Historic Michigan Street Baptist Church
From Freedom Seekers traversing the underground railroad to dedicated activists who laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement, Buffalo, NY’s Michigan Street Baptist Church has been both a host and a witness to numerous courageous individuals bound by an unwavering commitment to advancing society. Today, we are witnessing the dawn of a new era for this historic church, which opened in 1849. One that rightfully acknowledges its significant role in shaping America’s history. After working with several non-profits in WNY, and following our mural and logo design work for the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, representatives of the Church came to OtherWisz to help with visual rebranding that would help to convey this story.
Logo design coincides with building renovation
From our initial meeting between the committee and the OtherWisz team, we found that they were passionate about preserving the church’s heritage and vision. Simultaneously, the church was undergoing a renovation, aiming to restore its original grandeur. The team, recognizing the significance of this transformation, delved into online research of other national churches that had become historic sites and/or museums.
The OtherWisz team sketched a variety of concepts, trying to capture distinctive factors about the building and its historical events. We focused on identifying the elements of the church that could serve as the cornerstone of the visual brand, such as the doors and intricate stained-glass windows.
Vibrant color palette pulled from stained glass windows
A set of black and white concept designs were introduced to the client for review. Numerous design revisions followed, guided by the committee’s preferences, eventually yielding a design inspired by the historic windows. Various typefaces were explored for the perfect aesthetic, while a color palette, drawn directly from the original stained-glass windows (three primary colors and three secondary colors, reserved for the windowpanes), formed a vibrant, harmonious spectrum.
The logo’s versatility was ensured with the design of an alternate versions, a tall, stacked vertical variant, as well as black and white, and greyscale options for diverse applications. A two-page brand manual outlined rules and guidelines, ensuring consistency with the church’s history and the committee’s vision.
New logo design fits in with other partners’ brands
The logo design also needed to work with the other partners under the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor umbrella which included WUFO, The Colored musicians Club, and the Nash House. OtherWisz successfully created a new brand that harmonizes with the other partners and stands alone as a solid mark.
Following this project, our team was asked to update the artwork for the WUFO logo to help it aline with the visual brands of Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor partners.
- Logo and Brand Design
- Brand Manual