Types & Symbols was engaged to help rethink and expand the global identity system to provide greater value to the global church. While the existing identity and accompanying guidelines had helped develop recognition over the past 20 years, the system had not been updated in over a decade, and very little guidance had been provided for extending its usage.
When the guidelines were originally created, it wasn’t possible to anticipate the myriad of contexts and formats that the system would need to support. The new identity system needed to address that—to recognize the growth of the Adventist church across cultures and mediums. A major goal of the project was to help celebrate cultural differences while still helping viewers recognize that we are all Seventh-day Adventists. More importantly, the system had to actually work well—to be simple enough for non-designers, and flexible enough for professional designers.
The deliverables for this project included defining the core elements of the identity system, developing visuals and content for the guidelines, script-writing for videos and presentations, and design support across multiple elements, including an inspirational brand book.
We kicked off the project with an intensive design workshop. Working with the team at GC communication, we established some internal criteria to guide the project, and returned to the results of this work frequently throughout the project.
Through extensive tests, design exercises, and many meetings with GC Communication, we arrived at the four core elements:
1. A refined and more flexible Adventist Church Symbol
2. A multi-language type system called Advent Sans
3. The Creation Grid, a structuring device that sets aside a seventh of the layout
4. A flexible color system—encouraging local designers and divisions to chose appropriate colors
We collaborated with the team at GC Communication and FlipTV to create an introductory video for Spring Council, participating in script-writing, animation, and editing of the final script.
To communicate the flexibility of the system, we created dozens of sample applications using the core elements in varying ways. As creators, and now users, of the system, we’ve continued to participate in building distinctively Adventist materials.
After the release of the guidelines, designers from across the globe have created beautiful, regionally appropriate designs using the core elements. As divisions like IAD, NAD, and SAD have begun building out their own expressions, we’ve been able to learn from them and update the system to provide greater value.
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