Ross Mills Rebrand


My Role

UX Design, UX Research, Prototyping, Visual Design/Branding, Web Design, Information Architect

My Tools

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Figma, Miro

Original - 2019

Rebrand - 2021

The first step going into this project was to gain a better understanding of the clients history, business goals and target audience.

Ross Mills Church is a small branch of the Church of God located just outside Falconer, NY. It has roots going back to the late 1800's but wasn't truly established until 1952 and has been in operation for nearly 70 years. At its height the church has a congregation of about 200.

Ross Mills Church of God prides itself in its welcoming and inclusive community. As they work to grow the community and bring others to the faith they are finding themselves ill equipped to transition to the digital platforms frequented by young adults and which are necessary for life after COVID-19.

The design of their website was outdated functionally and aesthetically. It lacked visual appeal as well as enticing content and an intuitive information structure.

Business Goals

The problem

The heads of the church expressed an interest in bringing in men 18-30 and families as well as creating/updating their branding materials for a more digital age. The primary goals include: Design a modern brand identity and consistent visual narrative that highlights the churches current services and rich history; Gear designs towards young families and young adults; Establish the website as a home base for their streaming and social media endeavors.



Goals and Constraints

By refining and clarifying stakeholder interviews Iā€™m able to identify the goals and constraints of the project.

  • Update Aesthetic/Branding
  • Update functionality
  • Create enticing body copy
  • Restructure into intuitive information structure
  • Bring in men 18-30 and families


  • Reactive design
  • Modern but not minimalist
  • Distinct visual identity from other churches without straying too far

The core usage scenarios are the situations where we most expect people to use the product. As such they are the situations we will design for first.

KPIs are important for several reasons. First, they solidify expectations and goal states. Second, they serve as a way to measure success. Third, they provide direction for the implementation of the different aspects of the project.


Core Usage Scenarios


Design Approach
& Branding

Expanding to include a new userbase without neglecting the existing userbase was my main priority in the visual identity branding phase. Many of the initial logo designs focused on tree/life/Christian symbolism while still trying to be unique.

It quickly became apparent that the customers wanted something rooted in their history rather than Christian symbolism. To achieve this, I drew up a minimalistic church steeple based on the design of the church. This logo immediately resonated with everyone involved as a modern representation of their community. Once the basic design was set, I began creating variations

After some deliberation, the customer decided on a more centered version of the logo.

Brand Color Palette



Where the logo is symbolic of their community, the tagline is representative of the community and the church as a whole. As such, I first identified the virtues and keywords they wanted represented. They identified:

  • Acceptance
  • Love
  • Grace
  • Together
  • Growth

From these I created a number of taglines before we landed on the final one: "Come as you are". This tagline is welcoming and embodies acceptance, grace, beginnings and love. Whenever the together and growth keywords were incorporated it felt as though a step was missing. Because of this I incorporated these keywords into a call to action: "We're better together".

Website Interaction


One of the main issues with the website was the poor organization of site content. This made it difficult for users to properly interact with or navigate the site.

I proposed a new IA and mapped out a content structure (shown below) to provide a holistic view of features needed to improve the site's organization, satisfy the intended user and business goals.

The first step in renovating this site is identifying the website's Information Architecture (IA). Below is a site map of the original site with poorly organized menu and sub-menu item groupings. The top level menu items are not descriptive of the lower level items and each topic has its own page instead of grouping similar topics onto a single comprehensive page.


With this newly defined IA and content structure, I started to wireframe the website pages. I created initial sketches to see how elements and content information will be represented on the website.


Final Design

Once I had the wireframes in place, I brought them to life by adding the logo, hero images and colors. With the right images, color scheme, copy text and content their new website becomes a reflection of their community that aligns with their new brand identity.
A few select screen shots are highlighted below.


In the end this project was very successful. Everyone from the pastor to the congregation was satisfied with the rebrand. In the following month the church grew by 20%.

One challenge I faced was underestimating the difficulty of creating a logo that is both stylistically good and satisfies the customer's requirements. This was particularly challenging because there were a number of stakeholders each with their own preferences. In the end I was able to create something that everyone approved by drawing on their shared history.




All projects have stakeholders. Some are familiar with the design process and are flexible in their vision of the product. However, some stakeholders (like many of us) are inflexible when it comes to their vision. Because of this it is imperative that designers are able to identify what is driving this inflexibility. It is only through empathy and constant attempts to understand how others see the world that we can resolve issues and create products that others find joy in using. This is especially true when the stakeholders are a board and their decisions are influenced by the congregation.


Creativity needs constraints, not refinement. Criticism and editing are retrospective tools that require context. To make the best decisions it's important to hear what everyone has to say first. I found this to be especially true when working with a group of people with varying expectations and visions. Doing this had several effects. First, it included everyone in the process and discouraged people from taking over the conversation. Second, it provided a fantastic overview of the expectations and visions everyone had for the rebrand allowing us to discover where they overlapped and bringing everyone onto the same page. Third, because I listened to them and didn't try to force my vision on them I was able to win over their trust, giving later suggestions and changes more weight.