Creating custom-looking church graphics for upcoming sermon series, bible studies, children’s ministry and youth ministry is no simple task. If you ever tried to open up Photoshop without any training (or downloaded GIMP, a free no-frills version of Photoshop), you know that graphic designers are worth their weight in gold.

If your position at church (either as a staff person or volunteer) requires you to be responsible for church graphics and church communication, this article offers four options for how to go about creating or outsourcing for the graphics you need to effectively communicate with you church attenders.

1) Hire a Designer

A graphic designer will be able to take your project and create something uniquely tailored to your church.

You can expect the process to include a project overview where you share your topic, goals, and details. The designer will then get back to you with design options. When you’ve settled on a design they will deliver the finished graphics to you.

If you are looking for custom visuals this is a great way to go. You get the experience and knowledge of a designer, without the expense of another employee.

Cost

For a set of images for a series that may include graphics, bulletin options, and several other designs, typical costs range from $200-450.

2) Library of Designs

Several companies have created “done-for-you” design libraries that your church can use.

Pick a design, download the visuals and start using them immediately. You get the quality of a professionally designed graphic, in the time it takes to download the files.

The cost for download access depends on the company. Look for monthly, yearly or lifetime access plans when determining the best fit for your church.

Recommendations:

www.open-edit-print.com [This is my product for churches looking for “done-for-you” graphics in minutes.]

www.sharefaith.com

www.ministrypass.com

Cost

The cost for these libraries of designs can range from $17.99 per month (if billed annually to $1,000 per year. Often, companies will offer a steep discount for a yearly membership that offers more creative options for a smaller price tag.

3) Templates

Using templates will take away the frustration of staring at a blank screen and creating a design from scratch. They give you the flexibility of customizing your promotion while speeding up the design process.

The process is simple:

  • Download a Word, Publisher, InDesign or Photoshop template
  • Add your unique information into the editable regions
  • Save the file
  • Start your promotions

Recommendations:

www.open-edit-print.com

www.stocklayouts.com

www.creationswap.com

Cost

Some companies offer a few freebies, cost per image ranges from $29 on up, with monthly subscription as well as package offers in the $299-499 range.

4) Image Editing Software

A number of online tools are available to help you create designs without needing Photoshop. You can pick a design size, add your elements (text, images, etc.) and save the file for use.

The trade off is your time. You should expect to spend time learning the tools and then creating the graphics themselves. If you need different versions of a design (Sunday Slideshow, Facebook image, Bulletin announcement) you will need to recreate it in each format.

Recommendations:

www.sumopaint.com

www.pixlr.com

www.canva.com

www.123rf.com

Cost

Mostly free because you’re spending your own time to edit and create images. Using this option, you will need to purchase stock images from a stock house such as Lightstock (faith-based stock photos), Deposit Photos, or Adobe Stock.

How is your church creating visuals? What other options would you suggest?