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 e-mail. My address is mark@lectio.org.

What is Lectio?

Let’s face it, “Bible Design Blog” is a mouthful. And when it’s not busy being a mouthful, it is super literal. This is a blog about the design of, well, Bibles. Ten years later, though, it has become more than that — or at least, it aspires to more. The common theme in all my writing about Bibles has been readability, and so I created Lectio as an umbrella not only for Bible Design Blog but for other projects that may be born from it. So to sum up: Lectio is the entity, Bible Design Blog is its principal function at this point, and as always, J. Mark Bertrand is the writer.

Who is J. Mark Bertrand?

I am a novelist, a lecturer, and a typographer. I am a Presbyterian teaching 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:

J. Mark Bertrand writes novels. “A major crime fiction talent” (The Weekly Standard) in the vein of Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, and Jo Nesbø, Mark has written three books about about Houston homicide detective Roland March, including Back on Murder (2010), Pattern of Wounds (2011), and Nothing to Hide (2012). Mark has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

For Mark’s reflections on the theological ramifications of the crime genre, read “Writing About Reprobation” in the PCA’s denominational magazine ByFaith

Mark has taught on the faculty of Worldview Academy for more than fifteen years, and is the author of Rethinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live, and Speak in This World (Crossway, 2007), which has been used in church and seminary classrooms as a winsome introduction to worldview thinking.

His writing has appeared in print or online at Comment, Books & Culture, and First Things, but he is perhaps best known as the author of Bible Design Blog, an influential blog on “the physical form of the Good Book,” where he has advocated for more than a decade on behalf of better, more reader-friendly Bibles. 

Mark is from Louisiana, but his wife Laurie is a South Dakota native. They recently celebrated their twenty-first wedding anniversary.

In February 2017, Mark was ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America and installed as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church.