Sean Nemetz

Detroit Church Project

A confused identity and a hopeful but underutilized website gets revamped on a budget with a small team.

 The Detroit Church is an amazing family of diverse people. With the goal of reaching as many others in all ethnic, socioeconomic, and age groups, the leadership knew they were behind in terms of having an online presence which is vital for the next generation to have access to. Additionally, the visual identity hadn’t been quite pinned down. With varying logos, colors, and typefaces being used, you could say they were having a visual identity crisis. There was a website, but it was hard to use and therefore wasn’t being used by members or visitors.

The Detroit Church is an amazing family of diverse people. With the goal of reaching as many others in all ethnic, socioeconomic, and age groups, the leadership knew they were behind in terms of having an online presence which is vital for the next generation to have access to. Additionally, the visual identity hadn’t been quite pinned down. With varying logos, colors, and typefaces being used, you could say they were having a visual identity crisis. There was a website, but it was hard to use and therefore wasn’t being used by members or visitors.

Exploring new marks to represent the church.

Exploring new marks to represent the church.

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 I made a proposal to revamp the identity and deliver an engaging website with content that members wanted with a simple introduction for people wanting a virtual tour before making a proper visit.  Before sketching anything or even getting a creative brief started, I sat down with the core leadership of the Detroit Church and explained the value of branding and having a clear, consistent visual identity even for a church. I believed that having their investment in the project would make a big difference if they were to spend valuable time working with me to develop what seems like marketing reserved for the corporate world. After convincing the leadership of the value of developing a brand identity, we could then approach other issues—such as the name or use of inappropriate typefaces etc.—with more objectivity.  The official name of the church is Detroit Church of Christ. This is used in documentation for taxes etc. Anecdotally, I knew that many who were unfamiliar with this church in particular had it confused with various denominations when they heard the name. When a member shared with someone that they were part of the Detroit Church of Christ, some people finished a familiar phrase in their minds “…of christ of latter day saints.” I proposed a nickname for the church, to simply call it “The Detroit Church.” It removed presumptions and had a broader scope. This is a church for all people, so we agreed that more would be able to associate with it by using this nickname.

I made a proposal to revamp the identity and deliver an engaging website with content that members wanted with a simple introduction for people wanting a virtual tour before making a proper visit.

Before sketching anything or even getting a creative brief started, I sat down with the core leadership of the Detroit Church and explained the value of branding and having a clear, consistent visual identity even for a church. I believed that having their investment in the project would make a big difference if they were to spend valuable time working with me to develop what seems like marketing reserved for the corporate world. After convincing the leadership of the value of developing a brand identity, we could then approach other issues—such as the name or use of inappropriate typefaces etc.—with more objectivity.

The official name of the church is Detroit Church of Christ. This is used in documentation for taxes etc. Anecdotally, I knew that many who were unfamiliar with this church in particular had it confused with various denominations when they heard the name. When a member shared with someone that they were part of the Detroit Church of Christ, some people finished a familiar phrase in their minds “…of christ of latter day saints.” I proposed a nickname for the church, to simply call it “The Detroit Church.” It removed presumptions and had a broader scope. This is a church for all people, so we agreed that more would be able to associate with it by using this nickname.

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