"I started thinking about the design almost as soon as I was appointed. I asked various people within the parish, and looked at St Mary's online presence and realized that there were a number of visual devices in use, but they didn't relate to each other and were used in several different ways.
I looked carefully at the existing uses and then also looked at things like the badge of Swanley Town Council, some parish history and also some of the Kent influences. I wanted a design which would look modern but which also represented something of the church's traditional and Catholic outlook.
Having taken some pictures of the church exterior, I thought about the very distinctive shape of the front but I couldn't come up with anything that wasn't very fussy. My preference in logos is to have simple, distinctive shapes and distinctive colours so that they can be recognized in a variety of different circumstances.
Having spent a little time looking at the church, I then began to use the arch-shaped windows to see if I could do anything with them.
Eventually, I looked at the very top of the windows. There, I saw a shape which took my attention. The Swanley Town Council badge is a trefoil: that is a badge with three overlapping circles. The windows were, for want of a better description, quadfoils.
This design appealed to me because it was distinctive and could incorporate several different symbols which would identify us with Our Lady (a traditional title for the Blessed Virgin Mary.)
Having identified the shape, I realized that because I was taking the picture from an angle, the upper and lower sections were not symmetrical. I decided on something less 'pointy' and softer at the ends.
I experimented with various symbols and shapes and hit upon having a central section which echoed the Town Council's badge with the addition of an unfilled leaf below the symbols. The cross immediately identifies us Christians and I thought it vital that a symbol for Christ should dominate the others.
One of the devices used previously at St Mary's was that of a joined M and R standing for Maria Regina: Catholic Christians place great store by the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and so I balanced the MR with the crown of twelve stars, mentioned in the final book of the Bible, the Apocalypse (also known as Revelation.) I incorporated these two symbols below that of the cross and the badge was complete. Although at the very smallest sizes it is impossible to make out the elements within the logo (just take a look at the top of your browser, next to the page name is a 'favicon' which is a tiny representation of the badge but although you can't see the detail, the shape is quite clear.
Having settled upon the elements, I experimented with the colours and found that pale blue - so often associated with Our Lady - could look insipid on some monitors and printers and I so chose a fairly vibrant mid-blue with pale blue as a secondary colour and a golden yellow for the symbols.
The lettering was much more straightforward and simply consisted of experimenting with layers and colours until I'd found a mixture of bevels and shadows with which I was happy. The layout of the words reflects the fact that St Mary the Virgin is the Parish Church for the town of Swanley. It can be read as The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Swanley or St Mary the Virgin, the Parish Church of Swanley depending on how you read the elements. The logotypes use the fonts Perpetua for St Mary the Virgin and Trajan Pro Regular for the The Parish Church of Swanley. The Trajan Pro font is altered to close up gaps to reduce detail.
There is a simple version of the logo with the badge in a circle:
this version is used for internal communications as it is simpler
and takes up less room.
The logo is intended to provide an immediately recognizable
symbol for St Mary's and to be something which can be seen
and understood immediately.
It takes a long time for people to get used to something like this
but I hope it will be a source of identity for St Mary's for a long
time to come. It was certainly a lot of fun coming up with it!"