I have spent a lot of time over the past 15 years doing graphics design.  I have created logos for both companies and churches–I even created the logo for my own church plant.  With my background in mind, I found this post from the humorists at The Onion very profound.

Corporation’s New Logo Changes Everything

INDIANAPOLIS—Responding swiftly to a 60 Minutes piece exposing its longtime use of child labor in Malaysian sweatshops, Fortune 500 consumer-goods manufacturer United Home Products unveiled a brand-new logo Tuesday.

“After the 60 Minutes story aired, we received a lot of tremendously helpful feedback regarding our staffing policies at some of our facilities in the Asian sphere. And after listening to you, our customers, UHP saw it was time for a change,” said CEO Dale Schwantes, gesturing toward the red, white and blue logo. “And here’s that change, America!”

“If you thought you knew UHP, look again!” Schwantes added.

While the business practices of UHP, the nation’s fifth largest manufacturer of household consumer goods, will remain unchanged, the introduction of the new logo signals “a brand-new corporate philosophy and an entirely different way of doing things.”

The decision to be “a whole new company” came as a result of the Aug. 5 airing of an exposé on one of UHP’s toaster factories in Songkhla, Malaysia. The report featured footage of 12-year-olds laboring at dangerous machines in unventilated, overcrowded rooms for $5 per week.

Faced with boycott threats from angry human-rights groups, UHP executives decided a major company overhaul was in order. The next day, UHP’s old graphic-design staff was fired and a new 14-member team was brought in.

Children make serving trays in one of United Home Products’ Asian factories.

“America spoke, and we listened,” said Schwantes, reading from a UHP ad slated to appear in next week’s issues of Newsweek andTime. “We’ve got a whole new look… and a whole new outlook!”

Deeply committed to change, Schwantes made certain that the overhaul extended to the entire corporation, and it did: Not only was the new logo placed on all UHP products and packaging, but also on company letterhead, internal memos, embroidered employee polo shirts, and the marble edifice in the front of UHP world headquarters.

“The public made it clear that it didn’t want to support a brand it associated with a cold, gigantic corporation that exploits Third World child labor,” said Mark Ingersoll, head of DesignOne, the San Francisco-based graphic-design firm that created the new logo. “So we totally did away with that harsh, ‘corporate-looking’ lettering and went with a friendlier, more inviting font with a little more warmth and visual flair.”

This article is a marvelous parable for the church today.  Changing your logo, name, letterhead and website may confuse people for a while and allow you to present a better public image, but being the Church is not a PR campaign.

  • Changing your Logo, won’t change your willingness to serve your community.
  • Changing your Logo won’t change your love for the lost.
  • Changing your Logo won’t change your ability to serve the church.
  • Changing your Logo is not the same as being changed by the Spirit of God.

I love the Church!  Now lets strive together to be the Church to our world.   Image is nothing when action is what we are about!

Dr. Joe Miller (aka JR) is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. In addition, he is a church planter and coach for emerging leaders. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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