The left-aligned (or reading-aligned) version is the preferred version to use when using entity identifiers. The centered version is acceptable, but requires more care when creating a visually pleasing layout, as alignment to other elements becomes more difficult. If used alone, or in formal applications, the centered version can work well.
It is important to maintain proper spacing around entity identifiers to ensure they can be easily noticed in layouts and easily read. For both reading-aligned and centered versions, the recommended spacing is two-times the height of the lowercase letters. This applies when including secondary identifiers as well.
Type and line spacing
It is important to consider the relationship between the primary text and secondary text in the entity identifier. The maximum size for secondary type is 75% the x-height of the primary type. If the secondary type is very long, it can be reduced to a minimum of 50% of the x-height.
The motivating goal of this entire project is to help people quickly and easily recognize we are all Seventh-day Adventists. Part of this is achieved by presenting a more unified visual strategy—using the Creation Grid as well as the Advent Sans logo system goes a long way. However, a lot can be achieved through a more intentional use of language and naming.
For example, when many of us refer to our churches, ministries, institutions, and departments, we refer to them without using the name of the denomination. This is a functional decision, as “Seventh-day Adventist” takes a long time to say. It is tiring to say you attend the Boston Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church, or study at Andrews University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education, or work at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
When we are communicating with other Adventists, our internal shortening of names makes communication efficient without causing confusion. However, as we think about how to help others know that we are all Seventh-day Adventists, it becomes important to think about what phrasing could be most helpful for them.
Furthermore, if we can help a person have a positive association with a local hospital, educational institution, or church, that positive association has the ability to carry over into other entities as they travel across the world. As it currently stands, we have a number of top-level educational and health institutions around the world that don’t include “Adventist” in their name. Any positive association some people might have with those entities might not carry over to our other Adventist entities.
There are certainly instances where, for the sake of ministry and mission, it makes sense to create a bit of distance between an entity and the larger church, and some entities have been very thoughtful in doing so. What we hope to do is ultimately encourage a thoughtfulness around our communication, realizing that even in our naming we can be missional, thinking ultimately of how to best reach a world we are called to tell of the impending beauty of Jesus’ return.
To this end, the following describes the recommendation for naming, and language intended to help our audience, and also to help support existing names without disrupting current practices or visuals. Within each wording recommendation is shown how the logo lockup would work.
To understand the proposed approach to naming and identity, it is important to note that more than anything else in our organization, a local member’s involvement in their local community is the most significant thing there is. Everything our denominational entities do is ultimately with the intent of supporting a total member involvement at the local level. This is to say, there is a church structure within Seventh-day Adventist Church:
- Local Seventh-day Adventist Churches
- Other Local Public-Facing Entities
- General Conference
The work of the administrative structure of our church is all for the purpose of supporting local churches and increasing the number of Adventist congregations and members across the world. When those support layers and their departments do interact with the public (Global Youth Day, etc.) it is often with the ultimate goal of connecting them with a local Seventh-day Adventist church.
This is all to say, when we talk about naming, the appropriate relationship between the administrative layers and the body of believers must be consistent. As such, the bias of the new identity and proposed naming system is toward local entities and what works best in the local context for local audiences. Additionally, making some key changes in our language can help us as a church body better recognize that Adventism is about the local context—about total member involvement, and not only administrator involvement.
To simplify the above list, there are broadly two kinds of entities in our church:
- Public-facing entities: churches, schools, institutions, ministries
- Administrative entities: departments, offices, support services
For public facing entities, we have recommendations and proposals to aid the goal of increasing recognition of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For administrative entities, the guidelines are to be considered requirements.
In both situations, we are moving toward the following structure:
The above structure has already been in use for churches, though hasn’t been officially recommended for administrative entities in the past. By moving towards a similar structure for both, it will better help people know that we are all Seventh-day Adventists.
The following are a number of identity and naming conventions for public-facing entities, along with some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a direction for a future identity or evaluating your identity.
Entity identifiers may be easily created by downloading Advent Sans and the Entity Identifier template from the toolkit page. If using the template to create an entity identifier, it is required that you use the ® mark after the word Adventist in the English language. The current version of Advent Sans includes automatic ligatures to make this easier.
Preferred: in-system—full denomination name at equal size
This approach creates the clearest indication that your entity is a Seventh-day Adventist entity and that the Seventh-day Adventist church is defined by the local setting. Out of all of the options, it aids the recognition of the larger church body the most effectively.
Optional: in-system—full denomination name at smaller size
This approach creates a clear indication your entity is a Seventh-day Adventist entity. If you live in an area with multiple Seventh-day Adventist entities, increasing the size of the entity name relative to the denomination name can aid some viewers in differentiating between the many Adventist entities, but likely isn’t a significant concern. If your entity is named after a town, for instance, residents of that town aren’t helped much by knowing a local Adventist entity in their area is named after the area. This option aids the recognition of the larger church body, but not as effectively as when the denomination name is at equal size.
Optional: includes only Adventist in the name
This approach creates a connection to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and is an elegant way to handle what can sometimes be a lengthy name. “Adventist” has long been and remains an acceptable shortening of the name, and while it doesn’t aid recognition quite as well as the other options, there are certainly instances where this is a better approach for ministry and mission in a local context.
Optional: doesn’t include any part of the denomination name
This approach creates the least amount of indication that your entity is a Seventh-day Adventist entity, and also is the least effective at aiding recognition of the larger church. There are very few instances where this kind of naming convention is better for the local context, but there are certainly cases where it can be an important and effective decision for ministry purposes. If there is a desire to less overtly indicate a connection to the denomination, it is recommended that you include “a Seventh-day Adventist [entity type]” as a descriptive line in some area of the public facing materials.
A note on Administrative Entities
For administrative entities, the guidelines around naming are less about strategy than consistency with our theology. The way we are structured is all about supporting local churches so these guidelines attempt to make the servant-nature of our administrative entities clearer.
Preferred Naming Convention
of Seventh-day Adventists
or (less preferred)
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
The preferred naming convention moving forward is to list the entity name first, followed by an indication of how it is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist church. We recognize the previous examples may not translate directly across languages, so the principle to keep in mind is shifting away from a perception the church is the entities that support it to a perception that the church is supported by those entities. Additionally, as much as possible, the administrative entities should be seen as entities of the people instead of the organization, meaning that “General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists” is preferable to “General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church”, though the latter is acceptable and appropriate where language or length necessitates. However, as much as possible, it is best if we can help people associate “church” with a local body of believers or the global church body, instead of the administrative entities.
Within our administrative levels, there a number of ways you can handle department and ministry names. Since many share the same names across administrative levels, it is important to note your audience when setting your name.
This option clearly communicates externally and within other administrative levels which administrative entity your department is a part of.
This option communicates externally and within other administrative levels which administrative entity your department is a part of.
This option clearly communicates internally and within other administrative levels which administrative entity your department is a part of, but is not a good option for public-facing materials.
This option clearly communicates internally, but depending on the department or ministry, likely would cause confusion within other administrative levels, and is certainly not the best option for public-facing materials.
In general, custom logos are discouraged. By creating an additional visual cue for people to associate with an entity, it hampers the possibility people will associate that entity with the larger Adventist church. A cursory audit of official church ministries easily demonstrates that in seeking to increase recognition of our different entities we have diluted the ability for the public to easily associate our ministries with our churches. However, there are instances where custom logos may be appropriate. If, as part of a thoughtful strategy, your entity has developed, or is considering developing a custom logo, please consider the principles noted in the above public-facing and administrative entity recommendations around language and noting relationships. The examples below of how to apply the entity names will demonstrate how custom logos can still fit into the larger identity system, and create a stronger level of visual cohesion than the current landscape.
The visual explanations of the guidelines across the site use the above three symbols to note acceptable applications of the system.
The green checkmark (✓) notes acceptable and preferred applications. You can reliably use applications with the green checkmark across many different contexts without needing to worry much about visual coherence.
The yellow exclamation point (!) notes applications that are acceptable but not preferred. When using these applications, you should be very careful to note how other visual elements interact with the specific element.
The red X notes unacceptable applications of the system. While this visual system isn’t something to be enforced, those applications noted with the X could either cause a fragmentation of the identity or simply be poorly designed.