The Bible reminds us of a serious-looking book under solid-black, intimidating cover, each line corralled inside densely packed, numbered columns devoid of imaginary. Millennials tend to avoid the world’s oldest bestseller that was passed down for over the past 2,000 years, just for the unattractive appearances. Some young people are trying to change it. Brian Chung and Bryan Ye-Chung, co-founders of a Los Angeles startup Alabaster, thought that the Bible may be a holy book, but it’s also a “content-rich lifestyle brand.”
Brian Chung recalls the time he made an honest attempt to read the Bible while he was a student at the University of Southern California. He soon came to a problem: small texts with no illustrations cramped into toilet-paper thin pages. “I didn’t want to read it,” says Brian. For an artistic college student studying communications, design, and advertising, the “good book” looked surprisingly bad.
A decade later, he has turned his early aversion to the Bible into a growing business. He and his co-founder are attempting to make it “millennial-friendly.” To do that, his Los Angeles start-up, Alabaster Co., places the full text of a biblical book, including two from the Old Testament, inside publications that resemble chic, indie lifestyle and design magazines — like those you might find on your most fashionable friend’s coffee table. Alabaster uses the New Living Translation of the Bible. Negative space is plentiful, and the text is a stylish sans serif font, dwarfed by the kind of moody, still-life images that proliferate on Instagram.
The Bible has gone through many different transformations, from the hand-copied Torah on sheepskin scrolls to Greek translations, then the first printed Bible in Latin by Gutenberg, and the King James edition published in 1611, to name a few. The English translation of King James, with its beautiful expressions and rhymes, clearly influenced the prose in modern English. Nowadays literature flourishes in new and creative media such as blog and Audible. Alabaster’s reimagined Bible that appeal to the readers’ eyes could catch on to the millennials to influence their generation.