"Infinite are man's expressions of beauty and love; open your eyes your ears and your heart to them and you will unite the peoples of the world."
When I saw that Paperless Post was launching a line of cards (online or paper) with Alexander Girard's designs last week, I was instantly giddy. I must plan a party, send some notes, or get our holiday cards checked off my list so I can use these colorful and happy styles, steeped in mid-century modern design. Take a look and get inspired by the work of Alexander Girard.
For as long as I can remember, the colorful designs of Alexander Girard (1907-1993) have captured my heart. I first came across his work while doing some research on the office of Charles & Ray Eames (a major source of inspiration to me in my work and life) and discovered that Girard had worked with Eames at Herman Miller and created some amazing designs in my beloved home state of Michigan. Fast forward to adulthood, when I moved to NYC and worked as a magazine editor, I had the great pleasure of working in the Time & Life Building, where Girard designed the iconic La Fonda del Sol restaurant that existed from 1960 to 1971. It felt like kismet to walk into this building every day with its rich history and connection back to Girard.
I grew up in a suburb of Detroit and spent twelve years of my life (elementary through high school) at the Cranbrook Educational Community where Charles and Ray Eames met, and my heart and soul are deeply rooted in the amazing architecture, creative spirit, and all around beauty of the 319 acre campus. The Eameses, Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll and so many more incredible mid-century design icons came out of Cranbrook, and I'm forever enthralled with this period of innovation and its connection to Michigan. What I love most is that so many of these artists weren't necessarily tied to any medium. They moved from textiles to furniture to interiors to architecture to branding to product design to graphic design to film to just about anything that inspired them. They proved that being curious and creative can take you so many places in your career.
Alexander Girard was one of those amazing designers with no boundaries and a knack for branding in a time when branding wasn't even a word. If you want to find out more about his career, check out this incredible monograph or the Girard Studio website run by his family to preserve his memory and work.