You may have noticed some changes to the Set Sail branding recently. We switched out our old ‘compass’ logo for a simple type-based logo, and made our colour scheme a bit more monochrome and muted.
We’ve been using almost the same logo since we first started 4 years ago (with some small typography tweaks somewhere along the way). And it has served us well for that time! But the branding was something we came up with quickly to have something to put on our website and social media when we first launched. At that time we didn’t even have much clarity over what Set Sail was. We knew it would be a missions organisation, that we would be focussing on art and creativity as a way to glorify God and make Him known. But the specifics of how that would be worked out were still hazy - we thought maybe we’d end up being a record label or some kind of community group.
But as time has gone on and we’ve pursued this vision, we feel more clarity around our vision, which we explained in our ‘What is Set Sail’ video a while back. We see ourselves as a creative missions organisation that generates content around the topics of faith and art, and aims to equip, encourage and inspire artists and creators in the church.
In some ways, our website and online content acts as a ‘magazine’ kind of role - in the same way that a website like Hypebeast is a destination for content related to street fashion and culture, Set Sail is a destination for those interested in both faith and art. With that in mind, we wanted to create a brand that was a little more ‘invisible’. We share a lot of creative work from a wide range of artists and creators, including photography, illustration, design, music and dance - and so we wanted to make sure our branding served that by giving focus and attention to the artists’ work, and not to our own flashy branding and colour scheme. That’s why we opted for a more monochromatic colour scheme which doesn’t draw quite as much attention. We drew inspiration from art galleries and museums, where the real emphasis is given to the work on display rather than the galleries’ own brand.
On a practical note we also found the old compass logo to be a tricky one to work with - the notch along the top of the compass made it difficult to find the real centre, when placed in a circle or square, and the waved typography made it tricky to sit alongside straight lines and horizontal text in a way that looked tidy.
The typographic logo is a much more versatile solution. The serif lettering calls back to earlier periods in history - we often see what’s happening in the church these days as a ‘new renaissance’ - an explosion of art and creativity coming from the church, and this serif font in some way calls back to that period, while also having modern features to it as well.
As a small bonus, there’s also something nice about the shape of the lowercase ‘t’, and even the tops of the ‘i’ and ‘l’ which recall the shape of a sail in the wind. But that might just be our imaginations getting carried away!