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21 titles awarded the Top Shelf Award for design excellence

Winning designs include Bibles, Academic, Biography, Childrens, Classic
devotional, Nonfiction, Reference, and Seasonal 6, 2018, Nashville, Tenn. –  ECPA announced the winners of the 2018 Top Shelf Book Cover Award today at Lipscomb University during the opening session of ECPA PubU.  ECPA’s Stan Jantz and Pete Peterson, of Nashville-based The Rabbit Room, announced the winning covers among 225 Christian publishing professionals gathered for the event — including industry designers and art directors who are attendees of the PubU Design track taking place today and tomorrow.

Judges chose 19 books and two Bible projects to represent the year’s best designs, including a biography on Madeleine L’Engle, a re-design of the classic Hinds’ Feet on High Places, and a Bible infographics for kids.  The winning Bible projects were the ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition (Crossway) and the NIV The Sola Scriptura Bible Project (Zondervan).

“A well-designed cover tells the story of a book in a single frame, drawing the prospective reader to look inside,” said Stan Jantz, president of ECPA. “The 21 Top Shelf Award winners represent not just artistic excellence, but artistic storytelling at its most elemental level. Congratulations to the designers and publishers of these outstanding book covers.”

The winners of the 2018 Top Shelf Book Cover Award are:
(Each cover can be viewed at, including comments made by judges and designers.)

Title: 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me
Author: Edited by Collin Hansen and Jeff Robinson Sr.
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Micah Lanier

Title: After the Trip
Author: Cory Trenda
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Designer: David Fassett

Title: A Light So Lovely
Author: Sarah Arthur
Publisher: Zondervan
Designer: Jeff Miller, Faceout Studio
Art Direction: Curt Diepenhorst

Title: Bible Infographics for Kids
Author: Harvest House Publishers
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Designers: Nicole and Kyler Dougherty
Illustrations by: Brian Hurst

Title: Come, Let Us Adore Him
Author: Paul David Tripp
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Tyler Deeb, Misc Goods Co.

Title: Developing Clinicians of Character
Author: Terri S. Watson
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Designer: David Fassett

Title: Disruptive Witness
Author: Alan Noble
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Designer: David Fassett

Title: Don’t Waste Your Life
Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Matt Wahl

Title: ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Dana Tanamachi

Title: Finding God in the Margins
Author: Carolyn Custis James
Publisher: Lexham Press
Designer: Brittany Schrock
Art Director: Bryan Hintz

Title: Follow Me
Author: Mary Jo Pierce
Publisher: Gateway Publishing
Designer: Micah Kandros

Title: Hinds’ Feet on High Places
Author: Hannah Hurnard
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Designer: Jen Phelps
Illustrated by: Jill De Haan
Art Director: Jennifer Ghionzoli

Title: Inspired
Author: Rachel Held Evans
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Designer: Connie Gabbert
Art Director: Belinda Bass

Title: Kiss the Wave
Author: Dave Furman
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Tim Green, Faceout Studio
Image by: Catherine Macbride, Stocksy

Title: The Moment of Truth
Author: Steven J. Lawson
Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (Ligonier Ministries)
Designer: Vanessa Wingo

Title: NIV The Sola Scriptura Bible Project: The Complete Collection
Author: Zondervan
Publisher: Zondervan
Designer: Micah Kandros
Art Director: Courtney Stuart

Title: The Problem of God
Author: Mark Clark
Publisher: Zondervan
Designer: Tim Green, Faceout Studio
Art Director: Tammy Johnson

Title: Redeeming Money
Author: Paul David Tripp
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Tyler Deeb, Misc Goods Co.

Title: Theistic Evolution
Author: Edited by J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, and Wayne Grudem
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Micah Lanier
Image by: Sari O’Neal © Shutterstock

Title: Uncomfortable
Author: Brett McCracken
Publisher: Crossway
Designer: Micah Lanier

Title: What Blooms From Dust
Author: James Markert
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Designer: Jeff Miller, Faceout Studio
Art Director: Kristen Ingebretson

Each year, esteemed creative directors in the publishing industry are invited to serve as judges. This year’s judges were:

Program information, including judge bios and future submission information, can be found at  The submission period for the 2019 Top Shelf Design Awards is open November 15, 2018 until August 30, 2019.

Winning book covers are featured at and in a four-color Annual designed by Faceout Studio and printed by Color House Graphics for distribution to the industry.  Contact ECPAfor copies.

The ECPA Top Shelf Award program is managed by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) in order to recognize design excellence in the Christian publishing industry. The membership of ECPA is made up of Christian publishers and companies providing services to the Christian publishing industry. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building Networking, Information, and Advocacy opportunities within the industry and across multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.  Through programs, events, communications, recognition and research, ECPA strengthens publishing communities within the industry.  The ECPA Design E-Community, PubU Design training sessions, and Top Shelf Awards are among several ECPA-driven opportunities that designers have to network, stay informed, and be recognized within the industry. For more information on ECPA programs and membership, visit or contact us at

Media contact:  Stan Jantz, Executive Director, ECPA, 480-966-3998