Volunteer project for nonprofit South Potomac Church. Lara Lee retains copyright.
The Safety and Security Team at South Potomac Church was established to protect attendees, volunteers, and students as well as the church’s assets. The group itself is composed of dedicated volunteers who meet, train, and maintain certification regularly on their own time and dime. SPC often runs many events, from weekly Sunday services for 570+ members, homeschooling 350+ children, summer camps for 150+ children, conferences, weddings, funerals, and much more throughout the year. The place stays busy, so the SPC Safety and Security Team perform such vital functions like security, surveillance, and first-aid to ensure operations run smoothly.
The SPC Safety and Security Team requested a logo design to formally recognize their group. The logo and subsequent branding would then be applied to all their collateral for quick recognition, such as t-shirts and a newsletter.
Their second request was a protected newsletter template. The newsletter needs to be accessible to a wide-range of volunteers with limited time and budget, so it was determined that the template would be created in Microsoft Word, software that everyone would have, and secured with password protection given only to team members.
The SPC Safety and Security Team needed an identity first.
When creating the logo and identity, I wanted to capture all facets of their operations. They run not only security and surveillance, like responding to the alarm in the middle of the night, watching and recording video surveillance, but they also act as first-responders in emergency situations, with CPR-certified volunteers and volunteers with day jobs as EMSs and nurses in the medical fields. These activities deserved more than icons of locks and shields. They deserved representation of the human elements, both the SPC Safety and Security Team volunteers themselves and the people they protect.
As a church group, ministry was also an important value, so themes of compassion as well as justice resonate.
The initial sketches for the logo design included initials, shields, hands, chain links, and other symbols of safety and security. As I began to refine the concept, I latched onto a few ideas. One of them included the hands coming together in a handshake that provides double, hidden images as a heart and as the initials “SS.” Another included a pair of chain links coming together into the “SS” shape.
The final, full-color logo design refines the handshake concept from the original sketches. I captured this compassion and collaboration as a pair of outstretched hands, moving together for a friendly handshake. The logo design captures the hands mid-motion, right as the fingers form a heart in the negative space. The iconic “security shield” envelopes the hands, suggesting a safety boundary protecting the people from harm.
The next big item on the agenda was the Microsoft Word newsletter template.
Microsoft Word is one of the most accessible desktop publishing programs for the team to use. Despite its primary audience as casual users, Word maintains advanced styling and customization features that makes it ideal for creating an editable template—and then locking it from viewing and editing to all non-authenticated, non-security team users.
The newsletter design needed to be easily skimmed on the computer as well as printer-friendly. I embedded fonts, colors, and text styles so the template is ready to go. The Table of Contents is interactive and updates itself as users update headlines and pages within the document. Wide left-hand margins allow quick note-taking as the team reviews the news in meetings. The Calendar of Events also includes links to SPC’s website for more information on each specific event.