Mass Explained was designed to be “beautiful.” Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire is a strong proponent of beauty as a form of evangelization:
“Beauty has always been and should continue to be a powerful tool for the Church to proclaim the Gospel and evangelize, whether in the form of paintings, poetry, architecture, sculptures, music, or even the lives of the saints….The best evangelical strategy is one that moves from the beautiful to the good and finally to the true….The beautiful claims the viewer, changes him, and then sends him on mission.”
No effort or cost was spared in the creation of this book:
• The book is offset printed using archival inks. It’s not print-on-demand or digitally printed. Offset printing offers consistently high print quality, ensures sharp and clear images with vibrant colors and is particularly suited for projects that demand a dynamic color range such as the reproduction of artwork.
• Interior pages are printed on high-quality 70lb matte art paper with a smooth coating and neutral pH designed to faithfully reproduce artistic details.
• The soft cover is printed on 130lb coated paper and features soft touch laminate, providing a protective finish with a velvety feel.
• Select cover elements are enhanced with spot gloss UV and a spot reticulated texture varnish, adding a premium finish to the design.
• Sewn binding ensures Mass Explained is a worthy investment that will stand the test of time.
• Mass Explained quotes extensively from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the New American Bible. The reproduction of these texts need to be licensed from the USCCB for each copy.
• Proper licensing from ICEL (The International Committee for English in the Liturgy) is required for each copy of the book for the reproduction of passages from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Order of Mass, and various liturgical books.
• Although it would have drastically cut costs, print was not done in China due to human rights violations, the government’s suppression of religious freedoms including the restriction of Christian worship and the persecution of believers.
• Certain artworks in the book require royalty payments for every copy sold.
• It was necessary to fund numerous professional photo sessions aimed at capturing close-up images of the priest and other ministers at the altar, ensuring a clear depiction of what transpires at Mass.
• Several hundred stock photos were licensed for use in Mass Explained.
These design decisions contribute to a visually beautiful book, provide a delightful reading experience, enhance its aesthetic appeal and give dignity to the covered topic.