Along with his colleagues Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson, Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the post-war era. While textile design was the primary focus of Girard's oeuvre, he was also admired for his graphic art as well as his work in furniture, exhibition and interior design. Girard brought a sensuous playfulness to twentieth-century design that had been absent from the austere aesthetic of classic modernism.
In his work as an interior designer, Girard created a number of concepts for restaurants that went beyond colour schemes and furnishings to encompass such details as menu cards, matchboxes, tableware and napkins. The motifs featured on the Coffee Mugs have their origins and inspiration in these rich and varied environments.