There was an article on NPR’s Marketplace a short while ago that talked about a new high gloss slick designed Holy Bible called Bible Illuminated: The Book coming from illuminatedworld.com, whose publisher Dag Soderberg released it in Sweden to a seemingly starving audience of believers to ashamed to carry and display the good book. Sales of the book were “unprecedented” because people no longer found a connection to reading these historical texts as the traditional text and design “turned people off”.
That idea led to this new version simply called “The Book“. What makes this new edition of this centuries old best seller is that it taps into our modern day material culture of images and celebrities to illustrate the moral parables from the past.
With a slick magazine look like Vogue images of post Katrina New Orleans and men on fire are indicative of Revelations and Andy Warhol in Drag illuminates the book of John. This new approach is geared for slick urban hipster who is more familiar with twitter and more likely to read facebook than carry a bible. The goal of the publisher is to put the “the book” into the hands of the younger set, in a way that they want it.
I’m interested in seeing what the new text looks like and what its impact will be on the religious marketplace. Not that there haven’t been publications like this before, but it seems like a new way of trying to market a very old product to keep it in the hearts and minds of the adherents.
I picked up a version at the book store and spent some time with it. It really does have the look and feel of a high end magazine, which may have saved in the high end emboss of a more traditional publication, but I can see their marketing plan and their product vision. It definitely has the interest of a new generation in mind.
The publisher Illuminated World
On Amazon Bible Illuminated: The Book