God will save people with or without good advertising. Having said that...

If something is worth doing it's worth doing well. This applies to advertising and tracts. There are to many bad daggy Christian adds and fliers going around. I personally think that many tracts are a waste of time if they aren't written and presented well as people will simply bin them before even reading past the first paragraph.

Christians notice when you have bad daggy fliers. Maybe you don't personally but be assured there are others who do. It doesn't take much to think through how to put together a good flier that is simple yet effective. This helps build pride and credibility in the thing that you are advertising.

Non Christians notice when you have daggy fliers. Maybe you don't personally but be assured there are others who do. This can be a turn off for a reader... before they have even engaged with what you have written.

Better to keep it simple than go overboard with things like word art, clip art and multicolours in text headings. Much can be done with just using black and white and using a single font (Not Comic Sans). Again don't use to many different fonts otherwise it will just look bitsy.

Too many fliers have a judgmental tone or look about them. Fliers on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and politics need to be especially careful of this. Here is a quote from Amanda Lowery (who isn't a Christian) in the Quarterly Essay's - Voting for Jesus,

"The cover of this booklet had a large grey iron nail pointing down into a lurid splatter of blood... [insert name of tract] immediately the teacher in me wanted to remonstrate with them over their ambiguous phrasing".
For clarification I'm not a fan of getting a marketing company to organise advertising for you. Folking over truckloads of money is not my cup of tea etc. God has wonderfully gifted the people in his church who should be encouraged and happy to help out free of charge.



Laura said... 3/05/2007 6:15 am  

Mike, there's a huge, never-ending thread on the Sojourn message boards about tipping that relates to tracts -- Christians who leave a tract instead of a tip or in addition to a chintzy tip are particularly criticised (OK, utterly flogged).

I agree that you don't have to spend big bucks hiring some ad firm to design your stuff, but what if you're like my dad's church, without a community of artists? Nobody there is capable of doing graphic design for their ads or newsletters or bulletins, so they end up looking cluttered and amateurish ("I know! Let's do 30 text boxes on this page and have each one in a different font!").

mike said... 3/05/2007 11:34 am  

Interesting Laura. Perhaps with your pares church it is worth them spending a little money in order to get something that is a little more polished...

It's not just the presentation I have a beef with either. I'm also annoyed by fliers that have a judgmental or pious tone.

BSJ-rom said... 3/05/2007 1:52 pm  

The amateur doesn't realise that there is a problem.

This is an even bigger problem, because, the point of view then becomes, "Why would I fork out for something that we've got that isn't actually a problem?"

fional said... 3/05/2007 5:28 pm  

By the way, I like the neat font you're now using on your blog.

mike said... 3/05/2007 5:35 pm  

Cheers Fiona.
I think that this template is the best blogger one there is.

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