December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

Adolphe Mouron Cassandre is a painter, commercial poster and type designer. He was born in Ukraine but his parents were French. Later on he moved to Paris and studies at “Ecole des Beaux-Arts” and Académie Julian. His posters were very well known and thanks to his posters he got the possibility to work for a Parisian printing house. He was inspired by cubism and surrealism and when he won the first prize in a poster-designing contest with his work called Woodcutter in 1925. With this contest he became more recognized.

Cassandre’s posters observe the new modes of luxury transport that describe the wealthy lifestyle of his day. He used stencils and an airbrush.

With this success any many other following he started his own advertising agency called Alliance Graphic by getting into a partnership. This agency was successful and had many clients in 1930s. His poster designs were outstanding for their original graphic solutions and indications to painters like Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso.

On the other hand, as well as his personal works and advertisement agency he was a graphic design professor at the École des Arts Décoratifs and then at the École d’Art Graphique.

He was also an important type designer and he knew the importance of typographic elements in poster design and because of that his agency created some new typeface styles. In 1929 he designed Biifur, in 1935 he designed the sans serif called Acier Noir and in 1937 he designed Peignot.

His works were exhibited in Museum of Modern art in New York in 1936 and this exhibition gave him the opportunity to design covers for Harper’s Bazaar.

He fought in World War II and during this period his business was gone. Because of that he had to design stages and costumes for theaters in order to make a living. After the war he also returned to his profession as a painter and did some easel painting. In 1963 he designed the Yves Saint-Laurent logo.

At the last years of his life he suffered from depression and committed suicide in 1968 in Paris.

“Designing a poster means solving a technical and commercial problem….in a language that can be understood by the common man.” Cassandre


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