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Design and Science: The Life and Work of Will Burtin Hardcover – September 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0853319689 ISBN-10: 0853319685

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lund Humphries (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853319685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853319689
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,377,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A book about this German/American "Information Designer" has long been overdue. This recent book "Design and Science: the life and work of Will Burtin" fulfills my expectations.

To many European designers Will Burtin is almost forgotten, so I hope this book will go some way to rectify that.

From his pioneer period in Germany and his involvement with the GeSoLei exhibition in 1926 to his famous Cell and Brain models of the late 1950s, these exemplify his conceptual models for understanding complex scientific and medical subjects. Burtin's pioneer work sets out the framework for today's multi-media models and illustrates what can be achieved by an outstanding designer working with enlightened clients.

This book about Burtin by Roger Remington and Robert Fripp is a first." --Michael Burke, Professor of Graphic Design at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung, Schwabisch Gmund, Germany -- Prof. Michael Burke, Hochschule fuer Gestaltung, Schwabisch Gmund

"A meticulously researched and engagingly readable account... What emerges at every turn in Burtin's story is his huge dedication to design."

"Creative Review" has posted Rick Poynor's full, illustrated review of "Design and Science." Search for: <Will Burtin: Forgotten Master of Design>. -- "Creative Review" magazine, 27 November 2007, London, U.K.

"Bravo! 'Design and Science' is a long overdue celebration of Will Burtin's life, work and legacy -- inspirational and heart soaring. In admiration!" --Estelle Ellis, New York, NY -- Estelle Ellis, New York, NY

"The world owes a very great debt to designers like Will Burtin, who, along with Canadian Paul Arthur, were instrumental in creating what we now know as 'information design.' If that sounds technical and dry, don't believe it. You couldn't get around a city without it, nor would you understand the bits of science you do actually get without the groundbreaking work of Will Burtin. His walk-in exhibitions in the '50s and '60s about the structure of the cell, the functions of the brain - and more - completely revolutionised how science is explained to non-scientists.

And they were shown around the world. He was also an amazing graphic designer, working on magazines like Fortune and Architectural Forum, creating brand icons and championing Helvetica from the outset.

There was also a social vision: as someone who had to flee Nazi Germany to America, he knew about the dangers as well as the pleasures of modernity, and brought designers and creatives together to find ways to avoid those dangers - the legendary Aspen Design Conferences started with him, and his Vision '65 and Vision '67 Conferences brought together everyone from Marshall McLuhan, to Buckminster Fuller, to environmentalists.

This book is full of beautifully presented examples of Burtin's amazing work. Its prose is as breathless as the speed and urgency of the work that Burtin effected, punctuated with moments of great sweetness and dignity about family life, exile, love, philosophy of design, and both the hardships and triumphs of mid-century creative life. It's rare to find monographs about designers. Buy this book and learn from a master." --Martha Fleming, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Materials Library, Department of Engineering, King's College, London, U.K. -- Dr. Martha Fleming, King's College, London, U.K.

From the Publisher

* The first illustrated monograph about Will Burtin, a key figure in the development of American design, who worked at the interface between science and the visual arts;

* Burtin was a pioneer in the fields of information design and the interpretation of science in print and three dimensions;

* Essential reading for graphic designers, product designers and design historians, as well as those with an interest in the promotion and dissemination of scientific ideas and discoveries.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Stephen Pepple on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I did not know much about Burtin before reading this book. Burtin was a German exile who work as a typographer, graphic designer, and Art Director for Fortune Magazine. Some of Burtin's most lasting and novel accomplishments are his large-scale, multimedia installations that explain scientific matters like how human cells and brains work.

I've written a complete review on my blog, [...].
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