Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Playful Textiles of Alexander Girard

Mr. Girard featured with some of his work.
(reposted from the Metropolis website)

Perhaps the name Alexander Girard (1907-1993) doesn't mean anything to you.  He was the iconic head of textiles at Herman Miller from 1952 onward through 1975, and his bold graphic style is just as relevant now as it was during the mid-twentieth century.
Thanks to a wonderful article in the current issue of Metropolis magazine I had an opportunity to look at a sampling of his work.  If you have an opportunity to find the current issue it is worth checking out.

In the meantime I want to quote from the magazine article some of Mr. Girard's Principles of Textiles.  They are so meaningful to the type of surface design work that many of us do:

-Fabric design is not easel painting or illustrating.  It is fabric design.

-Realism should be avoided in printed fabrics.  Draped fabrics naturally distort any pattern, unlike wallpaper.  Their design should respect their natural character.

-It is boring to be aware of endless pattern repeats; they should be as invisible as possible, particularly when they represent an object realistically.

-Designs that are fresh, interesting, and different are not achieved if being fresh, interesting, and different is the prime objective.

-Good design derives from the wish to do just that.  The textiles of India are perhaps the best example of this urge.  The delight in, and understanding of, the problem that they reflect is so powerful that it needs no description.

-I find that those of my designs that satisfy me personally are the only ones worth producing. (!)

-Nothing is new, but personal interpretation often can be. (!)

-The hope for good design lies in those designers who believe in what they do, and who will only do what they believe.  Contrary to hearsay, it is possible to make a living that way.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post Leslie. thanks for sharing. Especially like the designs in the photo!


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