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A Review of Alexander Girard

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Title: Alexander Girard
Author: Todd Oldham & Kiera Coffee
Photographer: Several different photographers
Dimensions: 16 x 12 inches wide. Hardcover book.
Page count: 672
Publisher: AMMO Books
Date published: December 2011
Retail price: $200

Todd Oldham and Kiera Coffee truly had a passion for this project. Their background in design and publishing contributed to the layout, imagery and overall point of view of this very special book.

It's a true wealth of information -- an encyclopedia that cannot be consumed in a day, a week, or a month. It may take even more time to get it all in. That is how prolific Alexander Girard was.

Born in New York City in 1907, he lived and was educated as an architect in Europe. Today he is best known as a textile designer for Herman Miller from 1952 to 1975 but his legacy goes far beyond this and his death in 1993.

His work and life included:
  • Restaurant, retail, office, and domestic interior design
  • Commercial and Residential Architecture
  • Tableware
  • Graphics Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Film
  • Furniture
  • Typography
  • Wooden Dolls
  • A love of Native Arts and Crafts and Folk Art
  • Braniff Airlines -- multi colored planes, graphics, uniforms

In addition to this list Girard designed The Good Design Show in 1950 for The Museum of Modern Art and The Fonda del Sol Restaurant in the Time-Life Building in New York City top to bottom. Look at the images -- they show his obsession to detail.

In 1961 with the Textiles and Objects Store in New York City he broke the barrier from trade only showrooms to allow a way for the public to have access to modern furniture, fabrics, and objects.

The projects and endeavors go on and on - too many to name all.

I end with a Girard quote, among many from the book:

"Above all we should be self-dependent in creative ideas, not strive to be 'different' or create new and original effects. We should sincerely create that which is utterly contemporary and practical and in perfect harmony with the aesthetic and spiritual tradition of our people."

He also described design as "Mind Hand Paper and Pen."

As a Creative Director and a textile designer I couldn't describe the process any better.

Please enjoy, enjoy, and enjoy.