2009 at 03.42 pm posted by Veerle Pieters
House Industries has just released Alexander Girard-inspired fonts and objects. When I saw some of the work it looked very familiar to something I've seen before but couldn't directly place it. After exploring things a little deeper my coin dropped as I've seen this kind of style in a project I am currently working on. Alexander Girard worked as a textile designer for Herman Miller and it is in that period that he collaborated with Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson. That's where the dots connected and suddenly I knew where I've seen this. Can't really tell what I am working since it is still hush-hush :)
Turns out Alexander Girard is the creator of the Wooden Dolls found in the Vitra collection. I even photographed them when visiting interieur 08. These Wooden Dolls that Alex Girard created for his own home in Santa Fe are completely made by himself. Half decorative element, half toy, the Wooden Dolls were originally intended only for personal use. A key source of inspiration for him was his passion for the popular art of South America, Asia and East Europe. The originals are stored in the Vitra Design Museum. They are all so cute so it is hard to pick a favorite.
Alexander Girard fonts
The designers at House Industries created the Alexander Girard fonts and took inspiration from a variety of source materials.
Girard Script was loosely based on Girard's signature as it was always printed on the selvedge of fabrics he designed, as well as an assortment of obscure personal illustrations.
Girard Slab is a practical slab-serif family of four weights and three widths, inspired by the cover of Herman Miller's 1972 fabric designs catalog and the Girard Miller logo. A special features allows the user to toggle the letter connections on and off.
Girard Sky was based on alphabets drawn by John Neuhart and Karl Tani for Girard's famous rebranding of the Braniff International airline in the 1960s.
Girard Sansusie combines a folksy flair with a lettering style evident throughout the Girard oeuvre, most notably on his 1955 Herman Miller fabric catalog.
Objects Inspired by Designer Alexander Girard
I always had a thing for wooden toys, can't really put it to words but it sends out a certain feeling that makes me love it. Its authenticity, craftsmanship, the material I don't know. When you put gorgeous colors and illustrations to the mix it becomes even more attractive. It really is like art. The stripes on the dolls and the colors oh boy! I see it perfectly fit in one of our chairs here. Why is it from the US again so that I have to import it and pay taxes :(
Sunny faces beam from a set of children's alphabet blocks, originally designed for the San Francisco MoMA show in 2006.
Hand-made dolls, designed exclusively for House Industries by Marilyn Neuhart, are made from Mexican cotton with the same loving care as the originals she sewed for the opening of the T&O store in 1961.
A nativity set of 11 solid maple pieces is based on an original Girard illustration that hangs in his son's house.
Snakes, rabbits, fish and foxes form a menagerie of mystery in a childrens’ puzzle based on a Girard carpet design.
Girard’s folk sensibilities abound in the cornucopia of illustrative delights found in a 72-piece wood memory game.
They have t-shirts as well and my favorite is the Daisy tee. Here's the House Industries Alexander Girard Microsite.