Modernist Rudy de Harak Celebrated In First Major Retrospective

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Acclaimed designer Rudolph de Harak gave modernism a bright, expressive mood, as seen through many of his works throughout a five-decade career. From book covers for publisher McGraw-Hill to the digital clock at 135 John Street in New York City, de Harak elevated mid-century modernism in graphic design. Inspired to make design a career after listening to lectures by Will Burtin and György Kepes, his pursuit of mid-century modern design would find him working in Los Angeles and New York with stints at Seventeen and Esquire while pursuing photography, teaching, and fine arts. De Harak was also inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1989 and awarded a gold medal by AIGA in 1992.

In the first-ever major retrospective of Rudy de Harak’s career, publisher Volume has announced Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak, Graphic Designer, a look back at the American designer's trailblazing work in the mid-20th century. The large-format book includes over 400 pages printed in six colors on two paper stocks. Volume is also offering a cloth-covered collector’s edition, which features a slipcase highlighting a motif from the album cover for Ivor Novello’s Music Hall Songs (1960). One hundred of the 250 collector’s edition copies also include a set of four unique 12 x 12in serigraphs, numbered and produced on archival-grade paper.

“This extraordinary volume, long overdue, reveals the mind of a true master,” said Jessica Helfand, founder of Design Observer, in a press release. The book has attained 15% funding as of this writing, with funding open until April 17th. If they reach the goal of $65,894.50 by the deadline, delivery is estimated to be in the summer of 2022.