Girard’s work, by contrast, had been developed with a sense of play and spontaneity—though it was every bit as rigorous. His output was just a glimmer of the amount of collecting, cataloging, and arranging that continued almost obsessively at home and in the studio, where the display of objects was constantly shuffled and updated as new items were found and acquired, and items were meticulously stowed away in boxes categorized by fabric swatches and labels ranging from “old hardware” and “end papers samples” to “Mexicotton yellow filler cuttings.” These boxes, along with Girard’s personal estate, were acquired by Vitra in 1996, and continue to be a trove of design discoveries. It was while browsing the archives, for example, that Aleishall and Kori uncovered Girard’s painted wooden dolls, originally designed in 1953 to decorate his own home, and brought them out of the vault to have them reproduced.
Vitra and the Girard Foundation have continued to reissue additional works in recent years, including the International Love Heart—a typographic pop graphic that features the word “love” in a range of languages, telegraphing a message of peace and unity across cultures and borders that remains every bit as relevant today, nearly six decades on. As far as proverbs go, Girard was particularly fond of an Italian one—Tutto il mondo è paese:The whole world is hometown.