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In 2015, when The Oaks Fellowship needed an Easter logo, they outsourced it to one of their favorite graphic designers.

Kelvin frequently outsources design projects for a few different reasons:

  1. It protects his team from the ?urgent? and lets them focus more of their energy on previously assigned projects?especially if they are stacking multiple big series? around the big event. In this case, Easter.
  2. It provides a fresh artistic voice. Sometimes, they are so close to their own stuff that they need an outside expert perspective.
  3. Some projects need specialists. And having intentionally built relationships over time with freelance designers they trust to support their own designers, they know that they?ll get something amazing.

Kelvin reached out to their subcontracted graphic designer and set to work explaining what The Oaks wanted from their Easter packaging. They went through a creative brief and what Kelvin wanted the packaging to be able to accomplish.

A week later, the designer sent an idea. Kelvin loved it. Unfortunately, as much as he loved the visuals, he couldn?t convince himself it was going to work for the brand they needed. It felt so subjective, but he knew what he was looking for. This wasn’t it.

Fortunately, when he told the designer the visuals weren?t working, the designer was okay with it. They?ve worked together a lot in the past, and there has been a sense of mutual respect developed between the two of them.

Back to the drawing board.

Another week later, the second round made its way to Kelvin?s inbox. But it still wasn?t quite working. The team agreed that it wasn?t quite what they were looking for. So they sent it back to the designer for yet another round.

Around that time, the team was meeting to go through some of the logistics they had to figure out. One of their team members, Bryce, is a natural fixer. They were trying to figure out what to put on 20,000 buckets they were ordering for an Easter outreach they wanted to do. And since the logo wasn?t working, they at least needed some sort of ?The Oaks? branding on the buckets.

So in the meeting, Bryce laid something out?a simple icon. It wasn?t meant to compete with the branding their outsourced designer was working on. But when the team saw it, they all felt like it was the right direction.

They made the decision. They?d go with the artwork they did in-house. And it could have been a potentially awkward situation?letting their outsourced designer know they wouldn?t be using his work. But because of the trust they?d established, the designer was okay with it.

There?s also huge trust between Kelvin and his own team. They know that when he outsources design work to other designers, it isn?t because he doesn?t believe in their skills as visual artists. Trust is a key component in any type of creative work, especially when you want your whole team to work toward the same goal.

The Oaks, of course, planned to pay the designer for the full design that they had negotiated on. But the designer decided to charge them only for the hours of work he had put into the design?not the full amount.

Unfortunately, there are times in creative work that things don?t work out. But it?s important you remain flexible and be willing to do what?s best for the idea?not necessarily what?s most convenient.

For any church, the?goal is to do the best we can with what we have, and that?s what The Oaks? team did for Easter 2015.

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