Palm Springs: modernism in design and architecture

April 22, 2016

Palm Springs: modernism in design and architecture

Palm Springs City Hall

There is no denying that the desert inspires a simple and modern way of living. On a recent trip to Palm Springs, we turned our design eye to the architecture, graphics and fonts of the area as a source of inspiration. We love how these elements meld with nature into a beautiful aesthetic known as desert modern.

Palm Springs sign and midcentury house

Palm Springs emerged in the 20's and 30's as a resort destination for the Hollywood elite. It became known as a playground for the rich and carefree, and grew in popularity, fueling its exponential growth in the 50's and 60's. The growing demand for homes paired with the extraordinary desert landscape drew innovative architects who came to the Coachella Valley to explore ideas, and build bold new structures. 

Desert Modernism took its cues from the ideas of early modernists like Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. The creative architects of this era were inspired by honest and natural materials such as glass, wood, steel, stone and concrete. Their style reflected the stark natural beauty of the desert landscape. They expressed an understated sense of style that replaced the dramatic and ostentatious.

Today, Palm Springs remains one of the most architecturally preserved communities of this era. Some of the architects who gained notariety here include; Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, John Lautner, William Cody, and Richard Neutra.

Enjoy this collage of photos that we compiled in light of our inspiration.

The shops palm springs


signs and architecture palm springs

Kaufmann House Palm Springs

font in Palm Springs

Parker Palm Springs sign

Elrod House by John Lautner

 Images From Top: Palm Springs City Hall (Albert Frey, 1952); Palm Springs welcome sign & midcentury home; The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five Palm Canyon Drive; Merito Manor (Barry Berkus, 1961); Kaufmann House (Richard Neutra, 1946); Uptown Design District Palm Springs shop windows; The Parker Palm Springs (1950's redesigned by Jonathan Adler in 2004); Elrod House (John Lautner, 1969)



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Size Guide

Women's Sizing:

 33"  34 1/2" 36 1/4"   38"      40"    42"      44"  
25" 26 3/4" 28 1/2" 30" 32" 34" 36"
Low Waist
30" 31.5" 33" 35" 36.5" 38" 40"
35" 37" 38 1/2" 40" 42" 44" 46"


Size Range
2-4 4-6 6-8 8-10 12-14
33"-35" 34"-36" 36"- 39" 38"-41" 41"-44"
25"-27" 26"-28" 28"-31" 30"-33" 33"-36"
Low Waist
30"-31" 31" - 33" 33"-36" 35"-38" 38"-41"
35"-37" 36" - 38" 38"-41" 40"-43" 43"-46"

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European Size
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6.5-7 37
7.5-8 38
8.5-9 39
9.5-10 40
10.5-11 41