Burkey Belser, a graphic designer who created the ubiquitous nutrition facts label — a stark rectangle listing calories, fat, sodium and other content information — that adorns the packaging of nearly every digestible product in grocery stores, died Sept. 25 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 76.
The cause was bladder cancer, said his wife Donna Greenfield, with whom he founded the Washington, D.C., design firm Greenfield/Belser.
Belser’s nutrition facts label — rendered in bold and light Helvetica type — was celebrated, reports The Washington Post, “as a triumph of public health and graphic design when it debuted in 1994 following passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act.”
Working pro bono — Congress did not appropriate design funds — continues The Post. “Belser and his team labored through three dozen iterations of the label. There were many cooks in the kitchen. The Agriculture Department, for instance, was concerned the label would cause consumers to eat less meat, which is typically higher in fat and calories than other foods.”
In 2016, global public relations firm Finn Partners acquired Greenfield Belser, Ltd., a brand strategy and creative services firm based in D.C. The move, stated a release, bolstered the scope of services offered by the agency and expanded its reach into key B2B sectors. Belser, co-founder of Greenfield Belser, became managing partner of the Greenfield Belser division of Finn Partners’ Digital/Creative practice, reported Capitol Communicator.
Greenfield/Belser designed brands and programs for over 300 law firms including large international firms such as Jones Day, Clifford Chance and Morgan Lewis and small firms such as Marger Johnson. They have also created brands and programs for the Big Four accounting firms plus fast-growing regional accounting firms, states Wikipedia.