Thursday, January 12, 2012

A reader-friendly Bible

My ESV Single Column Legacy Bible (TruTone, Brown/Saddle) arrived from Amazon in two days. It's a bit thicker and heavier than I anticipated but I'm very pleased. It's a reader's Bible — not a study Bible — and will serve admirably for that purpose. None of the usual apparatus interrupts the flow of the text. The page here was scanned from my copy.
Mark Bertrand at the "Bible Design Blog" hasn't reviewed this Bible yet but he has published some questions and replies from an executive at Crossway, Randy Jahns. Two of the exchanges:
Q. What is the story behind the Single Column Legacy ESV? How did the idea originate?

The original project was conceived under the working title of “Reader’s Thinline Bible.” The goal was to create a single-column, text-only, reader’s edition that focused on an inviting readable page and beautiful design.

Our Bible typesetter relied heavily on Canadian typesetter Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style as he developed the page design. Essentially, we tried to follow the "Renaissance Ideal" or "perfect page" layout. This layout refers to a set of principles called the “canons of page construction” that all focus around a 2:3 ration of page geometry. Jan Tschichold reintroduced this typographic ideal in the twentieth century, calling it a method “upon which it is impossible to improve” and which produces “the perfect book.” We stuck closely to this design philosophy, although we did have to make a few adjustments for the sake of overall page count. ....

Q. The most striking things about the page spread are that there are no cross-references and even the section headings are moved to the margin. What was the thinking behind these choices?

From the initial idea of having a Reader’s Thinline, we wanted the Bible text itself to be beautiful on the page, with simple and effective design. Our goal was to achieve clean blocks of uninterrupted text that would aid in the reading experience, which is why we moved the headings into the margin. This also added the benefit of slightly shortening the overall page count. ....
Bible Design and Binding: Single Column Legacy ESV (Part 1): Interview with Crossway