The Story of God
Author: Michael Lodahl
Designer: Arthur Cherry
Publisher: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City
Typefaces: Restraint, Perpetua
Specials: Printed on .015 Coated Cover stock with a Matte Laminate
Audience: Religion / Biblical studies texbook and mass trade
Here is a great piece done by Arthur Cherry at Beacon Hill. I love how unexpected and unique this solution is… especially for a textbook. Very relevant and beautifully executed.
Since its publication in 1994, The Story of God has played an important role in implementing and advancing the study of narrative theology. One of the first books to formulate and examine Wesleyan theology using the Bible’s overarching story, it continues to serve as a popular text in colleges and universities and as a reliable resource for ministers and theologians.
Updated and revised, this new edition provides readers with an even more engaging and accessible introduction to Christian theology. Drawing from Scripture, everyday experience, and contemporary reflection, Michael Lodahl weaves together the stories and themes of the Bible to present a compelling picture of the grand story of God.
The only constraint from the client was that it needed to meet two markets; a college textbook and a mass trade book. Thankfully, everything else was left up to me.
I read the book one afternoon at a local park. Instantly, I got the idea for a timeline. The book is set up in parts that suggested a timeline, a beginning, middle and end. The book also explains how we experience this story in different ways, for example, “very specific differences in belief and practice between the typical Protestant and the typical Roman Catholic.” One section title stood out the most. It was Part V: A New Twist in God’s Story.
My first working concept quickly went from the timeline concept to one of a handmade type that was more ornate. The cover needed more twist and turns.
I never finished this idea because my instinct and eyes said this wasn’t the right direction. The two concepts needed to be combined to something that was more personal or narrative; a timeline with many connections that was ornate and organic. My desire was for the title to connect through the organic timeline twisted and turning around it. I was unsure of how to do this without it looking like a jumbled mess so I began looking for inspiration. In my search I found out that Marian Bantjes was finishing up her typeface design, Restraint.
I thought instantly this could really work without looking like the mess I had pictured in my head. After contacting Marian about the typeface, she granted use even with the licensing limitations. The influence became the solution.
I created a grid and began creating the cover but had to figure out how to make this type and glyphs work together. I created several drafts before I started working on the final cover.
As I finished the cover I changed the color from black on white to white on black to enhance the subtle meaning of good vs. evil and elegance and mystery.
The timeline wraps around both covers and continues onto the inside covers to create the visual grand story of God. But, all the lines eventually come to an end as do all the parts in The Story of God.
*Comment on this project
5.12.09 // Nate Eaton said:This book cover design has a great deal of impact on me because Michael Lodahl was one of my wife's professors at Point Loma Nazarene University. I never had the privilege unfortunately. She still has this book, albeit with a horrendous cover design. The ornate complexity of the glyphs combined with simplicity of color really accents the content of the book. Lodahl is an amazing professor and an amazing man and this design better suits his work, far more than previous covers have. Excellent choice.
5.14.09 // Ian said:I've always drooled over this cover. It feels appropriate for the topic, but above all is just beautiful to look at.
So am i to understand that this was the result of just playing around with varying combinations of the typeface designed by Marian Bantjes? That's a real striking and versatile typeface if so.
Great great work.