Christ Church Cathedral is a reverent, yet progressive, community located in the heart of Indianapolis. Since its founding in 1837, Christ Church has welcomed all—the homeless, the lost, the steadfast, the strong. But in recent years, the “Little Church on the Circle” had difficulty communicating who they were to the community at large. Their branding didn’t elevate the openness and generosity of the church.
While the old brand conveyed Christ Church’s Episcopal traditions, it didn’t relay the church’s welcoming atmosphere. The color palette felt cold, the typefaces looked generic, and the site hierarchy was fairly complicated. And since the words in the navigation bars were vague, the site felt unorganized and cluttered.
With the new site, we focused on Christ Church’s mission: “To widen the circle of God’s embrace with heart and voice.” We created pages that showcase the music program and highlight special events. We wrote about stewardship, mission trips, and resources. We built a site that said, “Everyone is welcome. No matter who you are or what you hold dear, our doors are open.”
We were dedicated to creating a site that revealed Christ Church’s kindness, especially since we had seen it firsthand.
Once, we met a man on Monument Circle. We had arrived early for a meeting, and had stood outside the cathedral, chatting. The man came up to us, told us that the people at Christ Church were amazing, “truly loving.” He told us how the church had provided aid and helped him get a plane ticket home. He was astounded by the church’s love and generosity for a complete stranger.
That’s what we wanted to communicate—that Christ Church believes in the dignity of every human being. That everyone is welcome, always.
In addition to making the site feel inviting, we had to make it responsive. The previous site was difficult to use on mobile devices, so we made sure the new site was accessible, regardless of the device being used.
We also prioritized information relevant to those exploring Christ Church for the first time. For example, one frequently asked question is, “Where do I park?”. So, we incorporated parking information on the home page. We also included a welcome message to set the voice and tone. And photography depicts what it’s like to be a part of Christ Church—from the traditions in the choirs to the diversity in its multicultural congregation.
For inspiration, we turned to the church itself. The current building, constructed in 1857, features stained glass, Neo-Gothic architecture, and three organs.
There is so much rich symbolism within the church that we didn’t want to sacrifice tradition in our efforts to push the brand forward. So, we took elements from the church and incorporated them into the design. The type and triangles in the bugs draw from shapes in the stained glass, for example, and we use textures as a way to unite the website and design collateral. Together, the photography, vibrant color fields, and consistent typography create a consistent visual impression across brochures, event posters, and T-shirts.
They say, “Christ Church’s doors are open to all.” They say, “Christ Church emphasizes relationships, and is a refuge for the city.” They say, “Christ Church is the ‘Little Church on the Circle.’”