1973
“King James Version / Modern Language Bible / Living bible / Revised Standard Version

“The 4 versions of the Bible make a 3020 page volume, but since the versions vary considerably from each other in length, chapter by chapter, it was a very difficult book to cast off. My figure, after layout and type size had been determined, was 3600 pages, but the type setter (Auto-Graphics) said 3000, which was accepted by the publishers as the basis for their estimates for paper, printing, binding and actual price. The complete volume was set this way on the VideoGraph, but when it came to making up the pages the typesetters noticed, around page 800, that they had been wrong: the book would run to around 3600 pages! They threw away the 800 made-up pages, programmed the computer to set the type wider [line length], reduced the image to a larger degree, and brought the volume down to 3000 pages—but the type was now smaller than I had planned: and I had planned at the lowest edge of legibility! Still the book seems to be selling satisfactorily.

“As far as design is concerned it was interesting to bring the four versions to one typographically uniform level. Besides that, the layout of the frontmatter, and the type choices which characterize this edition, the designer’s main contribution was the arrangement of the footnotes. The references to them, for all 4 versions, begin anew on each new doublepage spread, and all of them are arranged together at the foot of the shortest column, saving quite a bit of space. The actual work of doling out the reference characters is done automatically by the computer, which is also programmed to cut off all 4 versions when the longest of them—sometimes one, sometimes another—reaches the foot of the page.

“To save space I meant to delete the version heads continually re-occurring, using instead a transparent plastic template extending across two pages: a ‘verse finder.’ Douglas Hollis drew a marvellous [sic], gothic-arched dummy for it, in 4 colors, & and called it the ‘Jesus Finder’. As you can see it was rejected.”

[another card; unnumbered]

“[names the four versions]…in 4 columns side by side across 2 pages. Parallel bibles have been with us ever since the earliest middle ages, and what is new about this one basically is that it was set on a computer—Videocomp—which would automatically cut off the 4 columns at the right place, and would number the footnotes automatically and correctly. I had these footnotes for all 4 versions numbered consecutively for each double page spread, and then placed together into a short column, thus achieving a more harmonious as well as a shorter book. It still ran longer than the compositors had figured; when, after several hundred pages this became apparent, we decided on a larger reduction and different widths, recast the whole page, and brought it down from about 3,600 pages to about 3060.

“The largest design disappointment for me was the elimination of the ‘Bible Finder’ (Doug, who made it, called it the ‘Jesus Finder’), a strip of transparent plastic printed in color, which would have saved the Bible version head space and slide down the page—an attractive & unique feature.”

The Layman’s Parallel Bible