Pastor Rick Warren has teamed up with his book publisher and a crowd-sourced graphic design company to create a new cover for his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. The 10th anniversary edition will also have a rearranged title in hopes of attracting readers from the millennial generation, says the book publishing company Zondervan.
The cover for What on Earth Am I Here For? The Purpose Driven Life features a tree, but unlike the original life-like, two-toned design, it has brightly colored leaves on a white background.
"Some of the titles that appealed to us most were the ones where the title and the subtitle seemed to kind of be a dialogue, a question and answer," Zondervan marketing executive Rich Tatum told The Christian Post.
"It seemed like that makes more sense with this generation – leading with the question and the answer is the 'Purpose Driven Life' rather than leading with the answer and then subtitling it with the question," Tatum explained. "It seems to make it more relevant and to appeal to this generation, the millennial generation and slightly older."
Warren, who is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and Zondervan enlisted the help of the graphic design crowd-sourcing company 99designs to hold a contest for the book cover.
Brian M. Montes, 25, from Davao City in the Philippines had the winning design out of 3,892 entries from 667 designers competing.
Tatum said that Montes' story of creating the winning design includes what appears to be divine intervention. Two of the graphic designer's five entries made the final five book cover designs that were presented to Warren for final selection.
"He was dogged in his persistence in coming up with different concepts. It was amazing," Tatum said. "He told me that he kept thinking about it and he kept praying about it and he said that he felt that God had given him the inspiration for the final cover that was picked."
Confirmation for Montes that he was led by God to create the design came in a unique way related to the content of the book, said Tatum. Warren's original book has 40 chapters that go along with a 40-day book study.
"I counted the little leaves that he has on this tree and there was exactly 40 and I thought that's a really nice touch. I sent [Montes] an email that said, 'Nice touch, by the way, by making the leaves number exactly 40,'" he said. "The designer was not even aware that his decision-making included exactly 40 leaves. He didn't even know that there were only 40 leaves. He was so excited and he felt it was confirmation that he was listening to guidance beyond himself on designing this cover."
In an email correspondence with 99designs, Montes wrote that his inspiration came from God.
"Every time I make a certain design I always ask God's guidance because I firmly believe that every design that is from God is a masterpiece," Montes stated.
The graphic designer said that his church group had previously read The Purpose Driven Life and that the book had inspired him to "strengthen my principles in life."
"I hope the book cover I designed will catch the eyes of readers and help the book touch more lives," he said. "I'll be using the prize money ($3,500) to start my own graphic design business and help my church."
Tatum said Zondervan's book cover selection process in partnership with Warren and 99designs was extremely time-intensive but rewarding as well.
"It was really interesting to see the different takes that people had on the cover, especially people who had interacted with the book before," he said. "There were a lot of designers who got involved because they had read the book and were excited to take part in this. They wanted to exercise their gifts to help through their view spread the word of God."
The last documented estimate of the number of copies sold of The Purpose Driven Life was calculated five years ago at 30 million copies. The book was named several years ago as one of the top 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century.
The release date for What on Earth Am I Here For? The Purpose Driven Life has not been determined, but is expected to be later this year, according to Tatum. Plans for the new edition include four additional chapters written by Warren.