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Old 10-10-2005, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Betty Binns, R.I.P.

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.
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