Alexander Girard

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9781934429846: Alexander Girard

This massive monograph on seminal designer Alexander Girard covers virtually every aspect of his distinctive career. One of the most prolific mid-20th century designers, Girard’s work spanned many disciplines, including textile design, graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture. Exhaustively researched and lovingly assembled by designer Todd Oldham, this tome is the definitive must-have book on Girard’s oeuvre.

Many of the designs featured here have never before been published. Oldham carefully went through the entire Girard archive to uncover many treasures as well as all of the most recognizable works by Girard. Girard is well known for his bold, colorful, and iconic textile designs for Herman Miller (1952-1975), which are extensively featured. These were often featured in conjunction with furniture designs by his contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames, and George Nelson. His designs for La Fonda del Sol restaurant (1960) are an experiment with typography as a communication tool and large-scale environmental graphic. Textiles and Objects (1961) was a very influential New York store sponsored by Herman Miller that featured Girard's designs inspired by his travels and folk art collection. The Girard Foundation (1962) houses his own personal and extensive collection of folk art, textiles, toys, and objects from around the world. His complete environmental design for Braniff International Airways (1965) gave him the opportunity to work at all scales with color, graphics, textiles, and furniture design. He designed every aspect of the project himself, from the minute-sized sugar packets and the ticket counters to the graphic colors of the planes themselves. Alexander Girard's playful yet sophisticated designs continue to inspire new generations of artists and designers. The breadth and scope of his work is truly remarkable. This highly anticipated tome is the first major retrospective of this very accomplished and prolific designer, and has been painstakingly edited by renowned New York-based designer Todd Oldham. 

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2011: Designophiles, start salivating: Alexander Girard is a showstopper of a book, the ultimate tribute to Sandro's astonishingly prolific creative legacy. Edited by acclaimed designer Todd Oldham with vibrant text from Kiera Coffee, this "wonderful, swervy adventure" explores Girard's career with playful elegance. In 664 big pages, it gives a visually stunning tour of his life and work, from sketchbooks, objects, and travel photos to his personal homes, a vast folk art collection that became the Girard Foundation, his famous textiles for Herman Miller, and a generous sampling of independent projects. We learn what inspired him (almost everything) and how he worked (compulsively and joyfully). He designed interiors for five decades, and his plans were always "unimaginably comprehensive," encompassing details down to custom match holders. Girard created interiors that felt exuberantly human in an age that tended toward minimalism, and this book goes beyond aesthetic appeal to celebrate the spirit of the man his grandchildren affectionately called Mouse. --Mari Malcolm

About the Author:

 Alexander Girard (1907-1993) was a pre-eminent mid-20th century designer whose work spanned many disciplines, including textile design, graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture. He was born in New York, to an American mother and French-Italian father, raised in Florence, Italy, and graduated from the Royal School of Architecture in Rome.

 Girard is most well known for his bold, colorful, and iconic textile designs for Herman Miller (1952-1975). These were often featured in conjunction with furniture designs by his contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames, and George Nelson. In his designs for La Fonda del Sol restaurant (1960), he experimented with typography as a communication tool and large-scale environmental graphic. Textiles and Objects (1961) was a very influential New York store sponsored by Herman Miller that featured Girard's designs inspired by his travels and folk art collection. The Girard Foundation (1962) houses his own personal and extensive collection of folk art, textiles, toys, and objects from around the world. His complete environmental design for Braniff International Airways (1965) gave him the opportunity to work at all scales with color, graphics, textiles, and furniture design. He designed every aspect of the project himself, from the minute-sized sugar packets and the ticket counters to the graphic colors of the planes themselves. Alexander Girard's playful yet sophisticated designs continue to inspire new generations of artists and designers. The breadth and scope of his work is truly remarkable. This highly anticipated tome is the first major retrospective of this very accomplished and prolific designer, and has been painstakingly edited by renowned New York-based designer Todd Oldham.

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