Single Column Week @ Bible Design Blog

Today we're kicking off Single Column Week at Bible Design Blog, a celebration of one of the things I have been advocating for from day one: single column text settings of the Bible. Why am I so passionate about single column settings? It's simple, really. Books we read are set in single columns. Books we look stuff up in are set in double columns. Reading = single. Reference = double. If you're new to the topic, here's a crash course in my single column philosophy:

Why Paragraphs? Why Single Column?

Making Single Column Settings Work

Page vs. Book

Short and Stout: Ideal For Factor for Single Column Settings

But here's a photograph that helps make the case for me:

On top is Cambridge's new Clarion KJV, the first in a whole line of Clarion single column settings Cambridge will be introducing. We'll be taking our first detailed look at the Clarion KJV this week, and I hope to bring you more as the complete range of binding options are available. On bottom is my trust Cambridge Pitt Minion ESV. Now I love the Pitt Minion and use it constantly, but I think you'll agree that the Clarion is more readable and more elegantly proportioned. 

As we'll see, there are some trade-offs. The Clarion is a slightly taller and wider. It's perhaps twice as thick. But the trade-offs aren't as significant as you might think. To enjoy a readable, single column text setting, you don't have to give up as much as you may have feared. The Clarion is still relatively compact and beautifully sized for the hand. 

Some of you are already single column converts. Others cling tenaciously to the traditional double column look. Whether this week will change any minds, I don't know. The good news is, for those of you who've been waiting for well-designed, proportional single column text settings of the Bible in a wide variety of translations, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Check back for more throughout the week.

13 Comments on “Single Column Week @ Bible Design Blog

  1. I can hardly wait!
    Does anyone know if the upcoming Clarion in Brown Calfskin will have art-gilt pages?

  2. This is great news, Mark! And a great topic for the week (my favorite). Wonder what we need to do to get Cambridge to do the same for the REB? Or maybe they’ve given up on a superb translation.

  3. I’m not sure about the art gilt edges on the brown calf, Matt. For some reason, I’m expecting them to be gold. And Scott, at least there’s the wonderful REB NT in a single column setting. Most translations have nothing … or at least, nothing on par with that!

  4. Do you know if the Clarion line of Bibles will all be reference Bibles? I agree with you that the single column format is much better than double-column for reading, but I think the references are even more annoying. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I see a footnote (side-note, I guess, in this case), it interrupts the flow of what I’m reading, if only for the briefest of moments. Similarly, I find the italicized text of KJV Bibles to be disruptive. I would even be inclined to remove the verse numbers. All of these features are important, vital even, but in a reference or study Bible, not in a Bible designed for reading. I think it is important to be confronted with the text as it was meant to be read. The 1961 NEB you review on this site seems to be ideal. Are there other translations and editions that share this approach?

  5. any idea whether the whole line of clarions will be black letter like the kjv?

  6. I can’t wait to see more of the Clarion. E.g., the binding design and physical dimensions.

  7. Hooray for Single Column Week! I’m still waiting to buy my first one; had no luck ordering the New Cambridge Paragraph. Hopefully by the end of the Week, I’ll have selected and ordered one. Or two.

  8. For those interested I received an email from back about the ESV Clarion. The Brown Calfskin will have art-gilt pages

  9. I’m new here, really like your single column philosophy.
    Nice format for reading on my iphone.

  10. Check out Crossway’s new ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, due out Q1 2012. Great having another entry to the growing SC market. Anyone know if Cambridge is going to reprint the NIV single column anytime soon?

  11. Mark,
    I’ve read your blog off and on for a while now. I recently bought an ESV single column bible & find it to be excellent.
    Keep up the good work.

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