LWF Assembly logo designer wins top awards

14 May 2024

Polish American artist and theologian Kristen Opalinski has won top awards for her designs illustrating the Krakow Assembly theme of ‘One Body, One Spirit, One Hope’. 

Kristen Opalinski

Kristen Opalinski. Photo: LWF/A. Danielsson

American artist and theologian Kristen Opalinski picks up prizes at the Religion Communicators Council Convention  

(LWI) - Everyone who attended the Thirteenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Krakow, Poland, last September will have seen the brightly colored logo adorning banners and fliers, backdrops and staircases, pamphlets and publications, vividly illustrating the theme of ‘One Body, One Spirit, One Hope’. 

Now, the artist and theologian, Polish American Kristen Opalinski, has taken home a series of top awards for her work at the 95th Religion Communicators Council (RCC) Convention, which took place in the United States last month. Founded in 1929, the RCC “promotes excellence in the communication of faith and values in the public arena and encourages understanding among religious and faith groups.” 

A highlight of the 4 to 6 April convention, held in Louisville, Kentucky, was the awards ceremony which included the prestigious DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards for the best religious communications in several different categories. Opalinski took home five awards in total, including one for the publication cover design series and top prizes in both the poster category for Specialty Publications section and the logos and branding category for the Design section. 

Inter-connectedness of Body, Spirit and Hope 

Opalinski, who also serves as manager for ecumenical and inter-religious relations with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was inspired by her own Polish heritage in the design of the LWF Assembly logo. The figures and symbols are a modern representation of the traditional Polish paper folk art known as ‘wycinanki’. Designed in the bold colors of the LWF visual identity, they depict the inter-connectedness of ‘Body, Spirit and Hope’. 

Hosted by the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, the Assembly took place in Krakow’s modern ICE Congress Center from 13 to 19 September. Opalinski also adapted her design for the LWF Christmas card in December, “reimagining the Assembly theme within the light and hope of the Christmas season.”

While developing the design, Opalinski said she had “never felt more personally connected to a project than this one,” noting that the logo aims to show how “we are all connected as a global Lutheran family in a wide variety of ways.” As she received her awards, she thanked everyone who has supported her work throughout the past couple of years, adding that “your encouragement and affirmation has meant more than I could every articular and I am so very grateful!” 

Kristen Opalinski award

Kristen Opalinski receives an award at the 95th Religion Communicators Council convention. Photo: RCC

LWF/P. Hitchen