Church Communications resources and tips from Justin Dean

The Visual Goals for Cross Point?s Christmas

For A Merry Music City Christmas, the team at Cross Point Church wanted their visuals to scream both Nashville and Christmas. They wanted it to be traditional Nashville mixed with traditional Christmas, but without it feeling like a Cracker Barrel country store. They definitely didn?t want it to be a country-themed Christmas. (Which might be the obvious Nashville connection.)

They opted to create a snowy village square with the Nashville skyline silhouetted in the background for their main visual. While the snow isn?t entirely a Nashville norm, they figured that could?slide, since it screamed Christmas. They also wanted the design to incorporate the different outdoor features they planned to have at their event: sledding, ice skating, Christmas trees, etc. This would give people a sample of the event as well as give people a taste of Christmas.

One of their major priorities in creating a logo for A Merry Music City Christmas was making it in such a way that it could last them for ten years. They wanted it to be progressive, but also timeless enough that they could repeat the logo each year, in order to create long-term brand awareness for the event. They plan to do this event each year, and they want a brand that?s strong enough to sustain a refresh at some point.[quote]One of their major priorities in creating a logo was making it in such a way that it could last them for ten years.[/quote]

Another important point of their design was to strongly incorporate the Cross Point Church logo. They have a large and prominent sign, and since the event was taking place at their church, it would have been hard not to incorporate the two. Yes, this was A Merry Music City Christmas hosted by Cross Point, but it was also important to brand it as a gift from the church. This event is the Christmas version of who they are. This was just one of the many different scales and volumes of who God made them to be within their community.

Creating the Brand

Planning the visual identity for the event involved the team grabbing tear sheets of looks they wanted to incorporate. These would dictate where they went for the design elements. They settled on four or five visual inspirations. Obviously, time was a factor in putting this together. But they were pleased to get the branding?to about 80% of where they wanted it?to be. These visuals influenced the two elements they were really focused on for the event: scenic and signage.

Their whole team of about five or six people were involved in designing all the visual elements?from editing, to art direction, to opinions.

The Cross Point arts team is of the opinion that they create better in a community environment. So they wanted multiple voices challenging everything they did. That meant they took the visuals around the office and asked people, ?How does this make you feel? What?s your emotional response?? They especially put the design in front of girls? eyes to get a varying perspective.[quote]The Cross Point arts team is of the opinion that they create better in a community environment.[/quote]

The Visual Atmosphere at the Event

Most of the visual atmosphere at the event was set by the outdoor attractions. Between snow, Christmas trees, bonfires, and ice-skating, they didn?t have to do too much to establish a Christmassy vibe outside. They did decorate their building with lighting by adding die-cut gobos to some lighting fixtures and shining the event name/snowflakes on the face of the building. This allowed them to avoid expensive banners?while still using the large exterior?of their building. Other than the building, the main elements they designed were signage-based.

These ultimately led the attendees inside for the concert event?which was decked out to the nines with a Christmas feel. They brought as much of their Christmas visuals inside as they did outside.

This all led to a strong visual theme throughout the marketing materials and the actual event?making A Merry Music City Christmas a strong visual statement to their community.

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