Covenant is getting a new look! Soon, visitors to campus, our website, and our additional online and print venues will experience an updated look and feel of the entire Covenant brand.
Covenant’s new communications director, MP Garcia, explained the impetus for the redesign. “During Covenant’s 60-plus years, the church has withstood several iterations of leadership and gained several generations of members. With this growth and transition, we have historically taken more of a patchwork approach to communications. Our goal with the rebrand is to unite the future of Covenant with its past, and create a cohesive brand aesthetic that will endure.”
“I love the rebrand,” said Senior Pastor Thomas Daniel. “It has a clean and fresh feel but also captures the unique look of our congregation. I am grateful to the staff and volunteers who led this important effort.”
The Communications and Technology Committee, which according to MP is comprised of “industry-leading experts in business, marketing and design,” invested six months into researching, designing and refining the brand. The committee consists of Covenant members Jay Corder, Craig Crutchfield, Tom Hall, Gray Luckett, Sarah McCracken and Jewel Stone, as well as staff members Jon Wasson and Erin Becker.
Tom Hall, who runs a medical device startup, is the committee chair and was part of the team prior to MP joining the staff. “When we started, the communications team was small and we knew there were gaps we needed to fill before we could do justice to a Covenant rebrand,” he said. “We searched for a range of designers to share their methodology and previous work to help us with the branding process. We brought in MP as a dedicated role within Covenant, and expanded the communications committee to include several awesome designers we have within the church. My role in the branding was to help set the initial strategy, ensure that we incorporate the expertise within the committee, and make certain we were good stewards of our budget.”
Tom further explained: “Branding is that nugget in your brain – the emotions, feelings, and thoughts – associated with an organization. The logos, fonts and colors are then reflections of that brand. While each of us has our thoughts on what 'Covenant' means, including me, we started by taking a step back to gather perspectives from across the church. While we had several interviews with people to help scope the project, the main insights into the branding came from a church-wide survey we conducted this past spring.”
“The survey was an excellent opportunity to get a candid look into how our congregation views itself,” MP said. “We distilled the results to determine Covenant's three brand qualities and found that Covenant is approachable, eclectic and committed.”
Tom provided some insight into what each of these adjectives means. He explained that approachable means the church is warm, friendly, and encouraging. “Our kindness extends not only to those who walk through our doors, but also to everyone we encounter outside of these walls,” he said.
By eclectic, Tom explained that our congregation reflects the full spectrum of ages and political beliefs, and we are respectful of each other's differences. Finally, Covenant is committed. “We are unified in our mission to grow together and to follow Jesus wherever we live, work and play,” he said.
These three qualities were then used to inform the design of our new icon, MP said. Some of the things represented include the Covenant Sanctuary roofline, the cross, arrows pointing inward and open arms facing out.
“This is where the design expertise of committee members Craig Crutchfield and Gray Luckett took us from 'really good' to 'awesome,'” Tom said. “MP led this process, keeping the Session up to date.”
“The Session was receptive to the design,” MP said, “and every group we have done a sneak preview with since has followed the same trend. Design is subjective and, although I'm positive we won't please everyone, we've worked hard to represent Covenant the best we can.”
“Now that we are locked in, we get to introduce it to everyone, and pull it through in new materials we make,” Tom said. “Some of it will be quick, and you will start to see changes right away. Some of it will take some time as we coordinate efforts with other teams to transition.
MP explained. “You can expect to see the new logo in use right away. Updates to campus signage and window graphics are underway. Other print collateral such as letterhead, envelopes and more will follow. We're looking into doing a full redesign of the website in 2022.”
“I'm super excited to see the new branding rolled out,” Tom said. “It gives a fresh perspective on who we are as Covenant and helps us look toward how we can live into the vision of being a love letter to Austin. We are not changing who we are. We are trying to align our visual language to who we already are (and aspire to be) as Covenant.”
“Every committee member made meaningful contributions. I am thankful for their support, patience, and expertise throughout this lengthy process,” MP said.
Covenant’s communications team has two new faces this calendar year. Mary Priscilla "MP" Garcia started as the director of communications in late March. She previously served in the same role for Shoreline Church and also ran a small marketing consultancy supporting small businesses, non-profits and church clients. MP, who loves problem-solving and design, is grateful to be a part of Covenant.
“The staff and congregation are made up of brilliant, compassionate and profoundly capable individuals. This church is uniquely equipped to have a discernable impact on the city of Austin and beyond,” MP said. “It's an honor to have even a tiny part in all of this.”
In October, Melissa Helm joined the team as Covenant’s graphic designer and webmaster. The 2019 Baylor graduate comes to Austin by way of Houston, where she worked for a private investment company managing a range of marketing, communications and design initiatives for its various commercial properties. In 2021, she had the opportunity to fulfill her life-long dream of moving to Austin and quickly found her way to the Covenant staff. In her free time, Melissa loves taking long walks around Barton Springs, spending time with friends and family, and working on various graphic design projects.