North Albany Community Church

North Albany Community Church

When North Albany Community Church contacted me to design their logo they initially they wanted a logo that incorporated the name into the logo mark. They specifically wanted to reference the word “North” with a symbol such as a compass or compass rose. There was also some desire to incorporate a cross into the logo, perhaps in the form of a compass. They wanted a modern logo, but didn’t want it to be too edgy. A committee was to make the final decision on which logo to use, but because there were so many people involved with differing opinions, we ended up going through several renditions.


For my first submission I made a navigational compass symbol for the logo. The feedback I received from the committee was that the compass did not read strongly enough as a cross, but that they loved the font. I was asked to try using the “O” in “North” as the face of a compass. I went back to the drawing board and designed three new versions.


The first version plays on the word “North” by replacing the “O” with the degree symbol like a longitudinal coordinate (i.e., 40°N). To visualize “North” further, and to avoid confusion I drew in a circle for the traditional letter “O” so that it both reads normally and so the degree symbol sits in the north position of the circle. For the second version I used the “O” as a globe and put in latitudinal and longitudinal arcs to form a cross, giving emphasis to the northern direction. The final version is a more classical and elegant option with a compass rose for a cross. Although I felt the first two were more creative and interesting, I wanted to make sure I didn’t go so modern that they interpreted it as “edgy.” After this submission the committee still had too many different opinions to reach a decision. The feedback I got was that they wanted something that was more family-friendly. They also wanted to see an all type version with no symbol. Responding to this, I created a softer looking logo that didn’t feel as stiff.


For this round of revisions I used a hand-written font and tried to appeal to a younger demographic, again without going too “edgy.” I added a vertical stroke to the letter “A” in “Albany” to make it both a cross and a northern-facing arrow. The second version uses the vertical stroke in the “N” to give northern direction and also reference the region: the lush and forested Albany, Oregon. After this submission, still unable to reach a decision, the committee decided to appoint just one person to decide. They asked for a few new versions, essentially starting from scratch, but perhaps keeping the same fonts. These are the final three versions and, as you can see, the final version was chosen with a few minor changes.


This version played more abstractly on the church’s 4 guiding principals, but also on the 4 cardinal directions giving emphasis to the northern ring. The linking of the rings also implies lines for a cross.


This logo uses the negative space of a lit window on a dark background to create a cross. The top panes are colored to give emphasis to “North.”


This was ultimately the logo they decided on, save a few changes. They wanted something that conveyed a sense of community. I placed the people on the North point of a global arc.

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