Finding the face of St. Mark’s

Over the last few months I’ve been doing a bit of consultancy work with the church that we used to attend in London; St. Mark’s Kennington. Amongst other tasks (such as making the church website responsive) this work involved considering how the church may be viewed externally. Now I’m not sure about using the word “brand” in the context of a church image, but essentially, it’s branding that I’m talking about. St Mark’s is a church not a business, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing to project. Developing a visual identity that is consistent and a true representation of the church helps to communicate its unique characteristics to the wider community.

Regardless of how much St. Mark’s chooses to put on display, people will form their own opinions about who they are. The image the church projects must genuinely reflect the ‘experience’ of being at St Mark’s, and authenticity and honesty are key when working towards a new, consistent visual presence. So, a questionnaire was circulated around the congregation with regards to how the church views itself and what the important aspects of its culture are. A multitude of responses were received, reflecting the diversity of the congregation, but one key, consistent aspect cropped up again and again; that of welcome.

The last thing we wanted to do (I use the word “we”, as Kiri and I worked together on the logo… in fact she probably did more work on it than me!) was to come up with something cheesy, but the key thing to communicate through a new logo was welcome. After throwing a few ideas down on paper, we settled on the concept of an open door with light flowing out. We also wanted to incorporate the shape of the church somehow, as it has quite a recognisable silhouette. A few meetings later (and a few hours of tweaking to make sure the logo worked in monochrome, both black on white and white on black, with the doorway still emitting light), we had our first design:


The fact that the allusion to the shape of the church building and the open door fitted within the “M” of St. Mark’s was a pleasant by-product. We were aware that the logo was “L”-shaped overall, but all of our attempts to fill the top corner with something ended up detracting from the open door, so we eventually just embraced the white space.

The proposed logo was circulated amongst the church council for comments and we received some very useful feedback. As a result of this, we realised that we hadn’t quite got the balance right between retaining the simplicity of the church silhouette and architectural correctness. It was also suggested that the straight edges on the outline of the “M” weren’t particularly welcoming. After a few tweaks, we had our second design, which has been adopted by St. Mark’s.


Along with the new logo we put together a pared-down style guide containing a suggested, consistent colour palette to use for all printed media and electronic media.

I’m still not sure whether churches need a brand as such, but I think a logo helps to make a church quickly identifiable.



Last January I made my official move into graphic design by setting up Lightbulb Head as a business and becoming a freelancer. Full of flare and enthusiasm for this new venture, I started to think about how I might apply suitable branding to my business and I set to work designing a logo. I pondered long and hard, sketched out countless ideas and even experimented with new techniques, but found myself continuously dissatisfied with the results. I’ll admit that I’m an outright perfectionist with no desire to be cured, which can be both a hindrance and a help in my line of work, but the main spanner in the works at the time was that Lightbulb Head had only just been born and was yet to show its identity – I couldn’t quite pin down what visual form it should take.

Before long, the projects poured in and I ran out of time to work on my own design and branding. The logo remained a half-cooked plan and got shoved to the back of my to-do list… until now.

Lightbulb Head logo (black)

Perhaps driven by the dawning of a brand new year, or perhaps by my proactive husband (who is actually my polar-opposite when it comes to procrastination… we make a good team!), we’re proud to announce the completion of Lightbulb Head’s new logo.

The idea of simply using the image of a light-bulb hanging by its cable came to us once many of our more complicated ideas had been thrown out. Light is actually a very basic and fundamental thing and we decided we’d like to try and reflect this (our ethos) in our branding. The logo really sprang to life when we applied the font ‘Pompiere’ by Sorkin Type Co, its lengthy ascenders echo the image of the cable beautifully and could be interpreted as long shadows cast by the light-bulb.

The image below shows 5 different versions of the logo and 1 icon, so that it is equipped for every circumstance. Source ‘B’ is our favourite as it shows the characteristics of light (dramatically piercing the the darkness) most accurately.

logo development

All in all, we’re very pleased with the result, but there’s lots of branding work still to be done so we’d better crack on.


Hello world!

This is Kiri calling…or something like that.

You’re probably wondering what Lightbulb Head is. Me too currently! I’ve recently graduated with a degree in graphic design and Lightbulb Head is the name that I’m working under as a freelance designer. To date this has consisted mostly of design for print (including brochure, flyer and booklet work), but also some logo design and visual design for websites. This is just a start though and I would love to branch out into other media like moving image, illustration and photography. Watch this space!

So why Lightbulb Head? It’s a name I’ve been pondering for a few years now and it felt like the right one for this endeavour. My main philosophy is that light is life – nothing grows without light – nothing can exist without it. Light is good. I want to use design and other media to give a face to this goodness.

You’re reading a blog post rather than looking at a beautifully-designed website because I’ve been focussing on building up my portfolio. Also, I have been busy getting married! However, I plan to get this site up and running in the next few months, so please keep your eye on it if you’re interested in hearing more.

Thanks for your interest – I hope we meet again.