By The CSB Team.
If you’ve ever wondered about the process behind a logo — especially for a Bible translation, the team behind the new CSB “True North” logo recently shed some insight.
“A logo design can often feel very easy or obvious once it’s complete,” says Rick Devon, Creative Director at Grey Matter Group in Grand Rapids, MI. “But you don’t necessarily know when you begin where you will end up. In this case, we pursued a lot of different visual symbols to represent God’s Word: A crown of thorns, growing leaves, a ship’s wheel, as well as more abstract or typographical ideas.”
The CSB logo is the end product of three designers doing conceptual layouts, which were then narrowed down by the publisher until one idea was ultimately chosen as the direction that best aligned with the CSB’s translation principles. The final mark represents about seven rounds of collaboration between the creative team and the publisher — refining, distilling, simplifying, and polishing the mark until it felt just right.
Shannon Finazzo, the designer whose compass concept rose to the top, reflects on the process. “The first part of the work of the team was to arrive at an identity statement. ‘Faithful and True’ was drawn directly from Scripture in Revelation 22:6, and it’s an expression of our belief about the Word of God. So that’s how we started — by trying to create a visual expression of ‘faithful and true.’ The compass was a natural fit.”
Devon agrees. “The compass is such a great metaphor for God’s Word in general — the idea of pointing your heart to God’s ‘True North’ resonates with any Christian. And in particular, since the Christian Standard Bible is known to have an exceptional balance of literal translation and clear, readable language, the compass becomes a great way to visually express that balance, too.”
Finazzo recounts, “The compass began as a more complex, literal-looking symbol, with both North and South arrows like a real compass. But we wanted to simplify the visual form, leading us to just a circle with northward-pointing arrow. Then that felt a little too oversimplified — it seemed important to imply not just North, but the other 3 directions as well. That’s how we arrived at the final solution.”
Devon notes that the compass mark ripples out across all the touchpoints of the brand. “It lends itself easily to all the usual places you’d expect to see a logo, but it also has become a central piece of the CSB’s packaging language, a front-and-center way to continually remind us of the Bible’s importance — of God’s constancy, reliability, and his clear guidance in an often unclear world.”
Finazzo thinks the compass is an especially fitting symbol for the Christian journey. “A compass always points in a true direction. It doesn’t matter where you are in your walk with Christ, because the compass of God’s Word leads you in the right direction from any point along your path. A Bible with the compass image becomes a constant reminder of that journey.”
Learn more about the Christian Standard Bible.