Archives for category: design

One of the hallmarks of our postmodern, internet-driven culture is that communication is moving away from the written word toward images. Just check your social media streams — the perpetual-motion reblog machine that is Tumblr, the Ecards filling up your Facebook news feed, the ubiquity of infographics. We live and breathe images today.

Design matters.

Not simply for the sake of an aesthetically-pleasing picture (which, I would argue, does matter) but in order to communicate effectively.

That’s why I’m always intrigued by efforts to redesign documents and forms we use every day. Simply put, many of them are a cluttered mess — the unspoken message, when a person picks one up, is often, “What, exactly, am I filling out now?”

This is an interesting take on redesigning the British birth certificate. Granted, there is some unnecessary information here, but your eye can easily find what’s most important on this document.

Think how much easier it would be to understand the most important information (i.e., where I am going and when) if your airplane ticket looked more like this?

Apparently, sometimes these things work. Perhaps American Airlines took several of the suggested principles from this designer in their recent rebranding/website re-launch.

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Pastors, we are called to share the Word of God, which endures forever.

In service to this high calling, I encourage you to learn to communicate the Word of God visually.  You don’t have to be an artist, and you don’t have to ride a motorcycle into the main sanctuary (for reals), but tying together visual elements will help you deliver more effective sermons.

Keep it simple. Too much information per slide is kind of overwhelming. You don’t have to go ultra-simple, full-on Pecha Kucha – 20 slides, 20 seconds each — but please don’t use any of these cluttered, crazy presentations as your guides.

Seriously, you’ll end up with this.

Although this is ancient history (2007!), Seth Godin’s tips on simple, effective presentations still work today.

These days, I’ve been creating graphics to highlight Scripture verses and quotes (which I believe is more effective than simply putting the words onto a blank screen):

Beautiful feet

I’ve been inspired by several friends who have made a daily commitment to developing their God-given creativity, whether it’s through drawing, photography, or writing. While I don’t have the time (read: discipline) to commit daily to this practice, I’ve been interested in handlettered art.

A few sources of inspiration: You’ve probably seen the work of Dana Tanamachi, or at least pale imitations of her work on Pinterest. I also love the work by the designers and artists who display their work on Typographic Verses.

With that, I’ve been trying my (ahem) hand at handlettering. The process of conceptualizing, sketching, erasing, re-drawing, editing, and final production teaches me so much not only about creativity & art, but also writing, preaching, and communication.

Sitting quietly in front of a blank page, listening, is becoming a spiritual discipline for me.

Here’s my latest — I certainly don’t do it justice, but this is one of my favorite passages for how God deals with our sin. There’s something so vivid about God heaving our sins into the deepest of oceans, to be remembered no longer:

Handlettering - Cast their sins

Love these superhero prints reimagined noir:

Sometimes, in choosing to pursue what is right, we will discover the way really is narrow.

We need to stay connected to the One who is life and to each other as we pursue lives of justice, mercy, and humility.

Is it possible to enjoy the opening title sequence of a film more than the film itself?

Well, maybe not, given the high caliber of films below, but these title designs by Saul Bass are stunning in their own right:

Reverberations of the news of Steve Jobs death are being felt throughout the media, Twitterverse, and blogosphere, with heartfelt tributes pouring in about his influence on so many lives.

I was caught off guard by how deeply his passing affected me, as someone who did not know him personally. I’ve seen numerous tweets and status updates reflecting a similar, unexpected sadness at the news of his death. Much grace to his wife and children, and those who knew him, through this sorrow.

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