Designed by Alexander Girard
A dream blanket
In the mid-1960s, Alexander Girard designed this richly hued throw blanket as part of an astounding 17,543-item brand identity system – from logo to lounge furniture to bag tags – for Braniff International Airways. Recreated today by Pendleton – whose blankets Girard avidly collected – the designs are crafted from a blend of 82 percent naturally breathable, wrinkle resistant, high-quality virgin wool and 18 percent cotton.
In 1965, the Jack Tinker Agency hired Girard to orchestrate what amounted to a complete overhaul of the Braniff International Airway’s brand experience. From playing cards and matchbooks, to baggage tags and tickets, to the airport lounges and planes, Girard marshaled his talents into a comprehensive scheme that signaled “the end of the plain plane,” ultimately making 17,543 design changes that included 56 textiles for use in the interiors of Braniff planes. These fabrics featured a range of geometric patterns and related to one another with a consistent mix of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
This design is just one example of Girard’s unparalleled body of work that stands wholly apart from his contemporaries. From his outpost in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he designed over 300 textiles in multitudes of colorways, multiple collections of wallpaper, decorative prints and wall hangings, an expansive group of furniture, and both decorative and useful objects—a body of work well ahead of its time.