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Burkey Belser ’69, ‘Steve Jobs of Information Design,’ Dies at 76

by | Sep 27, 2023

I doubt there are many folks who aren’t familiar with the Nutrition Facts box.


Burkey Belser ‘69 was a graphic designer best known as the creator of the nutrition facts label mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which adorns most food sold in the United States. He died on Sept. 25, 2023, in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 76.

Photo of Burkey Belser from his Facebook page.

In 2014, The Washington Post called Belser “the Steve Jobs of information design” after he created the black and white label that is ubiquitous in grocery stores across the country.

Belser had earned a reputation for his successful–and similarly clean–design for the black and yellow energy guide labels for appliances. 

According to The Washington Post’s obituary:

In an interview, David A. Kessler, the FDA chief during the label’s creation, called Mr. Belser “an absolute genius.” President Bill Clinton honored him with a Presidential Design Award.

“The label had enormous public health impact for millions and millions of people who rely on it every day,” Kessler said.

Belser majored in English and minored in studio art at Davidson. His full obituary is available here.

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