• Steven Heller

Nearer His Type to Thee

I have written before about ecclesiastical typography. In fact, I’m always on the lookout for letterforms and typefaces that uniquely symbolize the spiritual, religious experience.

What makes a typeface express the “Word”? Is it inherent in the form or is it its proximity to holiness? The original 42-line Bible was set in black letter, which by association is sometimes holy yet other times not.


These two bromides are appropriately typeset, it seems, because they telegraph the spiritual words through a chiseled style (even though they are, in fact, raised letters). Peace Be Unto You is even more religiously potent owing to the swash in the ‘A’ and ‘C’ in “peace.” Not all religious material is typeset with as much point-on accuracy as these, but they represent a kind of religious identity that can only be described as a heavenly brand.



Enter the 2016 Regional Design Annual today for a chance to be featured among the country’s best design work in Print magazine. Our judges: Jessica Walsh, Gail Anderson, Timothy Goodman, Marc English, Bill Grant and Jennifer Morla.



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