Hard Werken was the partnership of Rotterdam graphic designers founded in 1978. The group consisted of designers included Gerard Hadders, Henk Elenga, Tom van der reel, Rick Vermeulen and Willem Kars. The eponymous magazine was characterized by experiments with typography, photography and illustration and established itself at the forefront of developments in graphic design. Showing a continuous urge to innovate, the repeated search for another way and the refusal to be satisfied with a fixed style or individual character.
Hard Werken was essentially more of a collaborative group of independent designers than a formal business. Hard Work put the traditional values of the functional design, modernism and the Swiss School at the side replacing with quirky solutions. This method of approach gave way to designs without restrictions and without the use of a common design philosophy, guidelines or systems. In this way, a free graphic design in all variations developed, depending on the input of the designers, regardless of conventional currents, engagement or constraints. Hard Werken created artistic freedom with all visual and typographic options which became internationally effect. From their innumerable dust jackets, posters, postage stamps, but also from their designs for interiors, stage sets and exhibitions they regularly established themselves at the forefront of developments in graphic design.
By the end of the 1980s, in a changing business and cultural climate, Hard Werken was in financial trouble. In 1994, the company moved from Rotterdam to the Amsterdam area and amalgamated with the packaging design company Ten Cate Bergmans, subsequently changing its name to Inizio.