Love note: Paperless Post turns Alexander Girard’s designs into greeting cards
The iconic designer Alexander Girard was no stranger to creating textiles, logos, products, buildings and interiors. Today, his enduring legacy has extended to include a collection of stationery – digital, no less. A collaboration between online stationers Paperless Post and Girard Studio, the family-run foundation in charge of preserving and promoting Girard’s archive, Alexander Girard for Paperless Post transforms some of his most timeless illustrations and graphics into a capsule collection of greeting cards for online and print.
The real and online worlds don’t always intersect naturally, but Paperless Post has managed to find a happy medium. Some of the company’s past projects include collaborations with Kelly Wearstler and Marimekko. This expertise, combined with Girard being an avid letter writer during his lifetime, made the decision to work together an easy one for Girard Studio.
'Making greeting cards and personalised gifts was such a large part of our grandfather’s practice,' says Aleishall Girard Maxon, the studio’s co-creative director and Girard’s granddaughter. 'Every year, he would create new designs for each special occasion. This collaboration was a natural fit in keeping the spirit of that tradition alive. The fact that it utilises the digital medium to carry out such a timeless act of correspondence was all the more exciting as our grandfather greatly appreciated both tradition and technology, and the potential for them to overlap.'
Maxon remembers Girard as a ardent linguist whose fascination for the letter form sprung out from his affinity for language. 'He was an incredible typographer and understood how to assign a specific font for a specific occasion. His many handwriting styles were expressive and could be tailored to fit each unique circumstance or occasion, whether it was clean and restrained or wildly humorous and ornate.'
The Alexander Girard for Paperless Post collection is made up of 24 motifs and designs, which notably includes the smiling sun from La Fonda del Sol, 1960; International Love Heart, 1960; January, 1963; and Good Luck Clover, 1971 – Girard's most recognisable works. The range also features several textile designs that Girard created for Herman Miller, not only as cards, but as complementary envelope liners to boot.
Eden, 1966 (left) and Hand and Dove, 1972 (right) were also designs for Herman Miller. 'Universal themes of love and peace ran throughout his greeting card designs as did those of flowers and family,' says Aleishall Girard Maxon, Girard's granddaughter and co-creative director of Girard Studio. 'As a collector of talismans from all over the world, a sense of magic and luck were often incorporated into the designs as well'
The collection also features two of Girard's most recognisable works. International Love Heart, 1960 (left) was originally designed for The Compound restaurant in Santa Fe, while La Fonda del Sol, 1960 (right) was designed for the eponymous restaurant in the Time Life Building in New York City
Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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