DesignStudio in London has created a new design for the £2 coin, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

The coin features the quote ‘In the beginning was the Word’, from John 1.1, and the design aims to demonstrate the original process of the printing press. The text appears in a reversed, mirrored version that protrudes, representing the printing block, and in a recessed correct version, representing the printed word.

The design for the coin enlarged, with a sketch of the actual sized coin shown below, alongside an enlarged version of the text that appears on the coin edge

As part of the design process, DesignStudio visited the British Library in London, to see one of the original copies of the Bible. “This was our first glimpse of the actual print and quality of the original document,” says Paul Stafford, DesignStudio founding partner. “After seeing the detailing of the text we knew we wanted to create a design that was a representation of the printing process.”

Other designs proposed by DesignStudio included two separate coins that were a mirror image of each other, also reflecting the print process. A sketch of this idea is shown above.

The team also proposed a single coin version which focused on the language aspect of the King James Bible (sketch shown above). This idea reflected the Latin/English tranlation of the Bible commissoned by King James, and the way it helped develop English into a worldwide language. The design features the first line from Genesis – ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ – in both Latin and English.

The finished version of the coin, shown top, will launch on December 1 in a base metal collector version. Additional collector versions will be struck in silver and gold next year, with general circulation of the coin taking place later in 2011. via Creative Review