In the beginning was the logo

What is a logo? It is a graphic sign that represents an organization or individuals—making them unmistakable. A logo is part of the identity that is carried outside. But what does a logo contain? We asked.

“To translate the Chief Apostle’s motto for this year into a logo, I used blue as the dominant colour. Blue is our Church’s branding colour,” Priest Keefe Setiobudi from Jakarta in Indonesia says. “For the cross I used orange to express courage and bravery,” because we are talking about struggles and victories, after all, so the expert. “And the handwriting font gives the ‘Victory with Christ’ logo a fresh and modern look with a touch of simplicity.” It sends a simple and unmistakable message.

Part of the corporate design

But what exactly is a logo? There are—as with everything else in life—different opinions. “A logo is a graphic sign or a letter or a word,” some say. Others maintain that it has to be a combination of a symbol and a wordmark; because only the combination of the two makes it a logo.

Rules on how a logo should be designed are laid down in the corporate design manual of a company. In the Corporate Design Manual of the New Apostolic Church it says: “Quick recognition and a high level of awareness are among the most important assets a brand can have. Accordingly, a clear, uniform image plays a pivotal role in communication. Our corporate design is a significant identifier.”

The manual also says that the New Apostolic Church’s corporate design communicates a self-aware, active, and unmistakable image. This is “an indispensable prerequisite for positive public perception”.

Regarding the logo the manual says: “The logo basically always appears in blue, black, emphasized, positive, and always on a white background. The NAC logo can only be used in these four applications.” It also says that the logo must stand alone and may not be confined by anything. The font Helvetica Neu 65 Medium is to be used for the name of the Church (New Apostolic Church). The typical corporate colour of the New Apostolic Church is Pantone 279 U.

Understandable and unmistakable

A logo must fulfil a number of important requirements. First, it has to be understandable. The cross simply symbolizes Christ, the empty cross symbolizes His resurrection. Cross always means church. A logo has to be unmistakable. It represents one company or organization, not several. The emblem of the New Apostolic Church and its elements are well known. People know the cross, sun, rays, and waves.

The New Apostolic Church, by the way, has stopped interpreting the elements of its emblem. It is a graphic symbol that stands for the New Apostolic Church and its products, not more and not less. It is protected by law and may only be used after consultation with the owner; the exception being official approval. Members of the Church may use the logo on memorial cards, obituaries, and on tombstones. But it must never be changed. If used, the rules have to be followed.

Jesus, the Logos

Jesus too is a logo or, more correctly, the Logos. In the prologue to the gospel of John it says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” In the Greek original it says Logos (λόγος); in Latin it came to be verbum. But Logos means much more than just “word”. It means ground, reason, world domination, doctrine—Jesus is the word of God, He is God.

He is a man of His word. In this case: the word of God. And the same applies to us: If the label says Christ, it must also contain Christ.

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Peter Johanning
Media, Congregational life