Wikipedia, The Free
Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (January 24, 1901 –
June 19, 1968) was an influential Ukrainian-French painter, commercial
poster artist, and typeface designer.
Born Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron in Kharkov, Ukraine to French parents,
as a young man, Cassandre moved to Paris, France where he studied at
the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian.
Needing to earn a living, the popularity of posters as advertising
afforded him an opportunity to work for a Parisian printing house.
Inspired by cubism as well as surrealism, he earned a reputation with
works such as Bûcheron (Woodcutter), a poster created for a
cabinetmaker that won first prize at the 1925 Exposition Internationale
des Arts Décoratifs.
Cassandre became successful enough that with the help of partners he
was able to set up his own advertising agency called Alliance
Graphique. Serving a wide variety of clientele, during the 1930s, his
creations for the Dubonnet wine company were among the first posters
designed in a manner that allowed them to be seen by occupants in
fast-moving vehicles. His posters are memorable for their innovative
graphic solutions and their frequent denotations to such painters as
Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso. In addition, he taught graphic design at
the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and then at the Ecole d'Art
With typography an important part of poster design, the company created
several new typeface styles. Cassandre developed Bifur in 1929, the
sans serif Acier Noir in 1935, and in 1937 an all-purpose font called
Peignot. In 1936, his works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art
in New York City which led to commissions from Harper's Bazaar to do
With the onset of World War II, Cassandre served in the French army
until the fall of France. His business long gone, he survived by
creating stage sets and costumes for the theatre, something he had
dabbled in during the 1930s. After the war, he continued this line of
work while also returning to easel painting. In 1963, he designed the
well-known Yves Saint-Laurent logo.
In his later years, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre suffered from bouts of
depression that led to his suicide in Paris in 1968.
In 1985, Henri Mouron told his father's life story in the a book titled