I’m excited to announce that on Sunday, June 5, we will be unveiling a new logo for Harris Creek. This is the culmination of a process we have been working on for about 5 months. I wanted to use this blog to explain the thought behind the new logo and how we got here before you actually see it. But before I jump into this lengthy conversation, I would like to acknowledge that, at the end of the day, this is just a logo. There may be a tendency to get overly worked up (either positively or negatively) when this image is release, so I believe it is important to keep some perspective about this topic. In the same breath, we are excited about releasing it to the congregation because of what it stands for. I wanted you to know why we decided to create a new logo and how we ended up picking the final image.
In January, we started meeting with Cory Webb to talk about creating a new website for the church. This is something we have needed for a while, but we were not able to devote the necessary time to the project being in transition. After we settled in as a staff and had a little time, we started talking about a new design for our presence on the web. Cory connected us with the guy who ended up designing the site, a really talented guy named Aaron Deckler out of Austin, Texas. After a series of meetings with both Cory and Aaron, we came up with a site design that was exactly what we were going for. Something that was noticeable about the new website, however, was the lack of our logo on the site at all. This sparked a conversation as to why that was the case. As a professional designer, Aaron found the logo difficult to work with and fairly outdated.
What was ironic was this was a conversation that had been brought up by a number of other individuals in the prior weeks and months by others we had come in contact with. For the first time in my almost three years at Harris Creek, we had a new member ask us what the mosaic logo stood for in our Connections Class. The entire staff and a few of the elders in attendance stumbled over the question. None of us knew. This sparked 2 or 3 minutes of the staff and elders giving our interpretations of the logo. Then some of the prospective members gave their thoughts. Almost none of them were the same. When it comes to logos, that’s not a good thing. There was a lack of clarity as to the meaning behind the icon that represents our organization.
While all of this was going on inside the congregation and staff, we were interviewing candidates for our Lead Community Pastor position. A number of these candidates politely asked the same question everyone else was asking: What’s the logo about? A few of the candidates who had a background in business were not so shy in telling us we might want to think about changing the logo to something that uniquely represents our church.
We’re a dense staff, but not that dense. We collectively recognized it might be time for a new logo to represent Harris Creek. So, Drew and I started approaching the idea of possibly changing the logo. I contacted a few designers, including Aaron, to begin pricing it out. After talking to a few different people, I found the cost to get a new design was not nearly as expensive of an undertaking as I thought it might be. So the next step was to get approval from the elder board to explore the possibility of a new logo. The board voted to begin the exploratory process to come up with a new design.
What was next was finding someone who could come up with a design that fit our church. We needed someone or a company that knew us well. We also needed someone who was talented and experienced. This is where Hole in the Roof came in the picture. Joel Peele, the owner of Hole in the Roof, had recently joined Harris Creek. They are a company with a national reputation and someone we use for a variety of different print and design needs. They were a natural fit to take on this project for us.
After a process that ran about 5 weeks long, with over 50 different logos, and 7 different redesigns, we have reached consensus on a new logo. Hole in the Roof did an incredible job of capturing the heart of Harris Creek in a single picture. One thing we wanted from our new logo was something that represented our mission statement and also carried our name. That is a lot to ask out of a picture. I believe there is no way we could get more mileage out of an image than the one we have picked. It carries the name Harris Creek and the connotation of “seeking the welfare of the city” all at once.
All that to say, we are really excited to release the new image to the congregation on June 5. We are also thrilled to launch our new website (which will happen on Monday, June 6). There are a few things I would like to remind you of before we show you the image:
- This image is a piece of art. That means, by its very nature, some are going to like it more than others. We’re ok with that as long as you are. Everyone does not have to love the new design. Hopefully what you love about Harris Creek is the mission behind the design, the fact that we feel called as a body to “seek the welfare of the city.”
- This is a logo, not a sacred icon. Logos are something we create because we need an image to symbolically represent what we stand for as a church. Logos are not something required by Scripture. At the end of the day, this is not an essential issue worth fighting over.
- This is not something I designed or I picked, nor is the result of any one person. This was a process that was the definition of collaboration. The staff had input every step of the way. A few elders had input every step of the way. A few of our artists in our congregation were involved in steps towards the end of the process. A number of outsiders in the church world and business/marketing world were involved in the process when we had tough decisions to make. My job in this process was to build consensus and make sure the logo represents our church well.
- Some of you may really like our existing logo. I actually like the artistic value of it as well. After talking to Tim Holden, who designed the mosaic, I even love the thought behind the existing logo. The thought behind the logo was we are all different pieces of the Body of Christ bringing our talents together. I’m 100% behind that concept, but the truth is the thought behind the logo could be applied to any church. That is not something specific to Harris Creek.
- Good, bad, or indifferent, Harris Creek is a different place than it was a few years ago. God has been incredibly faithful over the last year and has truly started a new movement of His Spirit in our church. I think starting fresh with a new logo is only natural during this season of growth.
The reason I wrote this “book” is because I recognize, on some level, changing your logo is a big deal. It is extremely difficult picking an artistic image to represent 700 plus people. My hope is this image will constantly reinforce, and solidify in our hearts, who we are as a church and what God has called us to do. And my prayer is that when this image is seen, we will remind the world why we are here: To seek the welfare of the city.
 Although, I will say to the purist out there that believe we are simply slurping up American business practices by having a logo in the first place, symbols have played a prominent role in Christian history. From the ichthus representing the early church in the Roman catacombs to the cross being a universally recognizable sign for Christianity, let’s not be holier than thou about our need to rally around images that represent what we stand for.