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BradW
10-10-2005, 04:03 PM
Betty Binns Esner, a prominent graphic designer in the publishing industry, died after a long illness at her home in Brooklyn Heights on September 17. *She was 76. The cause of death was metastatic cancer.

Entering publishing in the early 1950s, at a time when few women worked in design, Betty Binns Esner became one of the best-known book and publications designers of her generation and was a mentor and role model for many younger women entering the field. She wrote two influential books—Better Type and Designing in Two Colors, and taught and lectured extensively on type, typography and design.

Known professionally as Betty Binns, she received numerous awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and other industry organizations. She was particularly sought after for her work on art books and museum catalogs for such clients as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Born Batya Rubinstein in Brooklyn in 1929 to Zvi Henry Rubinstein and Sarah Weitz, she was educated at Barnard College, majoring in mathematical philosophy, and spent several years in Europe before returning to New York and entering the publishing industry at McGraw Hill. There she met David R. Esner, a long-time book editor, whom she married in 1961. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

In the 1970s, Ms. Esner founded her own design firm, Betty Binns Graphics, and continued to work as a graphic designer in publishing for nearly forty years.

Betty Binns Esner is survived by her husband and her children, Rachel Esner of Amsterdam and Ben Esner of Brooklyn, and a granddaughter, Sofia.

ktinkel
10-10-2005, 05:33 PM
Betty Binns Esner, a prominent graphic designer in the publishing industry, died after a long illness at her home in Brooklyn Heights on September 17. *She was 76. The cause of death was metastatic cancer.I am so sorry to hear of her death. I learned a lot from her book Better Type, including many things we should probably avoid — the book was really clear, and did not attempt to preach, only to show. I spoke to her once or twice — she was a great lady.

I know you produced Better Type for her. Condolences, to you and to her family.

BradW
10-11-2005, 03:37 PM
Actually, I didn't produce Better Type, but I'm one of the handful of typesetters to whom the book was dedicated. The president of the type shop where I worked at the time, US Lithograph, typeset the samples for the book, which was published by Watson-Guptill/Roundtable Press.

I worked with Betty on many projects over the years. She introduced me to a number of her clients; she would design the books and request that I be asked to bid for the typesetting. I just wrapped up a book today for a long-standing client that I wouldn't know if it hadn't been for her.

I also helped her buy the equipment she used at her home when she started working from there. More recently, long after she finally retired, I helped her and her husband buy and install a TV and DVD player, as she could no longer get out to movies, plays, and musical performances.

God, I'm going to miss her.

Brad

ktinkel
10-11-2005, 06:12 PM
Actually, I didn't produce Better Type…Sorry! I thought you had produced all those specimens.

God, I'm going to miss her.Very sorry, Brad.

ElyseC
10-11-2005, 08:07 PM
I was very sorry to hear the news, Brad. I remembered you'd had a long, close association with her. I know well that mentors like that are rare and know too well the pain of losing them.