7800 West County Road 42
Apple Valley, Minnesota
952-432-7273

THIS IS grace.

A guide to why, who, and how we speak Grace.

start here.

This guide is designed for you – someone who loves this place and in some way, through a leadership position, volunteer opportunity, or just being a smiling face on a Sunday morning, you speak Grace. You speak grace into lives, just by being you.

About This Guide

The purpose of this guide is to give Grace leadership a way to speak the same language, have a similar look and feel to our communications no matter the platform we’re using, and give a place to start when we’re preparing to promote, advertise, design, or create something. This is generally not shared with the public, but among Grace staff and leaders. Having a coherent “brand” helps people understand who we are every chance we get to connect with them, creates confidence in guests that we’re a thriving community who knows where we’re going, and gives us a base of storytelling and good-news-sharing with each experience and opportunity we create for people to connect with God and each other.

Below, you’ll find 9 areas this guide covers. You can click on the button below each one, or simply scroll through the whole page. Ideally, before creating any publications, social media post, flyer, website content, print announcement, etc. we consult this document. The first three sections remind us why we do what we do and who we do it for. The second three sections contain the visual design elements we use including downloadable items and copy-able assets. The last three sections give content guidance as you plan and design things and talk a bit about where we communicate and connect with people.

Our Mission

We’re confident God has called us to be grace in our community and our world.

Our Identity

How we live and who we are inside and outside our walls makes all the difference.

Our People

We have a building, but we are our people. That’s the true definition of church.

Our Logo

We designed a visual brand intentionally to begin to tell our story as a community.

Colors

To keep things consistent, we usually start from a set of colors when we create.

Typography

From headings to details to stories, we try to keep things consistent across platforms with font choices.

w

How we speak

These are some of the words we use to describe our community of faith to those around us.

l

How we create

When we create posts, publications, graphics, print items, and more we try to start from these ideas.

How we connect

The platforms and programs we use to connect and communicate inside and outside of Grace.

Our Mission

Welcoming without exception, listening without judgment, and supporting without prejudice, all people.”

our identity

Who we are

Whether gathering in person in our building or being grace outside these walls, we seek to live out our call as a community.

Grace Lutheran Church is a people and a place where generosity and graciousness abound.

Our Style

We claim a traditional identity here at Grace in how we design worship experiences, celebrate church seasons, and use lectionary text to guide us. But here’s the thing – we creatively mold this traditional identity in a way that works in the world today.

All are Welcome

We know, lots of churches say that. Our intentionality around naming and claiming those who often get left out is important to us. We seek to join Jesus in finding the forgotten.

You are welcome here exactly as you are.

our people

Members & Active Participants

Families of Many Different Kinds

Children & Youth

Community of Faith

WHO BELONGS HERE?

Like we said, you are welcome here, exactly as you are. That means whatever your family looks like – just you, you and your partner, kids or not, young or old, there is space created for you here.

People who find their personal faith and cultural values match with those of Grace often:

 

Seek traditional and creative worship experiences

Care about justice in our community, country, and beyond

Are willing to enter honest dialogue and hard conversations about faith and the world

Believe children and youth belong both in worship and education experiences

#prayground

 

How to use our logo

There are a number of variations on our logo that can work in different designs and publications. Here are some ways we use it while maintaining our brand identity. 

  • You may use the full logo or circle icon independently
  • You may use the horizontal version with the icon on the left or the square version with the logo larger on top of the text
  • Use the blue version when the background is lighter and the white version when the background is darker
  • Use the white version with transparent background when the logo is placed over the top of an image
  • You may print in in black and white/grayscale.
  • Design and print in color whenever possible.
  • Use the logos provided in the download package below. There are a number of different sizes, file types, and variations included.
  • You may use the logo with or without the “tradition for today” tagline.

How not to use our logo

Here are a few examples of things to avoid with Grace logo usage. If you have questions, you can always contact our Director of Communications & Systems

  • Avoid using a logo so small it looks pixelated or blurry
  • Avoid changing the base color of the logo. Occasionally, we’ll use variations within the color palette.
  • If being placed over an image, use a transparent background.
  • Don’t use the logo without the rainbow.
  • Avoid distorting the shape of the logo.

“Jesus is constantly pushing us across to the other side.”

Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe

Colors

Biology reminds us that color can inspire, connect, clarify, and identify. They are a deeply important piece of a visual identity.

We use an engaging hue of blue that finds a balance showing energy yet depth. Then, we accent with a charcoal (not black) when a darker accent is needed and a very light gray when a lighter accent is needed. We also use clear, clean white backgrounds to help images and objects pop. When using text over an image, we typically choose white text over a darker image to provide maximum contrast.

We also use rainbow imagery and colors when appropriate as a design accent, as in our logo.

Blue #025c98

Gray #f2f2f2

Charcoal #444444

White #ffffff

#e72a28

#f49c1c

#efec00

#10a972

#025c98

#593a6b

Typography

We choose typography with two goals in mind. First, clarity is top priority. We want to make things easy to read and not hard on the eyes. Second, we want to captivate people with what we have to say and how we say it.

We have a few types of fonts we use based on the program they are being used in. There is flexibility in typography based on the project. If you’re designing something that is ongoing and a regular part of Grace, stick with these font choices. If you are doing a time-based, campaign-style project with a specific theme, use font choices that work well with your design.

  • Clarity
  • Creativity
  • Confusion
  • Eye Fatigue

Logo Typography

In our logo and on a number of headings on graphics and publications, we use our primary font, Avenir Next Demibold.

As an accent font, we use a script font called My Dear Santa. You’ll see this in our “tradition for today” tagline used with the logo often.

These fonts are not available in products like MS Word, but we have them available for design requests.

General Typography

On our website and in most publications, we use the Open Sans family.

HEADINGS
For headings, we use Open Sans Bold or Semibold to help the headings stand out.

BODY TYPE
In the body type, we use Open Sans regular. For both headings and body type, if Open Sans isn’t available in the program, we use Arial as a secondary option.

BOLD/ITALICS
We use bold for headings and sometimes inside a paragraph of text to help something stand out. We reserve italics for titles rather than a way to emphasize.

how we speak

Communities have a vocabulary. They have a way of speaking about themselves. Here’s a bit of how we speak Grace.

Our

Voice

When we’re communicating, whether in published writing or verbally, we strive for a consistent tone. We want people to feel certain things when they hear about Grace and how we say it matters as much as what we say.

  • We are consistently inviting and welcoming
  • We ask questions, even hard ones
  • We are fiercely inclusive about race, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities

 

Words We Use

Our key words and phrases can and should be heard across the different ways people may interact with us – in person, in publications, and/or online.

 

Tradition for today

You are welcome here, exactly as you are

A people and place where generosity and graciousness abound

Welcome without exception

Listen without judgment

Support without prejudice

Words We Don’t Use

For the most part, think of the opposite of who we say we are and don’t use those words and phrases. Here are a few things to avoid.

  • Referring God as only male gendered. Generally, use God as opposed to “he”
  • Referring to people in a way that stereotypes large groups into one belief,  way of thinking, or circumstance. (i.e. homeless people are always…)

design principles

Everyone communicates. Being part of Grace means you’re on the communications team with a chance to spread the good news of God’s love and the welcome of our particular faith community. Our congregation is big enough, with enough activities and gatherings that it takes a village to promote and advertise all that is going on. Often the first step is to connect with our Communications Team using a request form. This gets the right information to the right people. From there, the team will work with event organizers to create and execute the best plan for getting the word out.

IMAGES

Whenever possible, we use images/photos to help tell our story. People biologically respond differently to images than just words. Use images that show experiences and emotions.

TEMPLATES

Our communications team uses a few different programs to create and design: Canva, MS Publisher, Adobe Illustrator, and others. If you have something to design, we may have a template to start from. Just ask!

CONTENT

When creating content of any kind for any platform, follow this framework:

  1. Headline
  2. Details
  3. Call to Action

Headlines should be short and catchy. People often only read the headlines that captivate them.

Specific details like dates, times, and locations work best in their own section, while stories and ideas work best in paragraphs.

Calls to action should be specific, often with a direct link, button, or other  clear direction on what to do next.

EVENTS + CAMPAIGNS

When we’ve got larger events, worship services, community gatherings, or service opportunities we use “campaign-style” thinking and planning to make sure we communicate well. There are often multiple platforms we’ll want to use to connect to different audiences at different times along the way. We use this Communications Grid to provide a framework for promoting the event. If you’ve got something like this coming up, download the grid below and use it to help you plan communications wisely.

Connection platforms

Communication platforms become connection platforms when there is a chance for a relationship to form. That’s our hope when we gather, whether inside our outside our walls. Here are the different spaces in which we communicate.

b

Announcements

We print announcements weekly. This announcement sheet is delivered in worship and is also published for download on our website.

Website

Our website has the latest news, updates, sermons, events, calendars, and more. This is the hub of our digital space and where people often meet us for the first time.

Facebook

We use Facebook as a primary digital community for Grace. We have both a main page, and groups underneath that page for various sub-communities.

Instagram

Images are a great way to capture the stories of our community as they happen. We use Instagram regularly as well.

Email

People have access to their email in the palm of their hand. We use a weekly email to share upcoming gatherings and announcements plus special emails as needed.

Atrium Screens

We have two screens in common spaces that rotate a small series of images. These are geared toward first time folks visiting in person to find ways to get connected.

Community Ads

Community television and newspaper advertising is used just a bit for certain special events.

v

Verbal Announcements

During worship services there is a short announcement time to call attention to a small amount of upcoming opportunities.

i

Posters, Flyers, Postcards, and Signups

These print items are used to inform and to give a place for people to take action. It is often valuable for special events to have this kind of communication.

w

Word of Mouth

We’re all part of the communications team at Grace and sharing stories and opportunities with friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues is always a key way to inform and connect.