Services and prayers for the Church
of England

Church of England

2000–2012

The Church of England’s broad family of prayer books have been designed by the studio over more than 10 years, following the redesign of the main edition by Derek Birdsall in 2000. Read John Morgan’s account of the making of Common Worship.

‘Printing and religion have a long and intimately connected history. The first book to be printed from movable type was a Bible, and ever since then the faiths – especially the Christian faith – have been carried, developed, spread, and challenged by this marvellous human invention. For a typographer, the chance to design a new edition of one of the central books of worship must surely be a forbidding task. At the designer’s back is a great legacy of publication, the bulk of it from the centuries before “design” came to be a profession separate from the editing of texts and the printing of them. It would seem wrong to impose “design” on such a book. Rather, the book should be allowed to design itself. That is an old credo, and one with which Derek Birdsall and John Morgan, the designers of this new work, have long been familiar. Though still in his twenties, Morgan grew up with this precept as a student of typography at the University of Reading. Birdsall’s career is now in its fourth decade and he has vast experience. But in no other of the jobs he has tackled can this injunction have been more deeply true.’ (Robin Kinross, Baseline 33, 2001)