Museum of the Bible. That’s it. The name of the museum under
construction in Washington, D.C., is official.
“We don’t need more to tell people who and what we are,” the museum’s
founder and funder, Steve Green, told Religion
But, as always with the Bible, nothing is ever simple. The high-tech
museum, set to open in fall 2017, is four blocks from the
U.S. Capitol and three blocks from a global tourism mecca, the Air and
Space Museum. The new museum will feature standing exhibits on the history and
impact of the Bible as well as interactive features to bring viewers into Bible
stories and characters.
It’s the passionate project of Green, the Hobby Lobby billionaire who
would prefer to be known for his world-class Bible artifacts collection than
for his victorious Supreme Court fight for exemption from the Affordable Care
Act contraception mandate.
Religious freedom, he says, is a biblical concept. The Green
family— generations of Pentecostals and Baptists—has long funded Bible
scholarship, biblical archaeology and the drafting of a proposed public school
curriculum on the Bible’s historic, cultural, and artistic impact on the U.S.
and the world.
All are controversial endeavors, particularly given Green’s personal
commitment to spread the good word about the Good Book.
Yet, Green insists, this is not an $800 million monument to personal
evangelism. Unlike Answers in Genesis, the ministry that launched the Creation
Museum in Kentucky and an Ark Encounter park under construction, employees need
not pass a Christians-only litmus test. Green said believers, skeptics and
the “intellectually curious” alike can visit and learn, just as they might at a
“The Bible can speak for itself, explain itself.”
Blowback since the museum’s announcement in 2011 doesn’t bother him.
“Anytime you do anything with the Bible, people respond with emotion — emotion
for and against it. That people want to express their love or their hate is not
To Green, the controversies simply prove the timeless intrigue of the
Bible. “There really isn’t a barrier for this book.”
Hence, the simple, symbolic and super modern logo featuring
a B-as-in-Bible set on its side.
Or is it a lowercase ‘m’ for museum, underscored?
Or a set of archways leading toward the path of your own choosing?
Or the tablets of the Ten Commandments?
Or the curled open pages of a book?
All the above, said Jonathan Alger, one of the founding partners of
C&G Partners, the design firm that created the logo and brand imagery.
Like the Bible, the logo is “a vessel for what you pour into it.”
“When you are making an identity to reflect a museum about the Bible,
it has to be simple and respectful,” Alger said.
His firm aimed for something “stylish, international, unexpected and
very modern,” so even the typography mattered. Choice of the font was critical.
The museum signage and logo are in a European font known as DIN,
“originally invented to make roadway signs in Europe more visible and safe. It
was designed for clarity, to help people find their way.”