Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alexander Girard's Influence on Modern Design

Alexander Girard (1907-1993) was born in the right century to make his mark on mid-century design. As an architect and accomplished textile designer, he worked for such clients as Herman Miller, Braniff Airlines and La Fonda del Sol in New York City. He collaborated with George Nelson, Eero Saarinan and Charles and Ray Eames who became his life-long friends. But it was his work with the Latin restaurant La Fonda del Sol which put him in the spotlight in the early 1960s. He designed and managed every aspect of this restaurant; from the menu, to the logo, to the plates, ceramic tiles, wallpaper and ashtrays. He turned to Charles and Ray Eames to design furniture for the restaurant, asking them to create a chair with a backrest lower than the tabletop, giving the space uninterrupted sightlines. His colorful menu mailer seen here was found on eBay recently. The matchbook was found on Etsy, but has since sold by designopolis.  

Burning Settlers has a great post about Girard's contributions to the La Fonda del Sol restaurant design in 1960 including the two images seen above. His iconic sunshine logos and playful type designs for the restaurant became a game changer in the early 1960s and influenced designers worldwide. He designed over eighty different sun motifs for the La Fonda del Sol restaurant. Today, his work continues to inspire, as House Industries has licensed many new products based upon his delightfully modern illustration work. Below is a 1961 announcement of the opening for the opening of the new Herman Miller collection featuring textiles and housewares designed by Alexander Girard. A lovely poster of this ad is up for auction here.


  1. Thank you for linking to my etsy shop--I always try to keep a good stock of Girard ephemera on hand. His work is incredibly fun!

    I'm glad to have found your blog.


  2. Jennifer Kennard, Sr. LetterologistJune 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    And I am equally happy to find your site. You have some very eclectic finds!

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Here's a link to our new website: PROJECTOBJECT



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