Monday, January 05, 2009

Child Friendly Churches - Welcome or Warning Sign?

The Anglican Diocese of Liverpool have an excellent scheme called "Child Friendly Church", a self-assessment (PDF 130k) which covers areas such as having a Child Protection Policy in place, safe environment, continuing training for group leaders in the children's work and other criteria. This is the logo:


I'm not sure about this design, bearing in mind that we have roadsigns in our consciousness, and a red border usually mean "danger" or "warning". Circular signs are giving orders.

So I had a rethink.

Signs Giving Orders

Signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive. For example, the "No Cycling" sign may be most commonly encountered by children:


(source of photo - East Riding Media Library)

Warning Signs

Warning signs are usually triangular with a red border, such as the "Warning - Children Crossing" sign. Here a red border again warns of potential danger to children.


Safe for Children Here: Home Zone

The only "safe environment" sign I can find is this one for "Entry to a Home Zone":


A rectangular sign means "Giving Information".

Crossing Patrol

The logo looks most like this one from a school crossing patrol:


but that is still a "warning take care" sign, rather than a "welcome here" sign.

Wrapping Up

So surely a "Child-Friendly Church" sign should be on a blue, rectangular background - and with a clear indication what the body was that authorised the scheme (as is done already) to make sure that no one can ever mistake it for a road sign.

Time for a revamp, perhaps? How about this for a first cut attempt? I'd add a Diocesan Coat of Arms in minature somewhere, and use the copyright figures from the existing logo - which I can't use here, of course.


Comments are welcome. What do you think?

(this is a guest post by Matt Wardman, cross-posted from yesterdays Wardman Wire)

1 comment:

  1. I think that's a great redesign! Way to pick up on the negative/cautionary road sign theme, and to redirect it to a positive approach!