Proclaim’s team of designers constantly produces fresh sermon backgrounds, announcement slides, motions, and more.
You may have noticed that with the exception of mini-movies and Bible animations, we produce media “sets,” not standalone pieces. It’s hard enough to find one piece of media that fits your church’s message and brand—pastors and church staff shouldn’t have to Frankenstein a presentation together from a bunch of disconnected pieces. “Sets tie the whole topic together, instead of being all over the place,” says Liliya Vetkov, Proclaim’s Pro Media designer. “The sermon, announcements, worship backgrounds, they all have the same tone.”
With every new set, the hope is to give churches the freedom to decide how they use the art. Pro Media often comes with background text, but with the release of Proclaim 2.0, even that text can be edited—they’re just suggestions.
Built-in suggestions are part of what makes Pro Media unique. Designers like Liliya choose the best font size and text color for each background, so you don’t have to fiddle with it. The font of each set has already been carefully thought out by a professional designer.
“When you look at really thick, bold, font, it can feel like the text is yelling at you. When you’re looking at harsh brushstroke fonts, it looks grungy,” Liliya says. “A serif font, on the other hand, feels more elegant and classic.”
A professional designer can look at every font and find appropriate situations to use it, but the average church staff or volunteer may not be able to pinpoint why a font feels off-putting, or where it would fit.
Our designers can do all that work one time, and save thousands of churches from hunting around for the right fonts and colors. That being said, you can always decide to change things if you find a font you prefer.
“At the end of the day all of our designs are to help the pastor and the worship leader,” Liliya says. “We want to make creating presentations easier for them. We know that they have their own job to do, and they don’t want to spend hours looking for good design when they could be working on a sermon or practicing.” We believe good design is certainly important, but church staff are often already stretched so thin, and their roles often already require expertise in a wide variety of skills and fields.
For Liliya, it helps her to think of what her pastor needs. “A lot of times with Pro Media I start out with a blank page and I ask how would my pastor use these slides? What would he want to use?”
As she pictures the message that might accompany her work, it breathes new life into her designs. “I think about how a topic can be interpreted visually,” she says. “I want to get at the idea behind hope, not just write ‘hope’ on a pretty background.”
As with any creative process, inspiration for church media design isn’t always automatic. Sometimes it takes a conversation to get ideas flowing.
“If I get stuck, I send my work out to the design team and reach out for ideas,” Liliya says. “I don’t want to get stuck in my own thoughts and my own ideas. A lot of times I talk to a pastor or another designer.”
For Liliya, that conversation often takes the form of prayer.
“There are moments where I get stuck and I don’t know how to interpret a message or an idea, and that’s where you have to use your resources,” she says. “And then there’s a lot of prayer. Before I start on any set, I pray about it. I pray that whatever I design, that somewhere, a pastor will use it. I may not be a pastor, but maybe a pastor can use my artwork to communicate something life-changing.”
Church media designers like Liliya are motivated by the knowledge that they’re spreading the gospel through design.
“I love seeing my work in use. I love seeing what kinds of messages go with the media I produce,” Liliya says.
As she studies a concept, the spiritual aspect of her creation process allows her to grow personally through her work.
“It’s not just art, it’s sort of my Bible study. When you fixate on your own ideas, that’s where you get stuck. You have to dig deep into the Word. When you explore something like a sermon title you start to see how the Bible talks about a topic.”
Her biggest challenge is continuing to push the envelope on a daily basis. The Bible is a limitless pool of inspiration—the church has been creating art inspired by the gospel for centuries. It’s important to Liliya that she continues producing useful, unique artwork.
“I think churches should have beautiful and meaningful designs, and when you create media over and over again, you start to burn out a little bit,” she says. “I don’t want to get stuck in a rut of creating something unoriginal.”
When Liliya feels her inspiration waning, that’s when she turns to her team and her creator for some fresh perspective. As a result, her art continues to reflect thoughtful approaches to each concept and careful attention to Scripture.
Thankfully, no piece of Pro Media is produced in a bubble. Every slide and every video is vetted through our team of designers, so only the best designs make their way into Proclaim.
You get 30 days of Pro Media with a free trial of Proclaim. More than half of all Proclaim subscribers love their free trial of Pro Media so much that they keep it with a Proclaim Pro subscription.
* * *
Want to learn how to share the gospel through design? Get free design tips from professional designers like Liliya. I sat down with Micah, Shiloh, Christine, and Eleazar from Faithlife to talk about the intersections between the gospel and design. You can find out what I learned in the free ebook, Called to Create.
Sign up to get your free copy of Called to Create.