Good Shepherd Lutheran Academy has a vision to become the Lutheran elementary school of choice in the Downers Grove community and neighboring communities. After 40 years of education ministry, the leadership of GSLA recognized a need to revitalize and find new ways to grow enrollment and increase retention from their booming pre-school ministry. Downers Grove is home to some of the finest public schools in Greater Chicago, and GSLA wanted new tools to communicate the excellence and preeminence of the private, Christian education available at Good Shepherd.
Like with every beloved client of LUTHERAN tech, we start with a ground-up understanding of Good Shepherd’s ministry, their community, and the opportunities within reach. This begins with a soul-searching analysis of what we could be doing better, what we might want to stop doing, what the “competition” is doing, and most importantly: how can we bless the kingdom of God.
What we learned is that we were already doing a lot of things well: GSLA had a terrific reputation of being faithful to the Word of God, providing a second-to-none education, and having a popular early education program. What we had to work against was that Good Shepherd was a pretty well-hidden gem. “We never knew this school was here!” was an oft-heard refrain. Also, Downers Grove being an affluent area, many families had flocked there entirely because of the high quality public education.
Our research led us to identify a few key phrases to drive our design vision: Christ-centered, family-focused, and prestigious education. The “keywords” process allows us to narrow down the iconography to best communicate an identity. We discovered that many elite institutes of education have a common “language” in their branding which most often is expressed as either a coat of arms or a seal. These schools like to emphasize their connection to history, and these seals were often comprised of smaller symbols, kind of a mash-up of iconography. Finally, we were able to join this style with Good Shepherd’s own ties to the rich history of iconography of the Christian Church. We also addressed the “hidden gem” issue by identifying an easily recognizable physical landmark of the church, a “seal” of a sorts, a prominent window shape that faces the most heavily trafficked road in the vicinity.
In the end we have a very clean logo that embraces both the past and the future of Good Shepherd Lutheran Academy, and most importantly, a logo that clearly and concisely communicates the mission and values of GSLA.