Divine Design No. 6

This Sunday, I’m honored to be heading home to speak at my home congregation in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Every year, they have something called Plumb Full Sunday with the purpose of getting the building “plumb full” of visitors. As a child growing up there, I didn’t realize we were unique and I was stunned to hear that other congregations didn’t celebrate what I perceived to be a religious holiday. I’ve asked a little about the etymology of the name without much success. Maybe I’ll earn something this Sunday. When their preacher reached out to me, he gave me some topics they’d like to hear – Jesus the Friend, Jesus the Savior, and Jesus the King. I got the first choice, so I selected Jesus the Savior. I love the topics and I love what opportunities it gave me graphically.

I knew I wanted something simple, yet powerful. I wanted something that would elevate Christ, but also keep Him approachable. I started googling images of Jesus and got the expected results. Nothing was really working, so I started digging deeper. I went to my Shutterstock account and searched Jesus to find several results that were much closer to what I wanted. An image didn’t seem to work but a vector did. Below is the plain vector file of Jesus that I chose.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 10.59.58 AM

The simple black-and-white worked perfectly alongside the visually gripping look of the Savior. While I completely understand we don’t really know what Jesus looked like, this seemed to be a reasonable composite of my expectations – and what I believe most people’s expectations as well.

I wanted the graphic to stand strong alongside the text. I played with a few font and color choices which you can see below:

None of them worked by themselves, but when I took the font from the first image and the color from the third, I found something I could work with. That left this image as a building block to the final image:

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.01.07 AM

This is where my design process sometimes gets in the way. I love that design but felt it was missing something. I reached out to a couple of friends I trust and asked them to critique it. I asked them to be brutally honest (and surprisingly enough) they came to the same conclusion. The image and the text need to be separated. Even though I loved it like it was when they both brought up the same thing, it made me think something should be done. I shrunk the face and moved it to the top of the slide while also shrinking the font and moving it to the bottom of the slide which produced this image:

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.01.24 AM

I knew they were on to something after I saw this design. They were right and I’m thankful they saw something I didn’t. A little more touch-up was needed so I added two filters. The first was one behind the face to give it a grunge look just like the text. That gave me this look:

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.01.49 AM

The second filter was of a starry sky overlayed on top of everything and then heavily washed out by lowering its opacity. That gave me this final look for the title slide:

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.01.59 AM

When all was said and done, I absolutely love this design. It’s still simple, yet I believe incredibly powerful as well. I believe it says a lot while not having to be busy or distracting from my sermon. The content slides are pretty typical. I kept the starry element while shrinking the title and image and moving them to the lower right. In a callback to my original design, I placed the wordmark over the face on those slides. I used the same font as the title (Veneer) for the content. Those slides look like this:

About The Merger

The Merger began when Neal Mathis and Matthew Higginbotham sat down to write together. Since then, it's blossomed into so much more. The Merger is meant to be a place where faith and life meet. In these stories, we hope you'll find deep theological value right alongside life-changing practical advice.

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