The Krueger Family
Website Design, Visual Identity Design, Copy-writing, Printed Newsletter Template
The Project Brief
Who are the Kruegers?
God has called the Krueger family to the ministry of constructing church buildings with Continental Baptist Missions for established congregations under CBM church planters.
The Big Problem
The Krueger’s website didn’t have any information about their ministry on it. Literally. And their method for reaching out to their supporters was time-consuming.
They needed a site that would present their unique ministry effectively and a new, faster way to reach out to supporters.
When the Kruegers wanted send a newsletter, they emailed every supporter by hand and posted the newsletter to their blog.
They needed a modern, less time-consuming solution.
Now, when they post their newsletter on their blog, it gets sent to all their supporters automatically.
The new website clearly explains an easy-to-misunderstand ministry and provides a much easier to use way for supporters to keep up with the Kruegers.
The new visual identity gets out of the way of the content, and the printed newsletter allows readers to quickly find what they are looking for.
The new supporter update system automatically emails supporters when the Kruegers post a newsletter, saving the Kruegers valuable time.
“Benjamin takes the time necessary to understand your vision for your website. He was willing to learn new technologies needed for my specific needs. The end result was a professional looking website…
He has the talent and skill set to get the job done.”
Process and Highlights
We started to have conversations about what the Kreugers wanted on their website and what their target audience, pastors and ministry leaders, needed on their website.
We decided they needed a page that talked about their ministry, a page that talked about their family, a blog for monthly newsletter updates, and a support page with links for donation and a contact form. Additionally, the website needed to have a way for visitors to sign-up for their monthly newsletter.
The Kruegers primary need was that of simplicity. Their previous visual identity had a ton of elements, including photos and fonts, that had to appear on anything with their name on it.
By simplying the visual identity down to a simple duo-tone stone-blue and white color scheme, a logo, and the font Montserrat, it could be adapted to fit a project’s unique needs rather than have to adapt the project to the visual identity!
With a general visual identity in place, I created a “dummy website.” (A site to test out the designs I was envisioning and solidify the look and feel of the final site.) The Krueger’s feedback during this process helped to guide the general design and feel of the site.
While I was working on the dummy website, I asked the Kruegers to each write out a short bio. While they worked on that, I broke down their presentation and intro video and started mapping out the “Our Ministry” page. After doing some fact checking with Mr. Krueger, I wrote the page and handed it over to the Kruegers to revise and edit.We agreed that the “Our Family” page should feature the story of God’s call to this unique ministry, so I interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Krueger one evening, recording the call, taking a lot of notes, and asking quite a few questions. Afterwards, I wrote out an outline summarizing everything and wrote out the story, once again sending the page over to the Kruegers for revisions.
The website’s goal was to be an easily accessible source of information for the reader. With that in mind, I chose to go with a familiar layout that wouldn’t get in the way and allow visitors to quickly find what they were looking for.
Once I finished working on the design, the Kruegers gave more feedback and the design was revised until they were happy. One notable request was to create custom buttons for their monthly newsletter on the blog.
Simple, easy to use navigation.
Clear typographical hierarchy.
Sidebar is an elegant solution to the problem of needing to have a newsletter sign-up form on every page. (The Krueger’s previous solution was to embed a form onto every blog post.)
Blog controls allow visitors to quickly find new posts or newsletters.
Blog was customized to the Krueger’s specifications:
Excerpt of posts versus full posts, a list displaying posts versus a grid or cards, and the title, date, and category visible on the posts page.
Newsletters posted to the “Newsletters” category are automatically sent out with full formatting, including colors, images, and links, to the Krueger’s email list with custom styling.
(Button appears after 10 posts.) Infinite loading versus pagination.
Custom image buttons for donation and PDF newsletters are also used on the newsletters. The Kruegers wanted custom icons and a lighter style on the emails that send out their newsletter.
One of Mr. Kruegers greatest problems with his old site was that their old contact form didn’t have any spam protection and it was a huge hassle to sort through their inbox everyday. Using reCAPTCHA and honeypotting solved that problem for them.
A small amount of code makes the copyright year automatically update itself.
The goal was to update the newsletter to bring it in line with the brand identity established on the website and provide readers with a consistent, scan-able layout.
The new newsletter dramatically improves legibility by using a slightly larger point size and a consistent typographical hierarchy (the old layout uses eight fonts somewhat erratically).
The old header had quite a few unnecessary elements, including names, CBM logo, and key verse. Additionally, it was large, making the Kruegers compress their other content to make everything fit.
The Kruegers consider the Kids’ Corner to be the most interesting part of their newsletter, thus a bold logo to draw attention to it.
Unfortunately, doing so brings the total fonts in the design up to eight. Without a consistent hierarchy, the design seem busy and crowded.
Borders do separate sections effectively, but should never be used as a replacement for proper padding and white space.
The new header is compact and retains the important elements of the old header.
The Krueger’s wanted the Kids’ Corner to stand out from the rest of the newsletter. Rather than try to add another font, an issue with the previous newsletters, we decided to use color to distinguish the section.
A consistent typographical hierarchy and grid-based layout enables people to quickly scan through the newsletter.
Both sidebars and pie graph can adjust to allow for more content when needed.
This particular letter is one of the largest the Kruegers have ever written, and served as a good guide to a worst-case scenario on how much content the layout might need to fit in.