The Arion Press Bible
The Holy Bible.
San Francisco: Arion Press, 2000.
Produced under the direction of Andrew Hoyem – Somerset mould made paper by Inveresk Mill – Romulus type designed by Jan Van Krimpen – Initial letters designed by Sumner Stone – Illuminations designed by Thomas Ingmire – Binding by Jan Sobota
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the Arion Press published as its sixtieth title a complete Bible, which aimed to excel both as an example of fine printing and as a functional instrument for churches. As fine printing and related book arts developed throughout the century, so too did the market for bibliographical treasures. As a result, artisans created works designed to satisfy the interests of this community. The ambitious objective for the Arion Press Bible, akin to that of the 1935 Oxford Lectern Bible, was to meet the utilitarian requirements of congregations as well as excel in the craftsmanship and aesthetics expected by collectors.
Throughout its history the Arion Press consistently prioritized the identification of specific biblical translations for fine printing, often thoughtfully articulating the reasons behind selections. Prioritizing the needs of contemporary congregations across a wide array of Christian denominations, the press chose the ecumenical and gender-inclusive New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), which was published in 1989 by the National Council of Churches. This was the first publication of the NRSV in the large format known as a lectern Bible.
Letterform and page layout predominate the design of the Arion Bible. The Arion Press opted to set the text in the full line-width of the page, reserving the use of two columns for verse. Ease of reading was promoted through font size and attention to word spacing. The graceful Romulus typeface is enhanced with initial letters printed in red. The edition was limited to four hundred copies with an additional twenty-six hors commerce. Within this edition a subset of one hundred fifty copies included multicolored and gilt illuminations added to the initials, as seen here. This copy is number 5 and was specially bound for Bridwell Library in 2002 by Jan Sobota (1939–2012).