About Bible Design Blog

Focus on one thing and do it well. That’s the philosophy behind Bible Design Blog. Here the focus is on the physical form of the Good Book. I discuss good design with an emphasis on reader-friendly formats, which means elegant layout, opaque paper, and sewn bindings that open flat. The Bible is more than a reference work. It’s meant to be read. Choices made by designers, printers, and bookbinders all influence readability––though their sway usually goes unremarked.

Not here.

If you have questions about Bible Design Blog, check out the Frequently Asked Questions. If you represent a publishing house, see my special note For Publishers. You are always welcome to get in touch via my Contact page.


Who is J. Mark Bertrand?


J. Mark Bertrand, 2013

I am a novelist, a lecturer, and a typographer. I am a Presbyterian elder and a Southern ex-pat. I am fascinated by pens and paper, printing, books, and anything to do with leather. I live, mainly, in the past. Here’s the official bio from my website:

J. Mark Bertrand grew up in the humid swampland of Southwest Louisiana, in the boot heel of the state not far from the Texas border. He soaked up some atmosphere, then left for Houston, where he began the love/hate relationship to the city that permeates his series of Roland March crime novels. He has an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, his wife Laurie finally won the argument over where they should live. Now Bertrand is a Southern ex-pat living far away in the Dakotas. The distance partly inspired him to write about his former home.

Back on Murder, the first of Bertrand’s crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March, came out in 2010, followed a year later by Pattern of Wounds, which was short-listed for a Christy Award. After 2012’s Nothing to Hide, March has been on hiatus while the series seeks a new publishing home. In the meantime, Bertrand is working on ambitious new literary thriller about the fall of Constantinople (one of his long-term obsessions), the making of From Russia with Love, and the global banking crisis.

The Weekly Standard declared Bertrand “a major crime-fiction talent,” ranking him alongside writers like Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesbø. The March novels have been praised in Comment and Books & Culture, which declared them “one of those series that is worth getting attached to.”