Creating new ways in

SGM Lifewords is a global charity that for over 130 years has given away bible resources in over 80 countries.

Lifewords - Creating new ways in
Lifewords - Creating new ways in


Looking forward, since 1888.

Established in 1888, they have a rich heritage and solid supporter base, but they were too easily regarded as old–fashioned, appealing mostly to an ageing audience – like many charities. In order to secure the future of the charity, they needed to re–establish their relevance with a younger audience, without alienating their current support in the process.

They had undergone several piecemeal attempts to update their visual brand which had led to a confused and under confident brand. They needed a fresh start and approached us to help them build on their rich history but convey their contemporary relevance.

Why did they choose Sparks for the project? Because we are ‘more than just execution. Your key strengths lie in conceptual work and branding as opposed to straight up design, which is what we need’.



Building knowledge for a strong foundation

We started with an exploration of SGM Lifewords, interviewing stakeholders and senior management, asking questions such as:

Is your work pastoral or missional?
How would your describe what you do to an 8 year old?
Are you a local or a global organisation?

This gave us insight into who they currently were, how they compared against similar agencies and who they wanted to become. It’s a vital discussion to help find the right focus and establish a strong foundation. 

We learnt about their scale too. In a typical year, they produce over one million resources across 65 countries and 46 languages.


Establishing clarity and simplifying well

The next stage is to distil the learnings from the Review process and turn them into a clear, concise brand foundation – to simplify well.

The initials in SGM in their name no longer had any real meaning to a new audience. However, it was crucial that we didn’t alienate their current support base with an entirely new name. The name was simply shortened to Lifewords.

We then created a range of positioning themes, brand characteristics and expanded brand statements. At the heart of Lifewords is the belief that everyone, everywhere should be able to experience the Bible for themselves. Working with their team, we refined these into a single, agreed point of view. Lifewords. Inviting, generous and sensitive. Freely sharing the good news of the Bible.


A clear, engaging visual identity

We explored a range of directions during the design stage. Lifewords wanted a visual brand that would embody the innovation and creativity behind what they do. The focus is as much on the “life” as the “words.”

The preferred direction focuses on the idea of ‘inviting ways in’, creating fresh and engaging ways to explore the Bible’s life words. We created a custom word mark for the logo. The typography is bold, playful and engaging. This is paired with a bright unexpected colour palette to move them away from being old–fashioned to a contemporary look.


We’ve been working with Lifewords for over 10 years and have designed a number of their key resources. Notably the design and re–creation of the WW1 Gospels. Over half a million have been printed and distributed to mark the centenary.


Website and marketing assets

A thorough redesign of the website was also needed. Designed, built and optimised to be a platform for their wide range of global projects. The free shop where you can order stock and download resources plugs seamlessly into their distribution network. Interesting blog articles and regular updates on their activities, keep the content fresh. And a seamless donation mechanism, makes it easy for supporters to give to the work.

A range of resources have been designed to support the roll–out of the new brand. From stationery and packaging, to exhibition materials and leaflets. Ongoing support for the in–house creative team and brand guidelines will ensure the delivery of a fresh new identity.


“We are now clear on our own identity and messaging which comes across in the new site. This messaging resonates really well with our audience and we have had nothing but positive feedback since the site launched.”

Danielle Welch, Executive Director

Our use of cookies

This site relies on cookies to work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.

You can read more in our Cookie Notice


We use cookies to protect our site and users, and to enable necessary functionality.

Analytics cookies

We would like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it.