Thank you to our backers who have helped us reach our all-or-nothing funding goal for The Conflict Beautiful! We’re incredibly excited as this means that the project will now be able to move forward. Without your pledges this wouldn’t be possible—so thank you for helping make this vision a reality. New pledges and pledge adjustments will continue to be possible right up until the deadline, and we’ll make sure to update this page when we have a post-Kickstarter pre-ordering solution in place. Thank you again, and stay tuned for more updates soon!
BOOKS THAT MATCH THE BEAUTY OF THE CONTENT
The Conflict Beautiful is a complete redesign of one of Ellen G. White’s most beloved collections, the Conflict of the Ages. This five-volume set spans the history of the world from a biblical perspective, all the way from its creation through to its future restoration—all while reinforcing Christ’s beautiful character of love.
These books have been published and republished in many different formats, sizes, and designs, but we at Types & Symbols think it’s time for another update. We think it’s time for a new, beautifully designed, hardcover set—expertly typeset, printed, and bound to match the beauty of words and ideas inside. We want to create books that truly arrest the attention, and we’re calling this edition The Conflict Beautiful.
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
“The Conflict Beautiful is a unique publishing project that I am extremely excited about. As a complete redesign of Ellen G. White’s most epic work, The Conflict Beautiful is of the highest aesthetic and material quality. As such, it possesses the potential to reach a whole new audience. I will be gifting The Conflict Beautiful to every political official in my city, key professors at my local university, and every millennial I know who expresses interest in exploring the biblical narrative.”
—Ty Gibson, author, Lead Pastor of Storyline Church and Co-director of Light Bearers
“Innovation meets Inspiration. An idea whose time has come.”
—Jared Thurmon, Head of Strategy & Innovation, Adventist Review Ministries
“These visually striking volumes powerfully convey the warmth, beauty, simplicity, and awe one feels when experiencing the love of God and the drama of the Gospel through the written word. They remind us that even in this digital age of apps, phones, and tablets, there is nothing quite like the look and feel of a beautifully printed book.”
—David Kim, Co-founder, The Nicodemus Society
“When I found out about this new edition—this vision to present the Conflict of the Ages in a very user friendly, easy to read, emphasizing-the-story format—I said, ‘this could be the package to engage a fresh generation in a totally new way.’ So I’m a big believer.”
—Dwight Nelson, Lead Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church
“A timeless work; exquisitely redesigned”
—Daniel Bruneau, Head of Experience Design, Adventist Review Ministries
“What a fresh project! Obviously the result of careful thought and brilliant creativity. These books are produced with a design philosophy that integrates the contents—such as the sanctuary theme—into the physical product in your hands. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
—Jeffrey Rosario, Featured Speaker, Light Bearers
“Every visionary, every innovator, every thinker, every artist, every creative, needs to have a set for themselves and a set to gift to someone they love.”
—Japhet De Oliveira, Senior Pastor of Boulder Church, Co-founder of the One project
“I am most impressed with this project. The Sanctuary imagery and chiastic framework with Christ at the center is a brilliant packaging idea for the wonderful story in these five classic books. It is fresh, crisp, and inspiring–and will resonate with the contemporary generation.”
—Jud Lake, Th.D., D.Min, Professor of Preaching and Adventist Studies, Southern Adventist University
THE DESIGN STORY
As a design studio we care deeply about creating remarkable experiences. We labor over the details because we understand that the end product is simply the sum of all these small decisions. We are determined to create something truly beautiful, and we’d like to bring you into the process.
Since these books deal with such a rich and meaningful narrative, we were interested in basing design concepts on the ideas, stories, and truths presented in the books themselves. We drew from the geometry of the tabernacle, the color of the materials, and the life and death of Christ in making our decisions.
To a lot of people familiar with these books, they have become known by their acronyms: PP, PK, DA, AA, and GC. In exploring design options for the different books, we became interested in elevating those acronyms in the design, so we created custom letterforms for each book.
Each letterform has been designed using the shapes found within the sanctuary. The Outer Court and Holy Place are rectangles using a 2:1 ratio; The Most Holy Place and Altar are perfect squares, and the Laver is a circle.
The Conflict Beautiful is being produced in two distinct color schemes—an elegant grayscale, hinting at the struggle between light and dark, and a sanctuary palette, a bold set of scarlet, purple, and blue.
In both instances, the books are organized using a chiastic structure, which was a very common literary device used throughout the Bible. Essentially, the most important content is in the middle with the content before building to it and the content after mirroring that process in reverse. So The Desire of Ages becomes the focal point in The Conflict Beautiful which is completely fitting considering it is all about the beautiful life of Christ.
The books measure roughly 9 inches tall by 6 inches wide. Small enough to hold comfortably for extended reading and large enough to provide generous margins.
Most editions of Ellen G. White’s books maintain the same page numbering as the original editions so that her work can easily be cited. Pick up any copy of The Desire of Ages, turn to page 350, and you can find this quote: “During His ministry, Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching”.
The ability to cite her work is extremely valuable, but it also places a lot of restriction on the design of the page, affecting typography, margins, line length, line height, font size, text block size, page size, and ultimately the readability.
To address this issue, we created a dual-page numbering solution. The numbers within the footer on the outside margin are the page numbers for The Conflict Beautiful, the numbers on the inside margin are the original page numbers and correspond to the page marker symbol within the margin. In this way we were able to design the page to create the best reading experience, while maintaining the ability to easily cite her work, or find a quote.
When it comes to book design, a really great typeface is one you don’t even notice. Your eyes glide across the page effortlessly moving from letter to letter, word to word, and line to line. This might sound simple, but designing a typeface that does all those things well is extremely difficult. After extensive exploration we decided to use Pensum Pro, a beautiful highly readable font family designed by TypeMates, a foundry located in Germany.
New King James Version
One of the goals we have for this project is create the best reading experience possible. Because of that, we’ve made the decision that all Bible passages cited in this edition of the Conflict of the Ages will use the New King James Version in place of the King James Version.
While we understand that to some this may seem like a significant shift, we are working with two seasoned editors to ensure the minor but abundant changes to content and style are handled accurately. Each verse needs to be considered within the context of the writing around it. Often, Ellen G. White will directly reference a specific word from the text after it’s been cited, and if that word has been changed from the KJV to the NKJV there’s no longer a direct connection. In these instances, we have made the decision to also update the reference word to reflect the NKJV.
We’re offering a custom slipcase crafted out of solid sycamore by an artisan located in Southwest Michigan. We designed the case specifically for The Conflict Beautiful, with special attention being paid to easily removing the books, or placing them back into, the case.
We selected sycamore because we love how it reminds us that just like Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore to get a better view of Jesus, these amazing books by Ellen G. White are also all about giving us a more accurate and beautiful picture of our God.
Two themes are central in White’s writings, and especially in the Conflict of the Ages series: One is the great conflict between God and Satan, and that age-long conflict is the namesake of both the series and the final book, The Great Controversy. The other theme is the infinitely loving character of God. The entire series begins and ends, literally, with the three words “God is love.”
Patriarchs and Prophets
Written in 1890, Patriarchs and Prophets explores the origin of evil, beginning with the story of Satan’s rebellion in heaven, and going through the creation of the world, the early patriarchs, all the way up through the life of King David.
Prophets and Kings
Written in 1917, Prophets and Kings begins with the life of Solomon and details the story of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the prophets who sought to call them to repentance. The volume concludes with the time of Israel’s exile into captivity.
The Desire of Ages
Written in 1898, The Desire of Ages details the central, pivotal event in biblical history. In beautiful depth, this book depicts the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the desire of ages, Jesus Christ.
Acts of the Apostles
Written in 1911, Acts of the Apostles covers the period in time from the Great Commission, through the early New Testament church and the persecution it faced, up to John the Revelator’s visions on Patmos.
The Great Controversy
First published in 1888, but revised and republished in 1911, The Great Controversy begins with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, takes the reader through the whole of Church History, past, current, and future, up to the end of sin and the recreation of the earth.
The Conflict Beautiful is being manufactured by Kösel in Germany—a printer that has been making beautiful books for over 400 years. Based on their reputation, and the mockups they have already made for The Conflict Beautiful, we’re confident the end result will be spectacular.
We plan to send final production files shortly after the Kickstarter campaign is completed. However, from that point it will take another 15 weeks to produce the books and ship them to the United States. The two most time consuming portions of that process are the the five weeks it will take to produce the paper and the three weeks it will take to ship the books from Germany. Because of this, we anticipate shipping the books to you in March of 2019. We know that seems like a long ways off, but beautiful printing and high quality binding takes time, and we think you’ll agree when you get a copy that the wait was worth it.
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and we can’t think of a better gift than an heirloom-quality edition of the Conflict of the Ages series. Of course, this would also be great for a birthday, baptism, graduation, or just because you think this would be a huge blessing to someone. All gift certificates include free shipping for a complete set of The Conflict Beautiful to any location in the USA.
Solid Sycamore Case
Exclusive Edition with Marbled Page Edges
A limited number of sets will include marbled page edges, hand-crafted by a master artisan in Germany. Marbling is a technique that dates back centuries, in which each book is dipped one at a time into marbled ink. Because of the analog process, each book is unique. Some of the earliest editions of these books employed this technique, and we like how this detail visually hints at the conflict depicted within these books.
Individual Books in either the Gray or Sanctuary Color Palette
We want to note that the photos shown on this campaign page are production-quality prototypes, and the final design may vary slightly from what you see here. With that said, any variation from what is shown on the Kickstarter page will be an improvement. Rest assured we will never make a decision that reduces the beauty, quality, or reading experience of the final product.
Risks and challenges
There is a risk that we will not meet our funding goal, which would prevent us from being able to complete and deliver this project. However, Kickstarter only charges backers if the funding goal is reached, so in this case you are only risking getting your hopes up.
There is also a risk that we will encounter delays due to editing, production, or shipping, that could affect our anticipated ship date. We are being very careful to plan properly, but we are aware that, as with all projects of this nature, we could encounter unexpected trouble.
A challenge we will have is that as an independent design studio creating an unauthorized edition, The Conflict Beautiful is not subsidized by and is not guaranteed promotion or distribution by official church channels. Because of this, we will have to work hard to develop smart, cost-effective, and highly efficient ways to manage this project, and even then there is a high chance that we will not recoup our investment in this project. However, this is a challenge we have determined to take on, because we truly believe that this project is worth doing. We truly want there to be books that match the beauty of the words inside.
There may certainly be many more challenges and risks that we are not aware of, but we feel called to do this project. With your support, encouragement, and prayer, we’re confident that we can make The Conflict Beautiful.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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