The Graphic Design Archives Chapbook Series celebrates the achievements of key design pioneers whose work is collected in the Special Collections department of RIT Libraries.
Will Burtin: The Display of Visual Knowledge explores the work of Will Burtin (1908–1972), designer, visionary, and teacher. Whether in advertising, exhibits, magazines, or other print material, his constant goal was to provide the audience with optimum communication of the content. Burtin designed visual training manuals for gunners during World War II, served as art director of Fortune magazine, organized several ground-breaking design conferences, and worked as a design consultant for the pharmaceutical giant Upjohn. Burtin had a unique ability to visually express complex concepts in a sophisticated yet aesthetically pleasing and accessible manner; this became the deﬁning characteristic of his work. This chapbook, as well as the materials found in the Will Burtin Collection in the Graphic Design Archives, can be studied to give meaningful understanding to Burtin’s design process.
R. Roger Remington is the Massimo and Lella Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design in the School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology. An educator since 1960, his interests are graphic design history, theory, criticism, and methods. He is the author of several books, including Design and Science—The Life and Career of Will Burtin, co-authored with Robert S. P. Fripp, and American Modernism: Graphic Design, 1920 to 1960.