An electro-optic modulator (100) includes a splitting section (102), at least three transmission legs (101A-101N), an RF phase-shifting section (108), a DC-phase shifting section (110), and a combining section (106). The splitting section (102) splits a received optical signal into sub-signals, one for each transmission leg. The RF phase-shifting section (108) phase shifts at least two of the sub-signals by an amount proportional to a received RF signal; while the DC phase-shifting section (110) phase shifts at least two of the sub-signals by a DC phase. The combining section (106) combines the phase-shifted sub-signals into a modulated optical signal. In a preferred embodiment, the modulator is characterized by design parameters, such as splitting ratio, DC phase shift, RF coupling efficiency, and combining ratio, and these design parameters are selected to ensure that the modulator meets predetermined performance characteristics, such as maximum harmonic levels or minimum signal to noise ratios.