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B&H Wins Two Top Shelf Book Cover Awards

Jenaye White | Oct 9th

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) recognized LifeWay’s B&H Publishing for a pair of Top Shelf Book Cover Awards on October 1 via a webcast with author Ruth Chou Simons.

The two B&H honors went to “For All Who Wander” by Robin Dance and “A Holy Pursuit” by Dianne Jago. Art direction for each title was overseen respectively by Jade Novak and Susan Browne.

“I’m thrilled to see Jade and Susan recognized in this way,” said Bill Craig, senior vice president of publishing for LifeWay. “They use their God-given gifts and talent to design covers that beautifully reflect the content of the message and draw in readers. Susan’s and Jade’s work are vibrant expressions of LifeWay’s mission statement: “Designing trustworthy experiences that fuel ministry.”

“For All Who Wander: Why Knowing God is Better Than Knowing It All” was published by B&H this January. The book helps readers wrestle with Mark 9:24—“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief”—as it describes how to exercise faith during seasons when heartbreak and challenges stir doubt.

The ethereal design conveys the idea of wandering, said the designer, as dandelion seeds float aimlessly on the wind on a dreamlike/hazy background.

“I made a very good call, selecting Lindy Martin from FaceOut Studio to design this cover for us,” said Novak. “She did a great job of interpreting the concept and tone of the book and went the extra mile by designing a two-part cover incorporating the first interior page.”

“A Holy Pursuit: How the Gospel Frees Us to Follow and Lay Down Our Dreams” was published by B&H in March. It examines opposing messages Christians face—one being to follow one’s heart and dreams no matter the cost, and the other to lay down one’s dreams and passions, avoiding all self-interest.

Instead of looking inward, the book argues, Christians should look upward as they determine their God-given purpose as the foundation for their hopes and dreams.

“The idea of laying down your dreams doesn’t lend itself to beautiful imagery,” said the designer. “However, that was the challenge we wanted to explore—can we make a concept that sounds restrictive and sad feel alive and hopeful?”

To achieve this, the designer used painterly leaves and a calm background to create a harmony that mimics the peace one finds when looking outside of oneself.

“Our goal was to create a clean design with an artistic look that was beautiful, feminine, neutral in tone, and preferably achieved without the use of photography,” said Browne. “Once we married the perfect botanical touch to the font-forward design solution, a sculptor brought to life the dimensional quality of art with embossing of the printed cover.”

The Top Shelf Award program is managed by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in order to recognize design excellence in the Christian publishing industry.

“These covers not only showcase the creative skill of the talented book cover designers in our industry, but they also tell the story of the valuable content contained inside, providing a graphic glimpse of the author’s intent in writing the book,” stated Stan Jantz, CEO and president of the ECPA.

Written by Aaron Wilson, LifeWay Corporate Communications editor