Will Burtin

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1908–1972 | BORN: Cologne, Germany | EDUCATION: Handwerkskammer Köln, Kölner Werkschulen

Made complex information understandable through design

Advanced the understanding of science

Organized multidisciplinary conferences on communication

Graphic design is usually not a matter of life and death. For Will Burtin, though, the lives of World War II combat fighters depended on the clarity and effectiveness of his design.

In his native Germany, Burtin was pressured to design Nazi propaganda for Adolf Hitler. Instead, he and his Jewish wife fled to the United States in 1938. It’s said he never uttered another word in German.

Burtin was drafted ...

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