By Design

Lara Schopp Articles, Staff Messages

By Lara Schopp, Director of Communications

Here’s my idea,” I say. I yammer on for about 10 minutes trying to explain what I’m thinking. My colleague Leslie Tenjack tilts her head to the side and makes ‘that’ face…the one I know means she has no idea what I’m talking about.

I’m a writer, so I think with words. But Leslie is an artist, so she thinks in images, lines and color, and sometimes my words aren’t adequate to describe a concept in a way that makes sense to her creative brain.

Leslie is our supremely talented graphic designer, and if you’ve noticed the colorful and beautiful graphics we’ve been using over the last year and a half, Leslie is responsible for them. (Sometimes I still try to pretend I’m a designer; but I would guess that if I put five images in front of you, four of them designed by Leslie and one by me, you’d know the difference.) She has a brilliant way of making our graphics fresh and clean while retaining a tone that feels like Country Club Christian Church.

We work well together as a team, even when I can’t adequately explain my concept. And truly, sometimes church concepts are abstract or ambiguous, hard to illustrate visually.

Designs are particularly challenging when they’re for big, long-term, important projects with lots of involvement from staff and ministry teams. But they can really contribute to a project’s success, so Leslie and I spend a lot of time going back and forth, with her asking me lots of thought-provoking questions and me doing my best to say what I mean. Sometimes we struggle.

So I was heartened recently when I read about a brand I follow and its process to update its logo. “It was a ton of work,” the founder of the company writes. “We created hundreds of new logos, placed them on boxes, magazines and products, changed fonts, swapped colors, tirelessly tweaked a dozen options…”

I don’t think Leslie and I have ever created hundreds of designs for one look, but we certainly have done dozens before settling in on something we both love, something that conveys a feeling and elicits a response…something that works on multiple levels but also grounds a project. We’re excited to roll out a couple of new ones in the coming months. We hope you love them too.