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.”
De Harak was also a renowned teacher of design and visual communications since 1952 and was the first Frank Stanton Professor of Design at The Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in New York City. The Frank Stanton Professor of Design is the first permanently endowed design chair in the United States. He also taught and lectured at many institutions throughout the United States and Europe.
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.