Hans J. Barschel attended the Municipal Art School of Berlin and studied poster design at the State Academy of Art. Among the many professors he studied with was the designer George Salter. In 1935 he opened his own studio and worked on several commissions for the German Government Railways, exhibits for the 1936 Olympic Games as well as poster designs, book jackets and window displays for several other commercial and industrial organizations. He emigrated to the United States in 1937. Once in the US he established himself in New York city with such clients as Standard Oil, Fortune magazine, Town and Country, Steel Horizons as well as designing book jackets for several publishers. He also designed several ads for a pharmaceutical firm before becoming art director of a publication put out by the Health Department of New York. He moved to Rochester, New York in the 1950's and worked as a public relations person as well as doing work for Ciba. He taught for several years at Rochester Institute of Technology beginning in 1954 and was instrumental in moving the art and design program towards a modernist curriculum. Barschel's work is included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art as well as at the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.