Major update today at the ESV Study Bible site, including specifics on the October 15, 2008 release date, the various editions that will be available, and sample page spreads. From what I can see, it looks beautiful. The design specs are impressive -- and they apply to all editions, from the bottom to the top of the spectrum:
Printing and Binding Specs—All Editions
Pages and size—Pages: 2,752; trim size: 6 ½ × 9 ¼ inches.From the get-go, the ESV Study Bible will be available in eight editions -- a hardback, two TruTones (black and brown), two bonded leathers (black and burgundy), a genuine leather (black) and a premium calfskin (black). Someone asked me recently why the ESV Study Bible has been so long in coming, and based on the details released now, I'd say the explanation is, they were determined to do it right. I'm looking forward to the release.
Paper—Printed on high-opacity, high-quality French Bible paper from Papeteries Du Luman (PDL); this is widely considered the finest paper in the world and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), having been made from forests that are managed to preserve and sustain forestlands.
Typesetting—Set in highly readable, 9-point, single-column type for the Bible text, and 7.25-point, double-column type for the notes.
Printing—Full-color throughout, printed on high-speed web presses created especially for the high-quality demands of Bible printing.
Binding—All editions are Smyth sewn, which is considered the finest Bible binding method and is designed to last a lifetime.
I should also add that I'm impressed by the level of disclosure Crossway has provided. It's often difficult to get specifics about a Bible, particularly the unglamorous details of design and binding. Knowing in advance about font size, layout, paper quality and binding is a real pleasure.