Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron Cassandre (1901-1968) was born in the Ukraine and moved with his whole family to Paris in 1915. He enrolled at the Academie Julian where the more progressive artists have been thought and he became a painter. By 1922 he had begun his career as a commercial illustrator. His work created a bridge between fine art and commercial art and proved to be successful in Europe and the USA.
Cassandre’s most famous posters advertise the luxurious ways of transport that characterised the modern lifestyle. He created a number of posters in the 1920’s for the Chemin de Fer du Nord – a railway company, and his ocean liner poster for the Normandie from 1935 is the most iconic of all of his work. He used stencils and an airbrush to create his images that are full of dynamism and energy.
Apart from his advertising posters, Cassandre designed several art deco typefaces: Bifur, Acier Noir and Piegnot. Cassandre’s Bifur typeface has made a huge impact on typography and was used in advertising. This typeface is very characteristic to the Art Deco era. It is composed of thick lines and thin filler lines. It is suitable for headings and display text.
His legacy is also the design of the famous logo for Yves St Laurent. He understood the power of the poster. It is interesting to see how strong and current his designs still look, even though some of them were made nearly a century ago.