Note on the Designs

Designed and typeset by Besnowed using Adobe InDesign. The original designs are from a variety of sources, but are all made by brilliant typographers dealing with the typographic problem of the Bible. Each is redesigned with the aim to preserve the intent and effect of the original typography, imperfections included.
Many of the original typographers gave permission for these designs to be used by anyone wishing to publish a Bible.

Note on the Translations

In many of the above designs, the original Bible designs were made with a specific translation/language in mind. We have tried to present the finished product faithfully and accurately in translation as well as design.  Most of the English Bible text is set in the ESV translation, used with permission.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

More Resources

A wide range of books, journals, websites & films, for those interested in Bibles, Typography & Book Design.

Typography Practice
  • BIRDSALL, D. (2004) Notes on Book Design
  • BRINGHURST, R. (1992) The Elements of Typographic Style
  • COBDEN-SANDERSON, T.J. (1902) Ecce Mundus: Industrial Ideals and the Book Beautiful
  • FELICI, J. (2011) The Complete Manual of Typography: A Guide to Setting Perfect Type
  • FRUTIGER, A. (1980) Type, Sign, Symbol
  • GILL, E. (1936) An Essay on Typography
  • JOHNSTON, E. (1917) Writing & Illuminating, and Lettering
  • LUPTON, E. (2010) Thinking with Type
  • MCLEAN, R. (1980) The Thames & Hudson Manual of Typography
  • MORISON, S. (1963) The Typographic Book
  • MORISON, S. (1967) First Principles of Typography
  • SPIEKERMANN, E. GINGER, E.M. (2003) Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works
  • WARDE, B. (1956) The Crystal Goblet: Sixteen Essays On Typography (there is even a chapter on Bible typography)
  • WHITE, J. (1983) Mastering Graphics: Design And Production Made Easy
Typographic Research & History
  • ARTRAM, A. (2001) Five Hundred Years of Book Design
  • BRINGHURST, R. (2016) Palatino: The Natural History of a Typeface
  • BRINGHURST, R. (2004) The Solid Form of Language : An Essay on Writing and Meaning
  • BRUMBERGER, E.R. The Rhetoric Of Typography: The Persona Of Typeface And Text & The Awareness And Impact Of Typeface Appropriateness in Technical Communication Vol. 50. No. 2. 2003 p.p. 206-231
  • CHILDERS, T. All Dressed Up With Something to Say: Effects of Typeface Semantic Associations on Brand Perceptions and Consumer Memory in Journal Of Consumer Psychology Vol.12. No. 2. 2002 p.p. 93–106
  • CRYSTAL, D. (1997) Toward A Typographical Linguistics
  • DRUCKER, J. (2014) Visual Forms of Knowledge Production
  • DRUCKER, J. Letterpress language: Typography as a medium for the visual representation of language
  • DRUCKER, J. (1994) The Visible Word
  • ENENKEL, K.A.E. NEUBER, W. (2005) Cognition and the book: Typologies Of Formal Organisation Of Knowledge In The Printed Book Of The Early Modern Period
  • GUTJAHR, P.C. BENTON, M.L. (2001) Illuminating Letters: Typography and Literary Interpretation
  • HARTLEY, J. ‘Designing instructional and informational text’ in Handbook of research on educational communications and technology 2014 p.p. 917-947
  • HARTLEY, J. TRUEMAN, M. The effects of changes in layout and changes in wording on preferences for instructional text in Visible Language Vol. 15. No. 1. 1981 p.p. 13-31
  • HYNDMAN, S. (2016) Why Fonts Matter
  • JUNI, S. GROSS, J.S. Emotional And Persuasive Perception Of Fonts in Perceptual and Motor Skills Vol. 106. No.1. 2008 p.p. 35-42
  • KEENAN, S.A. Effects of Chunking and Line Length on Reading Efficiency in Visible Language Vol. 18. No. 1. 1984 p.p. 61-80
  • LARSON, K. PICARD, R. (2014) The Aesthetics Of Reading
  • LEEUWEN, T. ‘Towards a semiotics of typography’ in Information Design journal Vol. 14. No. 2. 2006. p.p. 139-155
  • LEEUWEN, T. ‘Typographic meaning’ in Visual Communication Vol. 4. No. 2. 2005. p.p. 137–143
  • LOXLEY, S. (2004) Type: The Secret History of Letters
  • MEALING, S. Value-Added Text: Where Graphic Design Meets Paralinguistics in Visible Language Vol. 37. No. 1. 2003 p.p. 43-58
  • MORISON, S. (1972) Politics and Script: Aspects of Authority and Freedom in the Development of Graeco-Latin Script from Sixth Century B.C. to Twentieth Century A.D.
  • MORISON, S. (1949) Four Centuries of Fine Printing
  • NEWS, C. WALKER, P. Typographic influences on reading in British Journal of Psychology No. 80. 1989 p.p.241-257
  • PLATE, S. B. (2010) Looking at Words: The Iconicity of the Page Equinox. Sheffield
  • SHEBILSKE, W.L. ROTONDO, J.A. Typographical and spatial cues that facilitate learning from textbooks in Visible Language Vol. 15. No. 1. 1981 p.p. 41-54
  • SMITH, M.M. (2000) The Title Page: Its Early Development
  • SPITZMÜLLER, J. (2007) Visible by Design: The Significance of Typography in Media Communication
  • STORKERSON, P. Designing Theory in Communication in Visible Language Vol. 37. No. 1. 2003 p.p. 13-42
  • TSCHICHOLD, J. (1998) The New Typography
  • TSCHICHOLD, J. (1995) Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design
  • TETLAN, L. MARSCHALEK, D. How Humans Process Visual Information: A Focused Primer For Designing Information in Visible Language Vol. 50. No. 3. 2016 p.p. 64-89
  • VIGLIONESE, P.C. The Inner Functioning of Words: Iconicity in Poetic Language in Visible Language Vol. 19. No. 3. 1985 p.p. 373-386
  • WALLER, R. (1999) Making connections: typography, layout and language AAAI Technical Report FS-99-04 (this report and more of his writing can be found here)
Research in Bible Typography
  • HARRISON, J. CLEMENT (1964) Five Hundred Years of the Printed Bible
  • HENDERSON, R.J. (2018) Typography & the Bible (This is my own dissertation, which you can find here, or a condensed version is available in issue 9 of 2K/Stories)
  • MCCLYMOND, M.J. Through A Gloss Darkly: Biblical Annotations And Theological Interpretation in Modern Catholic and Protestant English-Language Bibles in Theological Studies vol.67. No.3. 2006. p.p. 477-497
  • PATKUS, R. (2017) The Privately Printed Bible: Private and Fine Press Printings of Biblical Texts, 1892-2000
  • ROGERS, BRUCE (1936) Account Of The Making of The Oxford Lectern Bible
  • SAENGER, P.H. KAMPEN, K. (1999) The Bible As Book: The First Printed Editions
  • SHARPE, J.L. (2002) The Bible As Book: The Manuscript Tradition
  • TARG, W. (1949) The Making of The Bruce Rogers World Bible
  • WATKINS, P. ‘Designing the Holy Bible: Arguing the Text Through the Form’ in Visual Communication Quarterly 15:1-2 2011 p.p. 17-30
  • WEBB, M. ALBERS M.J. The Design Elements Of Medieval Books Of Hours in Journal of Technical Writing and Communication vol. 31. No. 4. 2001. p.p. 353-361
  • WEIDEMANN, K. Biblica: Designing a New Typeface for the Bible in Visible Language Vol. 16. No. 1. 1982 p.p. 49-61
  • WENDLAND, E.R. LOUW, J.P. (1993) Graphic Design and Bible Reading (this and more of his writing can be found here)
  • WENDLAND, E.R. On Preparing A Reader-Friendly Format in Notes on Translation Vol. 7. No. 3. 1993 p.p. 13-27
  • WENDLAND, E.R. Translation Issues Within the Bible Publication Process (Part 1) in The Bible Translator, vol. 54. No. 4. 2003 p.p. 434-438 (Part 2) in The Bible Translator Vol. 55. No. 2. 2004 p.p. 227-233
  • WENDLAND, E.R. Duplicating The Dynamics of Oral Discourse In Print In Notes on Translation Vol. 7. No. 4. 1993 p.p. 26-44
  • WENDLAND, E.R. Orality and the Scriptures Composition
  • ZEVIN, D.B. (1955) The Bible through the Ages
  • BERTRAND, M. Lectio Bible Design Blog (
  • FEE, G.D. DOUGLAS, S. (1993) How To Read The Bible For All It’s Worth
  • FUSSEL, S. (2016) The Book of Bibles (Bibliotheca Universalis)
  • GILL, E. (1933) Beauty Looks After Herself
  • KELLER, R. (1998) A Theory of Linguistic Signs
  • KESSLER, J. (2000) A Thief Among Angels
  • PIPER, J. (2017) Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture
  • PIPER, J. (2016) A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness
  • WILDSMITH, T. Bible Review Blog