To help you, this manual has been prepared. This manual defines some design principles
to maintain consistency in our visual identification as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America. Such consistency is necessary for our church to retain legal rights to this
emblem and to provide a cohesive system of visual identity.
The recommended selection of type and use of space, form, and color all contribute to
an effective visual message.
A strong and unified visual identity will underscore our shared responsibility in the
ministries that we bear together. We seek to speak in a clear, consistent voice, giving
faithful witness to the glorious revelation of God's love and mercy in Jesus Christ for
the whole world.
MORE THAN ANOTHER MARKING AMID THE CLUTTER
An emblem can be more than merely another visual marking amid the clutter of this
"information age." In fact, I hope that the emblem of our Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America will serve, for each of us, as a reminder of the One who unites us,
calls us, and sends us--namely, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In serving as such a reminder of our identity as this church, our emblem will be used
not only for stationery and envelopes, but also in a wide variety of other printed
resources and video materials. Further, it will be available on signs to point to the
location of any congregations of this church.
The emblem is simple, yet full of meaning. The central visual element is the cross.
That is apt for us as Lutherans. Grounded in Scripture and reflecting our Reformation
heritage, we believe, teach, and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as
the power of God for salvation.
Under the cross, we move into witness and service in the vast array of efforts carried
out through congregations and through synodical and churchwide ministries.
A form of this emblem initially was introduced in art related to the 1995 synodical and
churchwide assemblies. Subsequently, revisions in the design were undertaken. Now we have
this emblem available as our visual mark for use throughout the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America.
Consider the fuller explanation of this emblem on the following pages. Please use this
emblem carefully and appropriately.
H. George Anderson
Graphics Standards Manual
This emblem is to identify visually the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America--including its three primary expressions and related institutions and
organizations--has been developed for use throughout this church.
1. PURPOSE OF EMBLEM
This emblem, sometimes known as logotype:
a. Replaces the "Come Share the Spirit" cross-and-flame design, which was
developed under the Transition Team in 1987 for the introduction of this church and which
was phased out of general use in 1989;
b. Represents development and revision of the "Jerusalem Cross" emblem, which
was introduced in connection with the 1995 Churchwide Assembly and which subsequently
evolved into the current design;
c. Provides a common, ongoing, consistent emblem for:
(1) Divisions, commissions, departments, and offices of the churchwide organization;
(2) Synods that choose to use it;
(3) Congregations of this church, including for stationery, calling cards, newsletters,
street signs, and related items; and
(4) Institutions and organizations related to this church; and
d. Will allow the official seal, which remains unchanged, to be used primarily for
2. FORM OF EMBLEM
a. Provides a visually simple yet dramatic expression of the faith and purpose of this
b. Offers a distinctive and forthright graphic "mark" for identification of
c. Provides immediate recognition, at a glance, through clear and consistent use as the
visual identifier for this church; and
d. Reflects the basic, evangelical purposes of this church, including this church's
(1) Proclaim the Gospel;
(2) Carry out Christ's Great Commission;
(3) Worship God;
(4) Nurture members in faith, hope, and love to exercise their Christian calling;
(5) Serve in response to God's love to meet human needs; and
(6) Manifest the unity given by God's Spirit.
3. MEANING OF EMBLEM
Alone, the cross is a widely recognized, eye-catching symbol of the Christian faith.
Set within the context of the world, the cross points to Jesus, who calls upon the Church
to go into all the world to preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). For this task, the
Church is assured of the power and ongoing presence of the crucified and risen Christ.
Within the emblem, the cross is seen in relation to an orb, symbolizing the world. The
cross in the context of the globe reflects both the glad news of Christ's incarnation and
the continuing manifestation of the Church as the body of Christ in the world.
The visual motion within the cross and the surrounding orb reminds us of the spreading
Light of the Gospel of Christ. Within the spheres of the orb can be seen smaller crosses
(a design sometimes known as the "Jerusalem Cross"), a traditional symbol for
the commission to spread the Gospel to the whole world.
The proclamation of the Word shapes our whole life as the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America in all of its expressions. Indeed, all members are summoned to move toward the
cross in repentance and from the cross in witness and service.
The cross also provides a reminder of rebirth in Baptism ("...marked with the
cross of Christ forever") and the meal of forgiveness that Christ gives to the Church
("...given for you; ...shed for you").
4. EMBLEM REFLECTS CONFESSION OF FAITH
This emblem reflects visually the conviction that "the Gospel, recorded in the
Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and the Lutheran confessional
writings,...[is] the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in
the world" (ELCA churchwide constitutional provision 2.07.).
The emblem further emerges from this church's acknowledgment:
a. That the Word of God is "the authoritative source and norm of...[our]
proclamation, faith, and life" (churchwide constitutional provision 2.03.); and
b. That the Word of God is understood and read from the perspective of the cross of
Christ, reflecting our Lord's life, suffering, death, and resurrection for the sake of
God's people (churchwide constitutional provision 2.02.a.).
As expressed in the ecumenical creeds, which are embraced "as true declarations of
the faith of this church" (churchwide constitutional provision 2.04.), this church
confesses God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth... (Nicene Creed).
Within the visual "movement" of the emblem seen in the four quadrants that
surround the cross, the creation of the world is reflected.
"In the beginning...[out of formless void and darkness] God created
the heavens and the earth....
Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light" (Genesis 1:1 and 3).
The visual "movement" of the emblem focuses on the cross, underscoring the
Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of sinners.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ..., Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made.... For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven.... For our sake he was crucified... (Nicene Creed).
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that
everyone who believes in him
may not perish, but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world
condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him" (John
This church declares that the "canonical Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments...record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them,
God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service
in the world" (churchwide constitutional provision 2.02.c.).
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life...
who] has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one
holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge
one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins... (Nicene Creed).
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the
members of the body,
though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit
we were all baptized into the one body..." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
5. VALUE OF EMBLEM
Simple, highly organized visual forms have a strong, unconscious impact upon people's
attention and memory. A clearly defined visual image can provide an easily identifiable
symbol for an organization or entity, such as this church.
The power of emblems or symbols to unite people and even to change attitudes has been
recognized throughout the ages. In the current era, communication methods and available
technology have escalated sharply the value and use of identification marks, such as
emblems or logotypes.
An emblem's effectiveness grows through repeated, consistent use. Consistency is the
most important standard for such purposeful visual communication.
6. USE OF EMBLEM
Attending to minute details in the use of an emblem is important. Compare the use of an
emblem or logotype to a word--the word, "cross," for instance. If the letters in
"cross" are rearranged, the word loses its meaning. If the word is written
carelessly, it might be unreadable and, thereby, lose its meaning. Similar confusion can
occur if care is not exercised with a visual image, such as an identifying emblem.
To ensure that the "message" of the visual system is communicated effectively
requires the commitment of all those who are responsible for the identity of our church.
This includes: pastors and lay leaders of congregations; staff of congregations, synods,
and the churchwide organization; synodical bishops; churchwide officers and executives;
communication specialists; and all others who prepare material related to this church.
This emblem becomes this church's visual "signature." At times, this
"signature" will include consistent use of a particular letter style for this
church's name. Like any person's signature, this church's "signature" will be
Graphic identity is composed here of four elements or standard features. They are (1)
name of church body; (2) emblem or visual "mark"; (3) typestyle; and (4)
a. The emblem must not be redrawn, reproportioned, or modified if it is to serve
effectively as this church's visual "mark."
b. The way in which typography is spaced in relation to the emblem will become part of
the unique "signature."
c. The typeface for the name, "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," which
encircles the emblem, is Minion Semibold.
d. Color serves constructively in the use of this church's special
1. What color should the emblem be?
(a) If printed in a single color other than black, the preferred color is PMS 485.
(b) If a second color is added for the globe area, the preferred color is PMS 485 or a 40
percent black screen.
(c) If printed in a four-color design, the following specifications apply: red is PMS 485
(upper left quadrant) ; purple is PMS 2587 (upper right quadrant) ; yellow is PMS 116
(lower right quadrant); and green is PMS 376 (lower left quadrant).
2. Colors are designated according to the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to ensure
correct use of color ink. (PANTONE is a registered trademark of Pantone, Inc.)