• Dinah Wright

The Ultimate Guide to Lower Thirds


Graphic adapted from this Lightstock image.



At Igniter Media, we aim to provide the Church with resources that will both inspire creative growth and meet universal needs. We do this by offering engaging content that meets people right where they are, whether that is in the church building or streaming at home.

For those who are unfamiliar, lower thirds are graphics displayed in the lower third of the screen, most commonly used in church services for nameplates, worship lyrics, and sermon content. Below are some examples of what local churches have been doing with lower thirds.


#1

Name Plates

 

Nameplates are used to introduce the on-screen speaker (e.g. someone sharing announcements, the teaching pastor, other ministry leaders giving updates, etc.).


Here are a few examples:


Branded design and text.

Lakepointe Church


Bold, plain text, no background

Watermark Community Church


Animated and stylized high contrast bars.

Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church


High contrast box with logo

Red Rocks Church


This is the area where we've observed the greatest variety from church to church. These graphics tend to be the most engaging and eye-catching (in color, design, movement, and so on), likely because they are meant to signify the start of a new segment or the introduction of a significant figure. In fact, of the three categories here, this is the only category where churches used animation beyond a simple fade. We offer a variety of different types of overlays to help you create this effect. Browse our title graphic overlays here and our worship background overlays here.


#2

Worship Lyrics

 

Most Livestream worship services include a time of worship through song and, naturally, the viewer needs to be able to read the lyrics to fully engage by singing along or meditating on the truth of the song.



Plain white text with no background

Destiny Church


White paralleled bars with bolded and italicized text.

Church of The Lake Highlands


Centered, a stylized text box with plain text.

Concord Church


Black paralleled bars with bold white text.

Lakepointe Church


Interestingly enough, almost every church stream we watched used one of two formats for their worship lyrics: 1) plain white lyrics with no border (like the first photo), or 2) a simple rectangular graphic or parallel bars under plain white/black lyrics. What we've come to realize is that no matter how different our churches are or how experienced they may or may not be with online services, there's a great deal of commonality across the board. However, if you want to find something that matches your sermon series, check out some of the worship lyric lower-thirds options we offer.


#3

Sermon Content

 

In most online services, churches will display sermon points and scriptures as a lower third in real-time during the message. As the pastor shares a passage, it appears on-screen, and then disappears shortly after.


White text box with plain text.

Church of The Highlands


Simple, plain white text with no background.

Watermark Community Church


High-contrast, a stylized text box with right aligned title and left-aligned subtext.

Red Rocks Church


Right-aligned, colored content block with plain white text.

The Village Church



Although not every church uses lower thirds for their sermon content, we have found that the ones who do tend to be more engaging and memorable; it helps deliver the message more fully. There is a variety in design when it comes to lower thirds here, but commonly we found something along the lines of a text box graphic with the scripture reference above or below the passage. Knowing this, and that churches also like a cohesive look, we have plenty of title graphics that also include lower thirds. Find them here.


#4

Announcements

 

In our research, almost every church service included a time of sharing announcements (e.g. upcoming events, praise reports, relevant church-wide updates, etc.). No two announcement segments were identical from church to church, but we did observe a somewhat consistent use of lower third graphics to emphasize key announcements.


Similarly to Name Plates, we found a broad spectrum of design choices for lower-third announcement graphics. Some churches chose to keep these in line with the theme (color scheme/shape/font) of their other lower thirds, while other churches chose reimagined versions of their fullscreen graphics, edited to fit in the lower third context. Neither design choice seemed better or worse, but we did find that those who incorporated these graphics during announcements were more likely to keep their audience engaged and aware of what was shared.


Event announcement with customized block and bold text.

Hillsong Church


Post-service reminder with customized block and QR code.

Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church


Transparent block with high-contrast text and added design elements.

Red Rocks Church


Texturized, branded block with high-contrast text.

Concord Church


Lower Thirds from Igniter

 

Did you know we released lower-third graphics with our title graphics a while back? Unless you knew where to look or just happened upon them, you probably didn't know they were there.


If you're ready to amp up your use of lower thirds, it's easy to get started. We also added a "lower thirds" filter to our title graphics and worship backgrounds to make them easier for you to find and so you know which title graphics will have lower third graphics included.

(see video below 👇 on how to do that).



Being students of the churches we serve, we want to make sure that what we're making makes sense for how you're using it. Let us know how it's going well or what could be improved, either in the comments or reach out to our customer service team.


We're always glad to hear from you guys. 🫶