AN EVENTS PHOTOBLOG

We put together a photoblog of some events we've done for The Fountain, a women's worship ministry in Des Moines, to give you a look at some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating and managing their events.
We believe in being intentional and creative about design because we want the people who attend our events to know they've been planned for and thought of, and we work hard to create special moments for them! We hope you'll see that purpose and detail reflected in these photos. By hovering over the images, you'll find a description for each photo.
Be sure to check out The Fountain's Facebook page and make plans to attend a future event if you're in the Des Moines area! And if you haven't already, take a few minutes to learn how we developed branding for this ministry.

THE FOUNTAIN AT SIMON ESTES AMPHITHEATER

SUMMER OUTDOOR WORSHIP EVENT

SUMMER OUTDOOR WORSHIP EVENT

SETUP BEGINS

SETUP BEGINS

SPECIAL MOMENTS LIKE THESE ARE WHY WE PUT IN ALL THE PLANNING AND HARD WORK

SPECIAL MOMENTS LIKE THESE ARE WHY WE PUT IN ALL THE PLANNING AND HARD WORK

PRAYER TIME DURING THE EVENT

PRAYER TIME DURING THE EVENT

PRAYER TIME DURING THE EVENT

PRAYER TIME DURING THE EVENT

A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN DES MOINES

A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN DES MOINES

BAND AND STAGE SETUP

BAND AND STAGE SETUP

THE BAND REHEARSES

THE BAND REHEARSES

WOMEN IN WORSHIP

WOMEN IN WORSHIP

THE END RESULT

THE END RESULT

OVER 6,000 ITEMS WERE DONATED TO HELP ORPHAN GIRLS IN HAITI

OVER 6,000 ITEMS WERE DONATED TO HELP ORPHAN GIRLS IN HAITI

THE FOUNTAIN AT 500 EAST LOCUST

THE FINAL RESULT WHERE THE STAGE DESIGN, BAND, SPEAKERS, AND FRIENDS ALL COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A SPECIAL TIME OF WORSHIP

THE FINAL RESULT WHERE THE STAGE DESIGN, BAND, SPEAKERS, AND FRIENDS ALL COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A SPECIAL TIME OF WORSHIP

CREATING THE STAGE BACKDROP

CREATING THE STAGE BACKDROP

PREPPING TO CREATE THE STAGE BACKDROP

PREPPING TO CREATE THE STAGE BACKDROP

USING A SECTION OF OLD BARN WOOD AND SOME SQUARE NAILS TO CREATE A PRAYER WALL 

USING A SECTION OF OLD BARN WOOD AND SOME SQUARE NAILS TO CREATE A PRAYER WALL 

EMPTY EVENT SPACE BEFORE SETUP

EMPTY EVENT SPACE BEFORE SETUP

CHALK SIGNAGE

CHALK SIGNAGE

CUSTOM ART ON DISPLAY THAT WAS CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT

CUSTOM ART ON DISPLAY THAT WAS CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT

WOMEN IN WORSHIP

WOMEN IN WORSHIP

THE PAINT MIXTURE COMES TOGETHER FOR THE STAGE BACKDROP

THE PAINT MIXTURE COMES TOGETHER FOR THE STAGE BACKDROP

THE BEGINNING STAGES OF THE STAGE BACKDROP

THE BEGINNING STAGES OF THE STAGE BACKDROP

TAGS FOR THE PRAYER WALL

TAGS FOR THE PRAYER WALL

THE VENUE

THE VENUE

LOTS OF CHAIRS TO SET UP

LOTS OF CHAIRS TO SET UP

HARVEST DECOR FILLS THE ENTRY SPACE

HARVEST DECOR FILLS THE ENTRY SPACE

THE BAND

THE BAND

THE SPEAKER SHARES

THE SPEAKER SHARES

HUNDREDS OF COATS WERE COLLECTED FOR THE LOCAL WINTER WARMTH DRIVE

HUNDREDS OF COATS WERE COLLECTED FOR THE LOCAL WINTER WARMTH DRIVE

IGNITING VISION THROUGH ART

It was an honor to be asked to create a new art installation for the main entrance area of a church. So we decided to share about the creative process behind this art installation and how it developed from an idea to a finished product.
CONCEPT
The church wanted an art piece that would display their vision and history to anyone who walked through their doors. So we came up with an idea to not only showcase the vision and history of this church, but also expand that further to include Christ and His Church. We wanted something visually interesting with depth and dimension and color that captured attention but also connected with people on an emotional and spiritual level. We found some inspiration in the Freedom Wall when it was on display at Passion City Church. This large wall was created to commemorate freedom fighters:
Freedom Wall on display at Passion City Church in Atlanta

Freedom Wall on display at Passion City Church in Atlanta

CREATION
Using this idea as a start, we began to put together ideas around what could fill the space and what we would need to accomplish that. We found old memorabilia from the church that had been saved throughout the years, we collected old barn wood and tin, found frames and interesting religious items at thrift stores, and even scoured through a few friends' barns for some old doors, windows, and interesting metal objects that they donated to the cause. We gathered a variety of fabric swatches and cardboard block letters and pretty much every color of spray paint we could find.
After collecting enough materials, we were ready to start creating pieces for the wall. The art installation area is 46' wide by 10' high, so we had to come up with a lot of different things to fill the space. We created pieces with Bible verses and religious symbols, with words that described the vision of the church, and with numbers representing the address of places the church had met over the years. We used all sorts of techniques, from stained glass to mod podge to poly coating and more. We printed images onto various materials, and also incorporated a significant connection to the city in many of the pieces. A local nonprofit with strong ties to the church cut the city skyline out of sheet metal with their laser cutter. We received amazing artwork contributions from local artists depicting places of significance. Together this created the variety of pieces we needed to put together collectively for the larger display.
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INSTALLATION
The area set aside for the installation was originally just a cement block wall, so a supporting structure had to be built that could hold the weight of the artwork and also provide an appealing backdrop. The finished wall included strips of stained boards that were screwed into a frame that was secured into the wall.
When the backdrop was finished, we started adding the various pieces we had collected and created. Not one piece was hung in its original form; we added an artistic element to each piece that was included to create consistency and tie everything into the look and feel we were going for, and ultimately that's what makes the entire installation cohesive.
MEANING
After the wall was completed, we were often asked, "what does it mean?" It means so many things that we've struggled to find the words to put around it. But one day our friend Luis Wells-Gonzales provided the perfect description when he said, "This art wall represents my life. All these scraps that God put together to make something beautiful."

MATCHLIGHT RECORDS: BRANDING A RECORD LABEL...THAT'S ALSO A MINISTRY

Combining a record label and ministry is the heart of the vision of Matchlight Records. It's a new concept for a non-profit, and that's exactly why creating its brand was just the kind of challenge we love.
Matchlight Records is a ministry on a mission to reach the nations with the transforming message of the Gospel through worship music. They partner award-winning industry production experts with local musicians in countries across the globe to create, record, and distribute worship music where currently none exists. Along with this, they facilitate concert events, production training, media resources, and recording equipment technology - and it's all funded solely through donations.
Pretty great, right? So as we started brainstorming, we developed a list of key elements that needed to be communicated in the brand:
  • Black and white, like a traditional record label
  • An image of a match striking or lighting
  • Identifiable as both a record label and a ministry, especially with the website, where images would be key
  • Transferrable as a large image on merch or signage and also as a small image on album artwork
  • Something distinctive and easily recognizable that would work well for branded merch that artists wear on stage
These guidelines helped set the framework for brand alignment through the website, social media, and design. Now we were ready to move on to the actual creation stage.
First we chose a font that represented the look and feel we wanted for the brand. Then we added a little design element to the "M" by putting a transparent line through it. This helped change a word in a common font to a distinctive brand in one simple stroke. 
 
 
Next we focused on an iconic image that would work well with the font. Below are just a few of the ideas we considered that helped get us to our final design. You can see how the flame icon evolved, as well as the display of the word Matchlight, and eventually we came up with the image we liked on the far right.
 
 
 

With a logo now established, we moved on to the creation of the website. We determined the images on the website would be the best way to portray the ministry side of the label. We chose a few colors that would work well with the black and white logo and still have the appearance of a record label, and then picked images that complement these colors and communicate what the ministry side of the label represents: worship, music and recording, and lifestyle and culture in countries where the non-profit works. You can see a snapshot of the finished site here:
 
 
 

Once the site was ready, we developed social media images using designs from the website. This helped the finished product achieve the alignment we were going for across website, social media, and design.
We had such a great time developing this brand and we're so excited to see what is happening with Matchlight Records! To learn more, you can check out their website, iTunes, or follow their socials: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

CREATIVE INSPIRATION: MY FAVORITE BOOKS TO SPARK CREATIVITY

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Are you in need of a little creative inspiration? It's Danna here, and I'm sharing my go-to books that help me when I need a fresh idea or want to realign my focus! And please share this list with your friends, creative team, and other who might benefit.
1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
2. The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus
3. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
4. Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
6. Make Your Mark by Jocelyn Glei
Also, I've heard good things about these two books that are currently on my reading list:
7. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
8. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
What are your go-to books to inspire creativity?

THE FOUNTAIN: CREATING A BRAND TO REACH THE WOMEN OF DES MOINES

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We had a great experience working with The Fountain to develop branding for their ministry! The Fountain is made up of many incredible women from churches all over the Des Moines, Iowa area who gather to worship together each quarter. As this ministry has grown, so has the need for consistent branding and promotional materials, so we worked with the leadership team to develop a logo, social media images, and a communication guide. 
LOGO
Thinking along the lines of a water fountain, we were going for something fresh and clean that could easily be recognized. We also wanted something that was feminine, yet not too girly. Because of the nature of the ministry, it also needed to be an image that could easily be transitioned for stage design (think giant backdrop or a large image being projected onto the stage). Our final design included all of these necessary elements and is functional for a wide variety of uses.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES
In addition to worship events, The Fountain Table and The Fountain Church Connector's Lunch are social events connected with the ministry. We created a variety of images that incorporated the logo and a similar look and feel to further strengthen the brand. As an added bonus, we built these images as templates to work in the Over app. The leadership team can then use the app to easily update promotional materials for events.
COMMUNICATION GUIDE
An overarching goal of The Fountain is to reach women in as many churches as possible in the Des Moines area. This challenged us to find a way to make it easy for churches to communicate information about The Fountain's gatherings. We knew if we could come up with a simple process where most of the work was already done for them, the more likely they would be to share information about upcoming events. Our solution was a Communication Guide that explains how to access images and copy and even outlines a proposed communication calendar.
 
COMMUNICATION GUIDE
 
This was such a fun project and we love to see the ministry of The Fountain continue to grow! You can follow along with all they're doing on their Facebook page.