Brand Story

Back in 2005, a small group of people in lower Manhattan came together to form a church called the HopeSky Church. The small congregation wanted to provide volunteer and financial resources to organizations serving the poor and marginalized in New York City. They had seen adversity and wanted to reach out to people in similar circumstances and give them the gift of Christ.


HopeSky Church, New York

What we did

Logo Design, Brand Identity


Over the next few years, HopeSky was a relatively low key and unknown entity. The founders worked slowly but surely to increase the church membership and spread their mission values. During the 2008 recession, HopeSky Church was forced to close its doors for lack of funding. Then on a chilly night in February 2012, one of the founders, Chris Topale, received a phone call. He had inherited a small fortune from his late uncle from Alabama.

Chris proceeded to resurrect the church and has been actively seeking out and reinstating all the former founders. They secured a larger abandoned Church which was in ruins and rebuilt it to its former glory. Then they came to SpellBrand to help them create a brand identity for the Church.

I have worked with a lot of Churches in the past and have created numerous wonderful church logos. In fact, one of my previous church logos even won the 2010 American Graphic Design USA Award! When I talked to Chris over the phone and listened to the inspiring story of his Church, I was excited to work on this project.

two priests
Brand Solution: We started off by conducting a series of polls and focus group interviews of the local community to understand what they thought about the various churches and organizations. We realized that the target audience felt that the other churches all had very “commercial” look and feel and even their message was a little too pushy.

After much research and brainstorming, we concluded that we needed to create a brand that had a very non-profit look and feel to it. We wanted to keep it simple and clear.

I wanted to distill the whole essence of HopeSky Church into one simple icon. Chris told me about the idea of flying freely in the sky, to look to the sky and pray, the Sun rise to represent hope and so on. I decided to use the Sun as an abstract element to signify both the rays of hope, warmth and life-giving power. When I was doodling, I hit upon the idea of incorporating the Cross and Sun into one single abstract image.

I chose Maven Pro font because of the duality of it’s roundedness and straight lines at the same time. The beige color represents the glory and rays of hope while the blue color represents the sky, the cool determination of the founders and peace found in the Church.

After we completed the logo design, we started looking at the various elements of the HopeSky church and came up with brand implementations including priest robe design, shirt embroidery, Bible cover designs, keychains and emblems for rosaries, some aspects of the Church in construction such as the design of the wall water fountain, a relief on the front of the Church, sermon books and more.

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