First Church of Otago

Website Design, Logo

First Presbyterian Church of Otago is located in the city centre of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. We were more than happy to help them with their website build and cohesive logo design. Both a designated heritage site and a thriving church, First Church was opened in 1873, not long after the founding of Dunedin. The church is built of creamy Oamaru stone with a base of local Port Chalmers stone.

First Impressions

One challenge of this project was that First Church covers two distinct sectors: they are an active, thriving Christian congregation, and also a heritage site of historic and cultural significance. While these areas offer some overlap, it had to be acknowledged that visitors interested in one may not be interested in the other. We needed a way to convey disparate information about both while presenting a cohesive whole.

Starting from the crucial first impression on the home page, a site visitor will see the page divided into two horizontal sections. Placing sections one below another conveys a sense of hierarchy or priority. The two focuses of First Church are equal and balanced, so they are placed one beside the other. The areas also have separate drop-down menus on the navigation bar and in the site footer.

First Church of Otago website home page.

Logo & Branding

Colour choice is one of the most important decisions made in design. Crisp white is a classic that affords high contrast against a variety of darker colours. A softer cream or off-white can convey an impression of age and history, which is in keeping with the heritage roots of First Church. For the dominant branding colour, we went with a deep grey-tinged blue that is sedate, timeless, established, and yet modern and elegant.

Depending on who you ask, the logo colour is either pale gold or light beige. Gold is a historic metallic with connotations of illumination and sanctity. Beige is a modern neutral that symbolises wisdom and comfort. The arched shape of the logo directly references the arched windows of the church building, and the two cutouts are the two areas of significance, church and heritage, with the Cross over all as a uniting factor.

Heritage & Culture

First Church of Otago has a rich history that ranges from the Otago Settlement in 1848, to the ring of Whitechapel bells installed in 1975, to the tapestry that depicts the history of First Church. The tapestry was a particularly impressive undertaking: started in 1983, it was stitched by nineteen women of the Church over 6000 hours, and finished 6 years later in 1990.

The Heritage Centre works hard to accurately portray its history. This includes acknowledging the labour of convicts in early settlement days. The roots of First Church are multicultural, and this continues into the present day. Services include a weekly worship service in Cook Islands Maori, a weekly service in Samoan, and a monthly Communion service.

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua.
I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.


First Church of Otago


Website Design, Logo


First Church of Otago Gallery Images

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