I saw a link for this video a few weeks ago, and was immediately drawn in to see how these two styles of art would work together. The end result was pretty impressive.
This performance highlights a popular pratctice in creative design; utilizing new and old together to create a unique piece, or structure. It doesn’t take much looking around to see this principle in action:
- Petco Park is one of my favorite baseball stadiums, and one of the defining features of this new ball park is the old Western Metal building the stadium was built around. If you look closely in the pic, you can see the old building has now become the foul pole down the left field line.
- Hatch Show Print is an old printing company, specializing in concert posters. They are responsible for one of the more popular classic looks in poster design, and still print originals from their vintage typefaces today. Here’s a pic of a Johnny Cash print I own, printed a few years ago off of the original plates:
- I just looked up and realized that even now, I’m in a coffee shop that just opened up in an old brick building. The decor? Black and white photos hung up on an old brick wall. Modern and classic.
This concept of new and old working together can benefit the Church as well. We named our Church ‘New Vintage‘ because we felt a call to communicate classic ideas and truths, from a modern perspective. When it comes to the look and feel of our church we try and maintain a healthy balance of new and classic design. This applies top down, incuding everything from our physical presence, our advertising, preaching, worship, ministries, events… We even work on ways that younger families can grow relationally with our senior saints.
Here are a few tips for making new and vintage work together in harmony when it comes to church:
- Vintage works best in proper doses. If everything in your house is vintage, it’s easy for the individual pieces to get lost, and they lose their appeal, or simply feel ‘old’. If you put a few of the best vintage pieces in a room, they become a highlight, or a talking point. For an example, we like singing older songs in worship services, but we make sure that they don’t dominate the playlist. This helps preserve our enjoyment of these songs, and makes them somewhat of a special occasion. They’re highlights because they’re allowed to stand out.
- Not everything that is old, is vintage. Some stuff is just old. I call this the Pawn Stars factor. Just because an idea, event, program etc has been around forever, and a few people might like it, does not mean it has a high value. This one is tough because we tend to put sentimental value high up on the priorities list. Currently we don’t have any Sunday morning bible classes for anyone over 7, which might seem odd for folks from my church background. As great as a full palette of classes can be, we understand the drain and stress it creates on families, volunteers, and the staff. After much discussion we finally agreed that Sunday school was a great idea for another context, but did not have enough value for us to tax our congregation. I am in no way saying Sunday school has zero value, but in our culture with new family dynamics, it was an older tradition that we had to set aside.
- Vintage needs to fit the context. Going back to baseball, Fenway Park would not work very well in San Diego. Fenway’s appeal is based on nostalgia and tradition in a town with a long storied history in our country. San Diego didn’t really boom until after WWII, and the Padres don’t exactly have a long storied past to draw from. Instead, Petco Park was designed to be extremely family friendly, with a lot of open spaces, and it’s got a great view of the ocean. It even has a sandbox in the outfield bleachers for kids to play in during the games. It’s the perfect park for a city built on sprawling suburbs and a beach attitude. In church, new ideas have difficulty flourishing in places that value tradition over innovation. Likewise, it’s hard to expect a steady diet of old ideas to be successful in a culture that doe
- Lastly, vintage works with the appropriate amount of patina (one of those words used constantly on Pawn Stars). If an item is 50 years old, it should look fifty years old. If it went through a war, it should show signs of war. But, for those vintage items to be valuable, they have to be in great shape considering what they’ve been through. And if something is new, faking the aging process looks, fake. In church, this means that old ideas need to find that balance of feeling traditional, but still have the ability to be a blessing. If an idea, or an event, becomes more of a burden than a blessing, the patina is taking away from the overall value. Likewise, if we try and attach sentimental value to a new idea to make it fit in with and old paradigm, it becomes an oddity, or a distraction, and is tough to be taken seriously.
Feel free to add any other ideas on how new and vintage ideas can work together succesfully.
One love, one heart.