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At last week’s PRINT Book Club, we had the distinct privilege of sitting down with the artist, author, designer, and educator Richard Poulin to discuss his new book, Rudolph de Harak: Graphic Designer: Rational Simplicity. This substantial retrospective is perfect for getting a clear picture of how the legendary designer’s style evolved over five decades, and it of course comes in a gorgeous package. In addition to collecting high quality photos of de Harak’s designs, this copiously researched work features in-depth essays about his influences, personal life, and what was going on in the world around him.
While we obviously could only cover so much in our hour with Poulin, he provided us with an extremely rich amuse-bouche for the book. In our talk, Poulin revealed why he’s so passionate about the designer and what inspired him to publish the book. He talked about how de Harak helped him make his debut in the design world during their nine years of working together, as well as the unconventional way they met. While Poulin dug deep into professional projects like de Harak’s Exploded Engine for Ford, he also told us about the artist’s coming of age in Astoria, New York alongside lifelong friend, musical legend, and secret watercolor expert Tony Bennett. Poulin talked about the jazzy fearlessness of de Harak’s work, why it was so revolutionary at the time, and why his influence is still so strong today.
Below, we’ve collected a few pictures from the book for a sneak preview, including de Harak’s striking, patriotic cover for a spring 1961 issue of PRINT! Click here to watch our full conversation with Poulin, and watch this space to find out what we’re covering in February!