Effective Print Design for Church Bulletin Inserts and More

Church Bulletin Inserts and Pew Sheets

Spreading the Word to Your Congregation  Getting people to read and use a church bulletin insert — and the bulletin itself — doesn't need to be a challenge.

What's the life span of your church bulletin's insert? Does it last only as long as the service? Is it collected after the service and tossed in a can? If so, breathe new life into your bulletin inserts, making them an effective communication tool for your church. Think of them as all-points bulletins packed with need-to-know and need-to-grow information your congregation can treasure.

Over the past 15 years, Warren has created effective, attractive bulletin inserts and pew sheets for a variety of churches. Here are essential elements to designing and producing effective inserts.

  • The Look  The fewer typefaces (or fonts) you use, the better. It’s good to mix serif type and sans serif type. Minimize the amount of text. Use appropriate graphics to improve the look;  avoid using clip art, which can compromise your message.
  • The Feel  Place no more than one insert in a bulletin; avoid putting inserts in every week's bulletin. Include only important information and keep it brief; put additional details on the back or refer readers to your website.
  • The Content  Keep your audience in mind; target your announcement to congregants who don't know anything about the people, event, and details you highlight. Make your insert visually attractive. Add a tear-off section to facilitate responses.

The most effective bulletin inserts and pew sheets provide viewers with an easily digested summary — the essence of the project or event — as shown in each of the following WCD examples.

Church Bulletin Inserts and Pew Sheets

•  Click the thumbnail images to see entire inserts.

Click to enlarge.

Pew Sheet for the Anglican Church of Australia

To highlight an upcoming sermon at St. Bartholomew's Parish, Warren was asked to design a pew sheet that focussed on one of Jesus' parables. He edited a relevant image to suit the size and layout of the church's pew sheets and converted the insert to black and white, in keeping with the evening parable's theme.

He added top and bottom captions to introduce the theme of the pastor's New Testament sermon: "Don't Fail to Be Prepared for the Savior's Arrival."

Warren initially used the drawing of the ten bridesmaids awaiting the Bridegroom's arrival on one of his Bible-study group's devotional pages.

Click to enlarge.

Christmas Holiday Services

Promoting four Christmas services — two musicals and two candlelight services — Warren combined a custom graphic design and a colored text container featuring a few season-specific fonts.

The graphic design at the top includes people with happy faces and a bright, centered invitation to celebrate.

Event details are centered in a matching red container. He chose appropriate fonts, colors, and styles and gave the container a soft drop shadow to add dimension to the insert.

Click to enlarge.

Community Blood Drive

Warren designed and created a two-up, double-sided, church bulletin insert to invite congregants to donate blood at a special church-sponsored tenth annual blood drive.

An edited photo of the recipient of this drive's donations — a young boy fighting leukemia — was designed for the front side to catch readers' attention. With it and the event's time and location details, Warren also wrote invitational text that provided potential donors with vital details.

The back side includes a legal notice from American Red Cross affiliate Delta Blood Bank, its logo, social network links, the reservation phone number, and more.

Click to enlarge.

Baptism Service

To announce an afternoon baptism service for his church, Warren edited a baptism photo from the previous year, turning it into a colored pencil sketch.

He added important details using only two serif fonts, putting everything on a light blue background.

The stylish, relevant graphic image, coupled with a concise text announcement, helps make this bulletin insert attractive while getting interested readers to take the necessary steps.

The back of the insert provided a map, directions, and contact information.

See the baptism invitation that Warren e-broadcast to his church family.

Click to enlarge.

Community Outreach Program

Warren designed an easy-to-use bulletin insert that encouraged congregants to reach out to friends and neighbors, inviting people in the community to attend a Chapel service.

Using an "admit one" movie ticket theme, Warren combined an image of ticket rolls and text, putting everything on a complementary background image. To make the insert stand out, he applied a serrated color frame, under which he added a soft dimensional shadow.

Because each insert would likely be handled by a few people, Warren suggested that it be printed on durable 24-point, semi-gloss card stock.

Click to enlarge.

Spiritual Giftedness Workshop

This bulletin insert is composed of a number of easy-to-implement elements: a reflection added to the bottom of the title and puzzle piece; a jigsaw puzzle background image; rotated and skewed puzzle titles; contents placed in key locations; and a convenient tear-off section at the bottom making it easy for interested congregants to sign up for the workshop.

Important details are shown using only two sans serif fonts on a bright white background.

On the back (not shown) are descriptions of spiritual gifts, talents, and passions, with Scripture references for each one.

Click to enlarge.

Local Observance of National Day of Prayer

Warren created a church bulletin insert to promote an upcoming celebration of the National Day of Prayer, held annually (for more than 65 years) on the first Thursday of May.

To put a lot of information on both sides of the insert, Warren designed an image pair that, when printed on both sides of card stock, was easy to cut in half. One side of the insert featured the official NDoP poster while the other side he designed to complement the American flag; its colored text provided the names of the seven centers of focused prayer.

Click to enlarge.

Men's Bible-Study Invitation — Luke's Gospel

Inviting many men in Warren's church to "plug in" to an upcoming Bible study series — Luke's gospel — Warren designed and created a church bulletin insert to promote his invitation. Starting with an image of a white duplex electrical receptacle, he faded the two black outlets before applying blue text that he'd styled.

Warren added a border of numerous mini-receptacle images around the text to highlight it.

Visit the Luke's Gospel website designed and developed by Warren.

Click to enlarge.

Short–Term Mission — Library Renovation

To show the church's appreciation to a South African community service organization, Warren created a church bulletin insert to highlight their efforts and thank those who rolled up their sleeves on this short-term mission project.

Warren edited the recognizable World War II "Rosie the Riveter" poster image and created an accompanying text image. Below the two-part headline, he wrote the congratulatory statement and added a photo image and the logo of the community service organization.

The results of the library renovation were highlighted in this newsletter.

Click to enlarge.

Bulletin Cover for St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish

At the request of the reverend of a Catholic parish in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Warren was asked to provide a Scripture Picture that focussed on "The High Cost of Discipleship." The graphic was used on the front cover of the church's weekly bulletin.

Warren Camp Design edited a large photo of an original oil painting (c. 1528) by Northern Italian artist Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480-1557), which hangs today in the Louvre in Paris. Added atop the heads of those in the painting is a red banner highlighting the theme of the reverend's sermon theme.

To see the entire bulletin, click the thumbnail. To see the Scripture Picture of Warren's that addresses Luke 9:58's depiction of the high cost of discipleship, click here.

Click to enlarge.

Easter Services Invitation

When asked by an Australian pastor to create an invitational handout that could also be used as a bulletin insert and pew sheet, Warren designed a multipurpose graphic design with Easter service invitations on both sides.

The front of the handout, insert, or pew sheet features a painted image of an empty tomb. At its entrance, Warren added text that flows down the tomb's steps.

The back side has a colorful invitation graphic followed by text that distinguishes what each Easter service will include, while providing the church's contact data.

here Warren Camp has extensive experience creating many types of high-quality business cards, posters, door hangers, postcards, bookmarks, newsletters, brochures, and so on. He enjoys designing and executing print advertising and marketing pieces. See many more of Warren's recent print design productions in the left column. Or see a number of his digital design creations.