Rudolph de Harak
Rational Simplicity

The first major publication on the life and work of America’s celebrated mid-century modern graphic designer

  • $95.00

This publication was fully funded on Volume and will ship in Summer 2022

Rudolph de Harak Rational Simplicity $95.00


Rudolph de Harak (1924–2002) is one of the most influential modernist graphic designers of the mid-twentieth century. This comprehensive monograph is the first major publication devoted to this fascinating and significant figure in the history of modern graphic design and provides an in-depth account of de Harak’s life and work, from his early years in Los Angeles, California, to his later years of success as a design consultant and educator in New York City. De Harak’s work was highly influenced by early modernist masters, such as Will Burtin, György Kepes, Alvin Lustig, and Max Bill, as well as the rigor, simplicity, and rationalism of the International Style, European Modernism and the twentieth century art movements of Abstract Expressionism, Op Art, and Pop Art. Graphic-design guru Steven Heller says, “Rudy de Harak is a solid link between American and Swiss modernism. He was an exemplar of minimalist form with a conceptual content. A book on his life and work is sorely needed and long overdue.”

Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak, Graphic Designer is one of those must-have books for design practitioners and design students, as well as anyone who is interested in design history and American mid-century modernism during the twentieth century. This full-color monograph documents de Harak’s pioneering and prolific 50-year career in graphic design, exhibition design, environment and experiential design, industrial design, furniture design, posters, books, and magazines for a wide range of clients, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cummins Engine Company, McGraw-Hill Publishers, and many others.


Richard Poulin


Graphic Design


300 x 210 mm
408 pages
Hardcover with horizontal half-binding
Printed in six colors
Two paper stocks

Meet the author

Design consultant, educator, author, and artist living in Palm Springs, California, Richard Poulin has based his forty-year career on a generalist approach to graphic, environmental, interior, and exhibition design. Since 1986, he has divided his time between professional practice and academia in New York City, as co-founder and design director of Poulin + Morris Inc., an internationally-recognized design consultancy, and as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts and Cooper Union. He is a recipient of a Graham Foundation research grant in design history and his work is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Denver Art Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Richard has written seven books on design, which have been translated into eight languages.