Aaron Burns began his career in graphic arts as an apprentice after he left Army service at the end of World War II. In 1952 he became director of design and typography at the Composing Room, a Manhattan typography shop.
He opened his own business in 1963 and six years later joined Herbert Lubalin to found the company that became International Typeface Corporation, of which he was president until it was sold five years ago. He continued as its chairman until his death.
Burns founded the International Center for the Typographic Arts in 1960 and was its director until 1965, staging the first World Typographic Exposition in 1964 in Toronto. He was the author of the book "Typography," published in 1961 by Rheinhold. He also taught typographic design at the Pratt Institute from 1955 to 1960.
In 1983 Burns was inducted into the New York Art Directors Hall of Fame and was made an honorary vice president of the Association Typographique Internationale.