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Graphic Design Icons – Adolphe Mouron Cassandre

Posted on December 16, 2011

Category: General

Born at the turn of the 20th century, this French-Ukrainian artist, poster designer and typeface creator is still recognised as the most influential deisgners of the art deco era. Some of the features that define this chic, glamorous era include striking geometric shapes, curves and strong vertical lines.  Heavily inspired by plakastil art as well as the cubism and surrealism movements, Cassandre designed advertising posters and typeface that encapulated the essence of this style.

The Woodcutter, his first large advertising poster design was commissioned by a cabinetmaker. With the image’s airbrushed ray band motif, it  won first prize in the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (see image below). His talent and success earned him a great reputation and eventually he set up his own agency, Alliance Graphique.

Cassandre believed in intergrating words with image which can be seen in many of his works and often regarded as his biggest contribution to graphic design.Yet it was only one of many achievements. He also invented several typeface styles including Bifur, Acier Noir and Piegnot. All of which are still popular today.

Whilst building his body of work, Cassandre designed several hundred posters before taking his own life at the end of the 60s. Yet his vision, style and character can be seen throughout Art Deco designs, everywhere.

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