Religious websites can be tedious to review because they are often, well, overly religious. Because there are so many different religious organizations in the United States, this does nothing to differentiate a brand. Common religious emblems such as the cross are practically ubiquitous. So you want to have an interesting and inviting website, and you want for it to reflect the spirituality of your organization… what is a person to do? Often, a web designer can come up with some appealing and attractive ideas. Seed Planted is one organization with a website seedplanted.org) that illustrated this perfectly.
When you land on the landing page, the first things you notice are a variety of farming-related objects and themes. Browns and greens dominate the page, and watermelons line the upper left corner of the screen, which is generally the first place people look and where you would normally find the church logo design. However, there are elements of a religious brand here. The melons are surrounded by supernatural light rays, and the word ‘ministry’ is, well, everywhere. Is this a religious website or an agricultural one? This question inspires visitors to take a second look.
Indeed, this is a religious website, for an international religious group called Watermelon Ministries. This organization focuses on bringing a mixture of religion and more pragmatic goods to far-flung places, although it has a pretty significant domestic ministry as well. A great deal of the ministry centers around training people from other ministries to spread this religious and philanthropic message, which is explained by a small wooden sign stating, “Equipping Thousands to Reach Millions.”
The agricultural theme carries throughout the homepage and even the website. Earthy browns are contrasted with cool, leafy greens and stark white. The colors get darker as you scroll down, implying that you are going further under the ground while providing additional contrast for the often forgotten elements at the bottom of the page. However, the fonts stay bold, high contrast, and highly readable. This is greatly appreciated by those of us with less than perfect eyesight!
A few elements of the landing page are standards in the industry: pictures of adorable yet sad third world children, an extensive “about us” section, and contact information. However, even these are presented in a fun way related to the farming theme. This website is well branded, with every element thought out carefully and designed to be part of an attractive whole.
Why do we like this website so much? Not only is it attractive, well branded, and well organized, the web designers and the organization being represented resisted the urge to throw in extraneous religious symbols. This obviously is a religious website—no need to further drive the message home. In other words, Watermelon Ministry wins applause for both good design and subtlety.
Often, subtlety is a sign of professionalism—one that your customers will not miss. You don’t have to be screamingly obvious—just keep your inside voice, have a professional brand developed by consultants, and then stay true to the fundamentals of your brand. It’s a formula that has worked for thousands of companies just like yours.