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 travel 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.
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.