“When I think of aesthetics, I think of that whole category of words that we try to use to talk about beauty—that somewhat hard to pin down, somewhat subjective feeling that something we are observing looks really great. ‘Aesthetics’ in particular is kind of a fun word, because we use it both to refer to whole concept of beauty and also to refer to style. Like, I can appreciate the skill behind photo-realistic, representational oil-painting, but it isn’t really ‘my aesthetic.’ I think aesthetics and the use of different styles can be powerful because they serve as a kind of shorthand. You can cast an organization, an idea, or even yourself, as honest, scrappy, modern, and all kinds of things by the use of different visual elements, whether it’s clothing, fonts, or illustration styles. Style can help you know what you’re dealing with, and help you develop trust. And because of that, aesthetics can be used and misused.
An unfortunate amount of Ellen G. White-related materials—from anti- to pro-Ellen websites, and many of the cheaper books that get distributed like the leaves of autumn—look like they were put together by conspiracy theorists, in a rush, 20 years ago, and I think that’s really unfortunate. The content of so many of her writings is incredibly beautiful and timeless, but you wouldn’t get that impression from some of these materials. Aesthetics matter a lot for The Conflict Beautiful because we want to create an edition of the Conflict of the Ages that matches the beauty of the content. We want to create books that people can be proud to display, or give as gifts—something that looks and feels thoughtful and inspired as the words inside.”