The ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible

The ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, first released in January of 2012, was the culmination of precise and thoughtful planning, with the aim of making the ideal reader's edition. It was the first text-only edition where our Typesetting and Design teams started from scratch and tried something completely new in terms of typography.

The inviting reading experience of the Single Column Legacy Bible was inspired primarily by Robert Bringhurst’s typesetting philosophy in The Elements of Typographic Style. The page layout is based on the Renaissance ideal of a perfect page, which means that there is a measured and precise layout of the text and margins–what Renaissance thinkers considered to be perfect proportions.

An ideal reader’s edition incorporates this philosophy by prioritizing the Bible text and allowing it to be the dominant feature on the page. In order to accomplish this, we chose a single-column format and opted not to include cross-references, introductions, or other special features. We also placed the subject headings in the margin instead of in-line with the text, freeing the reader to engage the biblical text with fewer interruptions.

The philosophy behind the Single Column Legacy Bible has continued to influence our approach to typography, most notably in editions such as the ESV Single Column Heritage Bible and the brand new ESV Reader’s Bible. Because of the edition’s influence and unique design, it is appropriate that the Single Column Legacy Bible receive the Heirloom treatment.

A Bible for Life

The Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible is an elegant edition, hand-crafted with the highest quality production materials available.


  • Produced, from start to finish, by Jongbloed, a Dutch bindery widely regarded as the producers of the finest Bibles in the world
  • Highest quality European Bible paper (28 GSM)
  • Hand-crafted, edge-lined binding
  • Goatskin leather cover
  • Red over gold art gilding
  • Four ribbon markers
  • Genuine spine hubs
  • Packaged in a black, two-piece box

This picture (above) compares the original Single Column Legacy Bible (on top) with the Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible (on bottom). Although it appears that the page count was decreased, this is not the case. Rather, given the superior quality of the paper in the Heirloom edition, the Bible is noticeably thinner.

The Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible was designed to be a Bible that would last a lifetime. In keeping with it’s name, it is an edition that can be passed from generation to generation.

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