (or the title of the sermon for that particular week), and the background, which I simply change out with a picture depending on the theme.

2 | Keep It Super Simple

This is the age old adage (you might know it as Keep It Simple Stupid or the KISS principle) that really speaks for itself. See, even though God has given us incredible brains that can take in a lot of information, we really just prefer looking at things that are beautifully simple. It also makes the graphic more memorable. And, even better, it’s going to save you time and effort, and look better when push comes to shove. 

So, what can I put on a sermon graphic?

+ 1 Series title

+ 1 Sermon title

+ 1 Image

+ 1 Decoration element (optional - such as a shape or line to highlight words)

That. Is. It. That’s all you need! 

 

Okay, I’ve put together a pretty great tutorial video for you, so I’m going to let myself do the talking and let you watch it here:

I hope you enjoyed the video! If you’d like a copy of the graphics I made in the video you can get free access to my resource library to download them and a host of other super handy church comms PDFs. Happy downloading!

5 FREE websites that will boost your church graphic design

No matter what your church is like, you’re bound to have graphic design needs. It might be your weekly newsletter, your youth camp registration form, or advertising and social media graphics, but whatever your needs, graphic design can often be either a) time consuming or b) expensive. If you’re lucky, you might just run into a combination of both!

Fortunately, people are working round the world non-stop to help you out with these problems, and I’ve compiled a shortlist of my favourite, go-to resources that will help you win at church graphic design. 

Without further ado...

5 Free websites that will boost your church graphic design

1 | Graphic design | Canva

Canva is quickly becoming a favourite for many people. I may have a soft spot for them because they are Australian, however don’t let this turn you off! Canva is the ultimate resource for free, easy-to-use graphic design. ANYONE can use Canva. I repeat, ANYONE. 

Simply sign up for free or log in using Facebook; Canva will save all of your designs online, let you use a multitude of templates, give you access to free icons and fonts, and best of all, they have thousands of designs that you can edit to suit your needs.

2 | Photo editing | PicMonkeyPixlr

PicMonkey is the Canva of photo editing. It is simple, free and churns out beautiful photographs with ease. You can adjust contrasts, crop, burn and dodge, draw on your photos or write on top of them, remove blemishes, add filters…the list goes on. 

Pixlr is free photo editing software too, though its a little bit harder to use, and a little bit more like Photoshop. If you’re keen for a learning curve, Pixlr can help you produce gorgeous photos for all sorts of church media.  

3 | Free stock photography

Okay, this isn’t ‘one website’. But over the years I have collected an army of great websites that give away free, aesthetically pleasing stock photos. These are not your regular, cheesy stock photos of bowls of fruit and toothpaste-commercial-families. These are photos that you’ll be proud of when you add them to your designs, and that you can guarantee are from this century.

Three favourites are:

unsplash.com

pexels.com

stocksnap.io

4 | Fonts | Google Fonts

Fonts can get preeettty expensive, especially if you’re looking for something in particular. Thankfully, Google has come to the rescue with plenty of free, downloadable fonts for you to peruse. All of their fonts are optimised to be easy on the eye, so you can be sure that your church-goers will be able to read your writing! 

5 | Infographics | easl.ly

This is quite a new one to me, so I’m not a pro yet. But, if you want to create infographics, easl.ly is easily your best bet. Infographics are often time consuming and require a lot of skill, but they are such valuable tools for sharing information with your church! You can create an infographic to share in church, or something to share online, simply with a few clicks.

I hope these tools have helped you! If you'd like to check out more tools that I recommend for small churches, simply hit the button below and you'll be given access to my free resource library, where you can download my Master List of Must-have Tools for Churches!