This year we’re going through the bible from beginning to end as a church, using a book called “The Story” that highlights the main narratives of the bible in consumable chapters.
Being that it is a 37-week series, we decided that it’d be best if we had some way to visually break it up, and we thought it’d be great if we could give each week its own visual identity to keep things compelling.
We were coming down to crunch time for week one, “Creation”, and I still hadn’t figured out what we were going to do.
I knew three things:
1. We needed something that wasn’t a huge new project each week
2. We wanted something that would have a consistent identity even as the graphics were changing
3. I do my best graphic design work when I keep things pretty simple.
Right around that time my friend Andrew had introduced me to the Brush tool in Adobe Illustrator, which I’d never used or even heard of before. You can draw with it, and it smooths your lines out into lines that look pretty good! I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with artists and share knowledge with each other.
I had come across “Strangelove Text” last year and had been kind of saving it for a big project at Genesis, and I’m glad I did because this was the perfect project to have saved it for. Talk about getting mileage out of a creative idea—this font will end up having carried us for 37 weeks of graphic design!
It’s carrying us because in addition to being a great font, it also informed the style of the rest of the graphic. I was playing with the brush tool and I quickly drew a sprout just to test the idea, and after tweaking the leaves a little bit, I realized that I’d stumbled upon a vehicle that would carry us through this series: hand-written-looking text with a simple hand-drawn-looking doodle/graphic that would symbolize the story we were telling that week.
If I had to pick a favorite so far, it’d be “The Battle Begins”, just because of how ridiculous it is that the right thing for us to draw for that title/story was a trumpet.
That was for the Battle of Jericho, when God told the men to march around the city walls sounding their trumpets instead of simply attacking the city. When the world, and logic, would lead us to think that swords and shields would be the best illustration for winning a battle, God says, “Oh yeah? How about I do it with TRUMPETS?” He loves to show off, and He loves to surprise us with his unlikely methods of heroism.
So what could have been super stressful ended up being very rewarding and a lot of fun, because each week it’s fun to read the story and try to decide which element of the story to use in the graphic. Carmel Campus Pastor (and Executive Pastor) Steve Wallen and I have had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs trying to decide what the drawing should be each week, and he’s definitely helped me make some good graphics better—and avoid some bad ones.