Sing to him a new song?Ãƒâ€žÂ¶. and use a new font for Pete’s sake! One of my pet peeves is the way song lyrics are displayed in worship. Why is it that many churches on the right track, doing great creative visual stuff, get to the music portion of worship, and revert to dull lifeless presentation styles? I wish I knew, and I wish I could help them see that there can be power even in the presentation of song lyrics. “Praise & Worship” (as many refer to it) should not be a time to abandon all of the creative stuff that is put into the other parts of worships. Instead it can be an opportunity to extend creativity even further. What does this look?
Let’s start with the basics. Here are a few key points to remember as you produce song slides for worship.
1.) Font choice
Helvetica, and Arial, although very readable, are not terribly inspiring fonts. Feel the freedom to be creative, but don’t go overboard. Readability is most important. If you have a graphic that has a “techno feel”, use a “techno” font. Or, a “warm fuzzy feel”, a “scripty” font; a “dirty” feel, a “rough/corroded” font, and so on. Picking a system font will leave you with a case of the blahs come “P & W” time. Look on the web for freeware fonts, or buy one of those 2000 Wacky Fonts CDs. There are bound to be a few keepers in the mix.
2.) Graphic Backgrounds
It is a great mystery to me: why do I see inspiring graphics leading up to and after congregational singing, but during I’m faced with gradient backgrounds, solid colors and entirely new images that relate in no way to the imagery created for the service? When such churches try to be creative, they often use an image like figure 1. You’ve heard the phrase “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” Unfortunately, I can’t see the lyrics through the trees.
How does one alleviate this problem? I’ve developed a simple technique to take the main worship graphics I create and make song backgrounds from them:
1. Open the main graphic in an image edit program such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Elements or the free Gimp application.
2. Take out any words on the graphic.
3. Apply a gaussian blur.
4. Adjust brightness and contrast to separate the text from the image.
It is also a good idea to use a drop shadow or glow to further help separate your lyrics from the background. See figures 2 and 3 to see what this looks like.