Hey there! Quick intro of myself before we dive into the rest of our blog!

Kevin Barraza, 21, Los Fresnos, TX. I love all things creative, the drums, the New England Patriots, and tacos. I also have the incredible privilege of being the Lead Designer for Cross Church. Okay enough about me, let’s get to it!

The state of design for the Church is at an all time high. Never before has the Church relied on the Adobe Suite to run its day to day operations. With such high demand, designers are constantly being stretched and challenged to do above and beyond. High traffic of media is constantly drawing your audience’s attention and your marketing pieces can be taking hits as a result of that. Designer let me be the first to tell you that you are NOT doing a bad job. You are simply battling with the 21st century. Arrays of colors and multitudes of designs are what exist between you and your audience. You may be asking if it’s even possible to generate engagement from your followers. The answer to that question is YES! Let me share with you 4 things that I believe are crucial to capturing your audience:

1) Be Original

Yes, cliché but oh so true. The church world has been flooded with graphics. From the greats like Hillsong and Elevation to your own Bible App which creates custom graphics. It is incredible to see the creativity that the church has dished out, however with all that has come out, originality takes a hit. If you’re a designer that means you can also replicate images. Please don’t. You are far too gifted to do that to your talent and ministry. Create items that will resonate with people, something that will get them to say “Hey, that’s different!”. Trust your gut. If you create something that is different, that’s okay! That is your originality. At the end of the day you’re not creating a piece for Highlands or Free Chapel, you’re creating a piece for YOUR MINISTRY. Take time to get to know your people, community and followers. Look at what they like and dislike. That will give you an idea of what to create from scratch.

2) Be Disciplined

Do you workout? If you answered no to that question, that makes two of us… BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t be disciplined with your God given talent! Constantly strive to become better at your craft. Once your audience is captured by your originality, then they will look at everything you do. Don’t make the mistake of riding that one wave of success. Discipline yourself to push your limits in designing. Exercise your eyes and mind.  Make it a weekly goal to create something new each week. Practice the multiple techniques of design. Your audience will not only appreciate this, but they will engage in your posts. Think about it, if you see the “same image” over and over would you engage in it? Of course not. The same goes for those you are trying capture.

3) Be Clean

Please, for the sake of your 5x5 graphic, don’t overpopulate it with so much information. Graphics weren’t mean to have a heavy load of information on them. If you’re going to create something, then let the graphic speak for itself. The church has often had a bad wrap for creating some ugly designs. That is no longer acceptable. We serve a God of excellence, order, and clarity. Our graphics should reflect those very things. I’m going to give you 2 words that your graphics should flow by:

- Clean

- Bold

Choose 1 or 2 fonts per graphic. Do not incorporate more than 3. Make sure they are all within the same weight. You don’t want a light font for your main header and a heavy font for your information, know what to use and when to use it. Part of capturing your audience’s engagement is also capturing their curiosity. We live in a world that searches. If people really want to know about it, they will go to where they need to go to get the information they need. Give them just enough to leave them wanting for more. In Marketing, there is a term called Direct Marketing. In a nut shell that is selling your product through email, online, etc. That is what you do, try convince people to come to come to your services, conferences, or special events. Selling it.  One more thing, it is highly recommended to have a call to action in every piece you release. Be clean with your design and bold with your call to action. Trust me it will work.

4) Be Connected

No, I don’t mean connected to social media. I mean be connected to the Creator of it all. Often times you reach that creative slump where you don’t know what to make. You run out of ideas and immediately go get Starbucks because that’s what will help – News Flash – no it won’t. Instead of going on that coffee run simply close your computer, close your eyes and pray to God. His creative spirit is available to you. Believe it or not as you design it’s not you designing, it’s Him using you as His vessel. As a result of that your graphics can truly speak. They can trigger emotions and say things louder than a message could. Ever heard the quote “A picture is worth a thousand words”? It’s true. You can minister through your graphics. Whether it’s a morning bible verse, a powerful sermon quote or an impactful series design you are ministering to your audience!

In closing, there are many things you can do to capture your audience. I feel that these are most practical things you can apply to yourself today. No matter if you’re a novice or a seasoned designer, you can never stop learning and growing. Always give it your best, because He gave us His best. If you ever need anything, feel free to reach out to me I’m always looking for someone new to connect with.

Till next time.

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