It all started when Klaus Krogh approached the Zondervan booth at the Evangelical Theological Society conference in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2015. He picked up the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, all 2,912 pages, and said with confidence that he could reduce its size by at least 300 pages — and what would feel like two pounds. The team later learned that Klaus is the President and CEO of 2K/DENMARK, the foremost Bible type foundry in the world.
A Bible is made up of more than 800,000 words, which is approximately 4 million letters. Those numbers alone can sound daunting, and once you add chapters, verse numbers and footnotes, it is far too easy to feel lost in the abundance of text on even a single page.
“My life’s work has been the art and craft of designing Bibles; and creating Bible fonts has been a central part of that. My desire has always been to create the most beautiful and readable Bibles imaginable,” Klaus said.
Soon after they met, Zondervan approached Klaus and his team with the task of designing a new, proprietary typeface for the New International Version. The final fonts in what would become the NIV Comfort Print font would not only give the NIV a new look, but it would improve readability and reduce eyestrain, while also saving room on each page (and, in turn, in your backpacks and on your bookshelves).
“We believe the Bible contains the very words of God, so we have an obligation, a commitment to make sure that those words, that typeface, is the best, most readable solution that modern design and technology can provide,” said Doug Lockhart, SVP, HCCP Bible Marketing.
Melinda Bouma, Publisher, and Franklin Goldberg, Senior Marketing Director of Zondervan Bibles, had the opportunity to meet Klaus on his side of the world – in Denmark. While they were there, they watched as the 2K team worked with passion and precision, paying attention to the smallest details to ensure that the typeface would reinforce the NIV’s personality, which readers worldwide have grown to cherish.
For inspiration, Klaus looked to the history of the translation — Howard Long’s desire to capture the Word of God in contemporary English, and his surprise when it sold 1 million copies before the Bibles were even finished printing. The NIV has been beloved from its conception, and has since reached hundreds of millions of readers across the globe.
“Ever since its humble beginnings over 50 years ago, the NIV has stayed true to its mission to be clear to English readers around the world and accurate to the original languages. We sought to create a typeface that represented the NIV. One that is on the cutting edge of typeface design, open, welcoming, accessible, while also being authoritative and global,” Klaus said.