Rudolph de Harak was born in 1924 in Culver City, California, and moved to New York before his teens. Whilst living in New York, he attended the New York City School of Industrial Arts and shortly after, served in World War II, returning to Los Angeles to join an advertising agency. During this time, he was particularly inspired by two lectures given by Will Burtin and Gyorgy Kepes.
In the early 50s, de Harak moved back to New York and after working as an art director, he set up his own studio in 1952. Throughout his career, he designed over 350 book jackets (all within three years) for McGraw-Hill, as well as designing their trademark, countess record covers, and iconic designs such as the three-storey-high digital clock in New York City and the centrepiece for the Cummins Engine Museum, Columbus, Indiana.
As well as been an exceptional designer, he lectured at the Cooper Union for 25 years and taught occasional design classes at Yale, Alfred University, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute.
De Harak later became a member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1989 and was awarded a 1993 AIGA medal for his lifetime achievement in design.
Rudolph de Harak designed over 50 record covers for Westminster Records as well as designing covers for Columbia, Oxford and Circle record labels. His bright, geometric graphics can easily be distinguished and recognised. The designs have a mid-century allure and the compositions and colours, have not aged at all. These timeless pieces of design reflect the great mid-century design been producing in America.Those looking to start their own design collection can pick up records and books with the work of Harak at a reasonable price on auction websites and charity shops.
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