Creating new ways in

SGM Lifewords is a global charity that gives 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 strong legacy and solid supporter base, but they were too easily regarded as old fashioned and appealed mostly to an older audience. In order to secure the future of the charity they needed to engage with a younger audience, without alienating their current support in the process.

This is the challenge that SGM Lifewords brought to Sparks in 2016. Move them out of the traditional and into the contemporary. Create a brand with both edge and an inviting side, forming new ways in and inviting exploration.

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 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 stage in agreeing direction and establishing a strong foundation. 


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 Lifewords had no 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 statements and summaries, 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

Just as at the Define stage, we explored a range of directions during the Design stage. Lifewords wanted a visual identity 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.Together, we decided on 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 the traditional and into the contemporary.


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 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.

Lifewords launched their new identity and website in 2017. 

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