5 Favorites: Graphic Design for the Church

I’m a visual person. Always have been. As a little girl, I loved drawing, painting and coloring. I loved watching my mom decorate and I always stole my dad’s polaroid camera to take pictures (not sure if he liked me wasting his film… oops)!

To this day… I’m still a visual person haha!  I think a lot of people are these days. Our culture is SATURATED by images. I mean, think about it. The first thing people do when they wake up is pick up their phone and what…? BOOM! Bombarded by images. We are driven by what we see. We are moved by greatly produced movies. People continue to fill museums to see works of art on display. Art helps us to connect with our humanity, others and, I believe, God.

That’s why I’m a strong advocate of images, graphics and video being used within the church. If you’re not, you are not tapping into an amazing source that can be used to bring people closer to their creator.

My belief is the church shouldn’t regress in this, but progress in this area.

I can go on about why I think this is important, but let’s transition here.

Recently, my job role adjusted to fit in graphic design and Sunday service planning (as far as presentation is concerned). They fall under the “communications” category. As I’ve dabbled in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, I’ve stumbled upon these great sites that are such a help to me. Maybe they will benefit you!

CHURCH MOTION GRAPHICS 

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http://www.churchmotiongraphics.com

The description is pretty much in the title. CMG provides a portfolio of beautifully designed motion graphics, monthly, at an affordable price. I use them for ProPresenter and layer our lyrics over them. Not only that, they provide “still” designs as well! I download these too and sometimes layer them over other images in Photoshop to create a unique image. Make sure you check out the free resources too for more stills, PSD files and pro layers.

P.S. If you are looking for new and unique fonts, try 1001freefonts.com. You can download a bunch for free and add them to your Font Book. 😉 😉

LIGHTSTOCK

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http://www.lightstock.com

Some stock pictures really suck! I gotta’ be honest with you. There is nothing more annoying than having a great idea in your head and then you can’t find the graphic to match because everything is just cheessssse. If I’m looking for a “volunteer” photo, I don’t want a group of people standing in front of a white backdrop, dressed in business attire, in a all hands in position! CHEESE. That is why I enjoy Lightstock. Whenever I’m in a pinch to find a good photo for a graphic I am creating, I can most likely find something on here. LS has various categories and is user friendly as far as categorization. Even though I use it mostly for photos, they provide vectors and footage as well. Heads up, LS is not free but it won’t damage your pocket!

FREELY & PEXELS 

So you’re like, “Gina, thanks a lot for the info, but I have to pay for all these stinking things!” Okay… okay. If you want quality, you’re going to pay for it! BUT if you’re looking for FREE, here are two sites to find cool stock photos.

Freely is a Christian focused website that provides stock photos for ministry use. Landscapes, worship, prayer, community groups, etc. Most likely, you can find something on there.

Pexels is not a Christian focused website, but who says a website needs to be “Christian” to use it? Not me! Pexels is pretty diverse in what they provide, and I’m always inspired by how talented people are!

CREATIONSWAP

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http://www.creationswap.com

This site is the bomb! I can’t take credit for discovering it either. My pastor totally found it and I’m hooked. If I’m ever in a pinch (last minute event?), I head here! To access CS completely, you will have to subscribe. In my opinion, however, it is worth every penny if you are continually creating graphics for your church. It allows people on your staff, who might not be as creative, to be creative. Let me brag a bit on CS. First, you can download videos. They have everything from mini movies to loops, motion titles, countdowns, and a bunch of service planners. If you want to take your services to the next level visually, you can do it here. Christmas coming up? Mother’s Day? How about Memorial Day? No fear! CS has you covered!

CS also has stock photos, graphics, pre-made slides, vectors and logos up for grabs. Not to mention, you can download sounds and instrumentals, too! Actually, the commercial that we aired this year had CS audio in the background.

CreationSwap is amazing because Christian artists upload their designs for the church, as a whole, to use. On the reverse, I can submit PSDs or images that other churches can use, as well. You are literally swapping creations to propel the church. I just think that is so stinkin’ smart.

There you have it. Those are my current jams! I’m sure you guys have your own go-to sites! In fact, please feel free to share them here! I would definitely love to check them out and I’m sure those reading this would as well.

You were created to be creative!

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