It didn’t take long. Moments after some of you saw the new CFC logo, you were joking with me about why we chose the Recycling symbol as our new logo. What make this humorous is that it is close in design and color as shown in this pic (Figure 1).
The Branding Agency who designed our webpage, Blackletter, created the logo in response to our desire for something new and fresh that captured what we believe and who we are. I will explain how this logo accomplishes this in a future post, but in this first blog post we’ll look at the historical and spiritual significance of the design. If you don’t like historical developments, you can skip to the last paragraph.
Since the early centuries of the church until now, symbols have been used to express theological concepts. This is true for the doctrine of the Trinity. Simply put, 1 God, 3 Persons. The two most common geometrical shapes used were triangles and circles.
The 3 interlocking circles image as shown below in Figure 2 was quite common in trying to symbolize how the 3 persons of the Trinity were one but distinct.
There was a way to express this in shorthand form by only showing the parts of the circles that intertwined (figure 3). Figure 4, called The Triquetra (Latin for “three cornered”) is the classical representation of 1 unbroken line forming 3 distinct lobes.
The New King James translation of the Bible so identified their work with the Trinity that they chose the Triquetra for their logo. Here is their explanation:
NKJV Logo: The triquetra (from a Latin word meaning “three-cornered”) is an ancient symbol for the Trinity. It comprises three interwoven arcs, distinct yet equal and inseparable, symbolizing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct yet equal Persons and indivisibly One God. (The New King James Version. (1982). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)
While the Triquetra remained popular, a reduced version began to appear on the scene, the Shield of the Trinity (or for Latin fans, Scutum Fidei) as shown in this 12th century image below (Figure 5). This image combined 2 concepts. First it took just the center portion of the Triquetra as shown in Figure 6.
The other concept, which stemmed from the 4th century Athanasian Creed, dealt with the issue of the Trinity and in particular how to express it. The diagram that was developed as a visual tool is shown in Figure 7 with an early 13th century depiction to the left.
As you can see in Figure 8, the new CFC logo is the center portion of the Triquetra. It was designed to capture our visual heritage as found in the distinctive, difficult yet beautiful doctrine of the Trinity. In Part 2 I hope to explain (without so many pictures!) how the logo captures a very unique relationship between the Father, Son & Holy Spirit which in turn will tell us quite a bit about ourselves.