I’ve read the Bible on and off my whole life, but sometimes it can be difficult for me want to read it. You gotta admit, it can be weird and there are some really boring parts. (If anyone ever tells you they find Leviticus "exciting" and "engaging," never trust another word out of their mouth.)
In the past, I’ve tried an approach like, “starting today, I’m going to read my Bible for 20 minutes every day.” While I may stick with it for a week or a month (sometimes even longer), inevitably I stop because I have no self-discipline for that sort of thing. I knew I didn’t want to try that approach again so I tried to come up with a new strategy that would work for me.
I began by thinking of things that I really like and want to do. One thing that kept coming up was design. So I decided to try and combine my love of design with my desire to read the Bible more. The result is a series called Word.
Basically, Word was a series where I created original designs for each book of the Bible. Before each design, I spent time researching the book, finding out the themes, historical context, weirdest stories, etc. I also scanned through parts of the book looking for a passage or story that could translate into a cool design. Each design isn't meant to completely represent the book, rather it is merely based on a passage from the book.
From January 2010 to November 2011 I posted a total of 91 Word Designs.
So that’s the origin of Word. I went through the books in order, posting one new design a week, from Genesis to Revelation. (Some books ended up having several designs.) In addition to the design, I posted some of the thought process behind each design, as well as some reflections on the book. Don't worry, it's not too preachy. It's much more fun for me to design and write about things like bears mauling teenagers and piles of human bones that regrow flesh (seriously, that's in there). In fact, some designs and write ups ended up being pretty crude or violent. But hey, so is the Bible, right?
I've received many questions about the designs, like: Can I use your images in a blog post about your project? Can use I the designs as sermon art? Are prints available? (Yes, they are.) Can I purchase the designs as digital files? (Yes, you can.) For answers to those questions and more, check the Word FAQ.
A few folks have been kind enough to publish interviews and posts on the project. If you would like to do an interview or a blog post, let's talk.
June 24, 2010: Word Designs, Collide Magazine
October 1, 2010: Interview - Jim LePage (Interview), Strong Odors
July 14, 2011: The Artistic Imagination and the Word: Reflections from Jim LePage (guest post written by me), Pangea Blog
July 20, 2011: Bible Inspired Poster Designs by Jim LePage, Abduzeedo
September 4, 2011: Jim LePage – Bridging the Gap Between the Imagination and the Word (guest post written by me), yesHEis blog
November 14, 2011: Godly Graphics (Interview), CONVERGE Magazine
November 23, 2011: The “Word” series by Jim LePage (Interview) Go Media
December 8, 2011: Interview with Jim LePage, Talent Extraordinaire (Interview) Modern Reject
January 4, 2012: “Honesty Above Propriety” - Jim LePage takes a new look at the Bible (Interview) Rachel Held Evans
March 14, 2012: "5 Art and Design Projects Inspired by Literary Classics" Brain Pickings
May 2012: “Honesty Over Propriety (PDF)” (Interview) Cannon Magazine
May 9, 2012: “The Old and New Project” - A collaborative Bible design project (Interview) Go Media