The last graphic our previous designer Josh Tate (who now works at Niche) made for us at Northwood Church was for a sermon series called Family United. The graphic is on the screen you see above. I snapped a picture during service so you could see the EP, lighting, and backdrop that we chose to coincide with it. There is one important thing to really look at when it comes to live IMAG: Never let your background be brighter than your subject. In this situation, blues and purples aren’t that bright of colors, so naturally they sit a bit darker. But if you have to use colors like orange, yellow, or other “hot” colors, you might need to look at the levels at which those are lighting your background. So if you go with hotter colors, look at dimming them down a bit so your subject really stands out.
I was able to work with West Wind Church, in Iowa, with a good friend of mine, Brent Minter, for this sermon series. They were moving into a book study of Colossians. So, Brent had a great idea of what they wanted for the series after meeting with his team. They had the title, the had the subtitle, and he really wanted to use the idea of clouds since Colossians to a large degree talks about God residing over everything. With that, I created the graphic you see above.
Then, when we moved to the bump, we wanted to do something a bit different. Their last bump was all graphically generated (think, no real pictures or videos, all graphic design based). So we wanted to go a different direction with this one, using real video and pictures to tell the story. I did some reading of Colossians and came up with this script:
We look at the Son
And see God’s purpose for everything
Everything finds its purpose in him
Based on this passage:
Colossians 1:15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
Brent loved it. He asked for one or two small adjustments, and the result is what you see below.
The series we just started is called transformed. Our previous graphic designer Josh Tate made the sermon series graphic on his way out. So we were left with implementing the graphic. We lovingly call this our graphics package, which includes: sermon series bump, lower 3rds, and EP to match. So here’s what we ended up with.
As people walk into the worship center we went with this EP to match the series:
Here’s what it looks like during the sermon.
Overall it looked pretty sharp with lots of vibrant color. My partner in crime here at Northwood, Grant, put together the bump for the series.
A while back, I wrote a post about redoing our missions gallery. The missions gallery is a funny story of how responsibility often gets assigned in an organization. If you bring it up as an issue that needs to be dealt with, you are usually tasked with the responsibility of fixing it. As you can see from the previous post of what the mission gallery used to be, it was something that needed to be done. It’s a prominent spot in our building, in between the two main entrances into the worship center. So naturally it needed to be something that looked nice and really displayed what we are all about. At Northwood Church, we are all about reaching the world around us, we are very globally minded. At the time of the project, I had just got back from a trip to Vietnam, so we had some great pictures to work with. We let the pictures speak for themselves, we printed them as large as we could, and the result was when people walk by, they can see a glimpse of what our church is about just by glancing at the area. We also designed it in such a way that when the pictures need a refresh it’s quite easy to put different pictures in. I never got around to posting a final picture of what it looked like, so here you go!
If I could change one thing, it would be the height of the bottom cedar planks. I would also prefer to vary the color of the wood from piece to piece, but the straight cedar color matches the rest of the building quite nicely.
At Northwood we have tried every opener known to man: countdowns, welcome videos, bumpin music, secular songs, interactive stuff, etc. Here’s a few reasons why this opener is so successful in my opinion.
- It has energy. It gets people in the mood for some music. It allows us to push the volume up in the room just a little bit to get people’s feet tapping.
- It quickly gives guests a snapshot of our church and what we are about. It’s a great time to get your mission statement across. However when you work on something like this, you’ll see really quickly if your mission statement is compelling or not. Not too long ago, our communications guys revamped ours and they did a great job!
- It provides a warm and friendly greeting. If guests happen to slip by our layers and layers of greeters and didn’t feel welcome, this should do the trick. Jenni is our friendliest video host and she does a great job of communicating warmth. It’s good to note that she didn’t start out this way, but over the years she has practiced and we have helped her be a bit more natural on camera. Warmth doesn’t naturally happen over video, it’s something that takes practice.
- It lets guests see how they can get plugged in. I heard at a conference once that videos of b-roll are like a flight simulators for the brain. B-roll lets you see whats happening to make it easier for you to imagine yourself in that situation.
- It gets a few reoccurring announcements out of the way. For us, there are a couple announcements that happen every week – guest reception – newcomers lunch – and the connection card. While we will probably still re-mention these things at the end of service, they will just be a re-mention, they don’t have to be explained after showing this video.
There’s probably a few other great reasons to do an intro video like this, but these are the few that come to mind quickly. You typically have a somewhat captive audience a few minutes before service, so why not use that time to your advantage? Hats off to my sidekick Grant Boan for working with the animations.