(It is a privileged to share below a guest post from Mr. Stephen Vosloo, the Senior Designer of the Holy Bible: Mosaic NLT. On Friday, I posted my review of this Bible along with the announcement of a giveaway gift certificate for a copy of the Mosaic Bible. To join in on the drawing, please leave a comment OR a question for either Mr. Vosloo or for Mr. Keith Williams, the editor. )
Mr. Stephen Vosloo
An overarching theme for Mosaic is marrying the ancient heritage and rich diversity of our Christian experience with contemporary writings and thoughts. These concepts were consolidated into the idea of “ancient-future.” While not a new concept, it was a gutsy direction to pursue for a Bible project and spoke so eloquently to the vision that our authors and acquisitions teams had.
This ancient-future concept had to be expressed visually, and that’s where I came into the process. As a senior graphic designer at Tyndale, I was excited to help shape the visual identity of Mosaic from the early concept stage all the way through the final product. It’s my privilege today to be able to share a glimpse at what happened behind the scenes as we created Mosaic, and I thank you for this opportunity.
Mosaic was a huge project from the beginning. When you are staring down the barrel of a project that you know may take the better part of two years to complete, it can be a daunting task. Fortunately, I had a lot of help thanks to our fabulous design team at Tyndale. There is a beautiful synergy that happens when you throw a bunch of creatives in a room and ask them to take an idea to the next level. And while I was the primary designer for the devotional section of Mosaic, I received tons of valuable insights from my fellow designers that helped shape the final product.
Where did I start? I began by raiding our Bible libraries for inspiration on lettering, layout, and color. I also looked at a ton of books and art that dated from the mid-18th century to the present. The research is always the most exciting part for me. That’s where I gather the creative resources, such as images, typography, writings, etc., for the creative “stew,” mashing them together into my subconscious and letting them “marinate” with each other. It’s critical to allow enough time for this process because these bits of inspiration will form into visual ideas that express what we want to say about the product. Research is the heartbeat of the creative phase, and it is from here that we move into the actual design phase.
Conceptually, we were breaking new ground in the marketplace, and it was important to create a look for Mosaic that would allow people to quickly understand how this product was different—and why that made it effective. So all the elements, from the small graphic icons, typography, and imagery to the paper weight and color, have been carefully chosen to reinforce the “ancient-future” concept and to ensure balance between aesthetics and functional integrity. One of the most effective ways we achieved this was using white (or negative) space as a key element in the design. This is not common in a Bible because space is a premium due to the length of the scripture text itself. But I couldn’t be happier that we made it a priority to integrate open areas into the design. The white space allows for meditation and reflective writing on the pages right along-side the content. It’s a vital part of encouraging people to engage with the writings, meditations, and prayers at a deeper level.
There were hundreds of other small decisions we made along the way where we weighed cost, time, aesthetics, function, and form that I won’t bore you with. They, in turn, all play into the final product that you end up holding in your hand. It’s our prayer at Tyndale that it will minister to your spiritual needs and meet you where you are at in your journey with God.
Search out a copy of this wonderful product and immerse yourself in all of its richness. You won’t be disappointed.
Tyndale House Publishers
I’ve also attached a some of images from the [Tyndale] office. They aren’t directly related to Mosaic, but may serve as some visual interest to go along with the behind-the-scenes theme. [click to enlarge]