Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the postwar era. While textile design was the primary focus of Girard's oeuvre, he was also admired for his work in the graphic arts as well as furniture 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 on interiors, 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 the rich diversity of these environments.