Hard Werken: One for All
Graphic Art and Design 1979–1994
‘Hard Werken:One for All’ is the first major publication on the experimental Rotterdam-based design studio Hard Werken [Working Hard, Travailler dur], also known for the underground magazine of the same name. Hard Werken’s anarchic design, smattering high with low culture and running contrary to typographic conventions and modernist currents of the time, characterized this group as a brash, elusive, and distinctly Rotterdam phenomenon. However, working in Rotterdam and Los Angeles, the core members Henk Elenga, Kees de Gruiter, Gerard Hadders, Tom van den Haspel, Willem Kars and Rick Vermeulen also had worldwide ambitions.
This feisty and uncompromising book examines Hard Werken’s practice and legacy in an international context and addresses their contemporary significance. It investigates the group’s pioneering role in the cultural life of Rotterdam and their impact abroad, especially the US, by examining the innovative aspects of Hard Werken’s practice, which combined graphic and fine art languages. All is elucidated by a myriad of images and clear, concise texts.