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A documentary film celebrating
the golden era of Canadian
graphic design

A film by Greg Durrell
Produced by Jessica Edwards
Executive Producer Gary Hustwit

Rolf Harder

The Optimist

Montreal,
Quebec

Canada

Soft but powerfully-spoken, Rolf Harder articulates graphic design’s purpose is to convey a message clearly, concisely and imaginatively. In 1959, Harder left war-torn Germany with aspirations for New York, but arrived in Montreal while waiting for his papers. He became so busy with freelance, Montreal unintentionally became his home for the next 50 years, where he worked with and inspired a generation of designers.

As a pioneer of the international style of graphic design in Canada, Harder’s skills were multi-faceted from designing books, governmental publications to crafting to a corporate identity program. Recognized nationally and internationally, Harder’s work currently resides with the MoMA in New York City.

Iconic
Work

Grand Prix of Canada

1977
Montreal, Canada

Birthplace

Hamburg, Germany

Watch
the clip

Rolf Harder - Profile (0:28)

“To produce good design you must abandon everything that is not supporting the message.”
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