"Design Matters" is probably the best, practical "how to" book on on-screen design for churches that I have seen.
In the introduction - "Why Design Matters" - the book starts by exploring whether screens in worship are a fad, the power of images, and the basic 'rules' of image. This book is not meant to be academic, rather it summarises a lot of current thinking in plain language: for example
"by simply adding a screen and projector in a sanctuary a church does not guarantee growth or vitality"
"the screen isn't a large piece of paper, it's a new medium"
"we must learn visual literacy"
"the medium is at least as important as the intended message"
And... "We believe that digital technology in worship, and the use of image, is a permanent shift in the culture of the church."
Some of this may sound simplistic and slogan-ish, and perhaps it is, but at the same time, it clearly and succinctly gives some good reasons to take digital imagery seriously. yes, there should be and is more in-depth discussion of these issues around.
Chapter 1, "Buidling Doorways to Truth" (a very scary title), the authors explore the idea of metaphor as a means of expressing and exploring ideas. It's a very important aspect of communication and design. However, I find that their reasons are more about "telling" than exploring.
ie. "metaphor makes the message easier to understand"
"metaphor is the glue that makes the message stick"
"metaphor is a key part of the design process because it was Jesus' model for public ministry" (well, kind of, maybe, at times - but I get what they're trying to say)
So for them, metaphor is more about how you communicate your mesaage clearly, than about 'opening up' a theme or scripture for exploration. I don't want to simplify messages, I want to help people to wonder and question and look deeper and wider.
The rest of the book is about principles of good design, and this is where it is of great value to budding designers. The authors examine design basics (asymmetrical, lead the eye, rule of thirds, space,etc)
These seven chapters unpack a series of important design principles relating to composition, treatment, textture, colours, light & shadow, fonts, pre-planning anf production. The principles are universal, so to speak, and the examples well chosen for mainline Sunday a.m. worship.
The book isn't printed in colour, so the DVD becomes a vital aspect of learning these principles, with colour versions of the example illustrations in the book, as well as a video tutorial of each segment by the authors. In addition there are two 'free' video clips from Midnight Oil Productions.
Together, the book and the DVD provide an excellent introduction to design in a 'church' setting.
The two negatives that I have are firstly, that the examples seem very 'churchy', and I'm still trying to work out if that is cultural (American) or ecclesial (err... church) bias. The second is that I guess you have to learn the rules before you know how to break them. As a big fan of David Carson, I would have liked them to go a step further and add a chapter on breaking the rules. Perhaps that can be volume 2.
The authors have been involved in multimedia at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Ohio, USA, for some years.