Communicating Knowledge Visually
Title Details

188 Pages

22.8 x 30.4 cm

20 b/w, , 119 colour illus.

Imprint: RIT Press

Communicating Knowledge Visually

Will Burtin’s Scientific Approach to Information Design

by R. Roger Remington and Sheila Pontis, Ph.D.

Foreword by Steven Heller

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Communicating Knowledge Visually presents a timely, in-depth examination of information design pioneer, Will Burtin. Using a methodical approach, the authors analyze Burtin's way of working and nine of his seminal projects, including his exhibitions for The Upjohn Company and diagrams for SCOPE magazine.

Excerpts taken from Burtin's unpublished writing offer insight into his thinking process and explain how he transformed complex scientific information into easy, accessible visual forms. Scientists, designers, educators and students will gain valuable knowledge from Burtin's unique design approach in meeting the current challenges of communicating complexity in their respective fields.
Foreword by Steven Heller

Chapter 1: Introduction
A Designer Ahead of his Time
The Importance of Information Design Today
Will Burtin's Journey to Information Design
A Need for Understanding

Chapter 2: An Overview of Will Burtin's Life
Beginnings on the Rhine
A Graphic Designer of German Precision
Modernism in the Air
An Émigré Mind
A Fresh Career in America

Chapter 3: A Designer with an Information Priority
Understanding, the Foundation
Understanding the Information Design Process
Information Design's Need for Scientific Thinking
Burtin's Scientific Approach to Visual Communication
Proposed Analytical Framework: Dimensions of Information Design

Chapter 4: Purpose
Facilitating Understanding
Metabolism, the Cycle of Life Exhibition
Process Box 1. Case Study 1: Metabolism, the Cycle of Life Exhibition (1963)

Chapter 5: Problem
Defining and Framing
The Brain Exhibition
Process Box 2. Case Study 2: The Brain Exhibition (1960)

Chapter 6: Audience
A Human-Centered Process
Gunner's Information File Project
Process Box 3. Case Study 3: Gunner's Information File Project (1944)

Chapter 7: Approach
A Cooperative Way of Working
The Cell Exhibition
Process Box 4. Case Study 4: The Cell Exhibition (1958)

Chapter 8: Outcome
Integration of Content
Fortune and SCOPE Magazines
Process Box 5. Case Study 5: SCOPE Magazine (1941-1957)

Chapter 9: Practice
Conveying the Value of Information Design
Information Design Practice Today
Visual Journeys of Will Burtin's Scientific Approach
Visual Aspects of Science Exhibition (1962)
The Communication of Knowledge Exhibition (1971)

Chapter 10: Education
Enhancing Comprehension and Communication
Rethinking Information Design Education Through a Scientific Lens
Skills and Knowledge for Information Designers
Educating through Information Design

Chapter 11: Recommendations and Information Design Imperatives
Being an Information Designer
Bringing the Past into the Present of Information Design

List of Images, Diagrams, and Tables
"In this text, Remington and Pontis break down the innovative philosophy and novel approach that brought Burtin's designs to life and secured his place as one of the great designers of the 20th century.
For those who only recognize the name, have never seen his work, or have no clue of Burtin's integral role in contemporary strategic design, this book is for you." Steven Heller, The Daily Heller



November 2021


£45.00 / $65.00

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Title Details

188 Pages

2.28 x 3.04 cm

20 b/w, , 119 colour illus.

Imprint: RIT Press