Publishing platform Volume has launched the first major retrospective of American graphic design polymath and mid-century modernist master, Rudolph de Harak. Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak, Graphic Designer, written and designed by former de Harak studio partner Richard Poulin, shines a light on the complete arc of the rich and varied career of Rudolph de Harak (1924-2002), showcasing his vibrant, graphic work, which blazed a colorful trail through the middle decades of the twentieth century. Poulin is Design Director and Principal of Poulin + Morris, a past president and board member of AIGA/NY, a fellow of the SEGD, an author of several books, and himself a legend in the making.
Influenced by masters of Modernism, de Harak’s prolific career, that spanned five decades, included designs for record sleeves, magazine covers, exhibitions, building facades, posters, furniture, corporate identities, pictograms, and even the famous paper shopping bags for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His book covers for the McGraw-Hill publishing company in the 1960s easily rival the famous Penguin covers of that era.
Poulin notes: “It feels a bit criminal that [Rudy] is not better known outside the design world, so I am hoping to put that right with this monograph … The book itself is a real feast for the eyes — 408 pages in full color with two additional Pantones, and printed on two paper stocks, so as an object it’s definitely something that will appeal to the graphic design community. There’s also a slipcased collector’s edition, 100 of which come with a set of four de Harak serigraph prints.”
The publisher, Volume, is a startup enterprise launched in late 2017. Backed by Thames & Hudson, the international art publisher, Volume has access to decades of editorial and design insight, production and printing expertise, and strong distribution to the global book trade. The platform seeks to pass its knowledge on to a new generation of creative talents and increasingly print-savvy audiences in a screen-based age. “Technology has had a major impact on how we experience content, which has in turn irrevocably altered the medium of the traditional book trade,” says publisher Lucas Dietrich. “Volume steps into this breach by offering an online platform that celebrates the spirit of individual creativity and those who want to take part it in through beautiful books.”