TABLE OF CONTENTS
• ABOUT A.M. CASSANDRE • TYPEFACES CREATED BY CASSANDRE • TYPEFACE: BIFUR • BIFUR BROCHURE FROM 1929 • TYPEFACE: ACIER NOIR|GRIS (HFF BLACK STEEL) • TYPEFACE: PEIGNOT • YSL MONOGRAM • CASSANDRE’S FAMOUS POSTERS • DUBONNET POSTER • DUBONNET’S INFLUENCE ON THE CASSANET FONT • BIBLIOGRAPHY
ABOUT A.M. CASSANDRE
Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (1901-1968)
graphic designer, type designer, painter, set-designer and teacher… Adolphe Mouron Cassandre was born in Ukraine in 1901 and moved to Paris at a very young age. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After his studies, he started designing posters as well as working as a set designer. One of his most recognized work is the Normandie poster which was created to promote a new ship. From 1934-1935, he taught at the École des Arts Décoratifs and the École d’Art Graphique. The artist developed inventive graphic techniques which depict influences of Surrealism and Cubism throughout his work. In 1936, Cassandre signed a contract with Harper’s Bazaar magazine to work on several covers. In 1948, he became cofounder of Alliance Graphique International which worked on many graphic AND advertisement projects throughout the 1930s. A.M. Cassandre continued to produce set designs for theatres and opera houses. In 1937, he type foundry Deberny & Peignot commissioned him to design a typeface called Piegnot. In 1963, he designed the famous Yves Saint Laurent monogram. In 1968, he ended his own life after several struggles from depression. A.M. Cassandre still today, continues to be a model in several fields of design.
A.M. CASSANDRE'S POSTERS ARE EASILY RECOGNIZEABLE DUE TO THE EXCEPTIONAL DETAIL HE PUT IN TYPOGRAPHY. ALONG THE YEARS, A.M. CASSSANDRE CREATED THE FOLLOWING TYPEFACES : BIFUR (1929), ACIER (1930), ACIER NOIR (1936), PEIGNOT (1937) AND CASSANDRE (1968)
During my research, I was happy to come across a blogger who shared a very rare brochure that he purchased. The small (17x 26 cm), 16 page brochure introduces the typeface Bifur by A.M. Cassandre. It was designed for the parisian typefoundry Deberny & Peignot. This brochure was made in English & French back in 1929. Only a few of these rare brochures still exist in this hard copy. The brochure explains how the typeface Bifur could be used and should not be used. Letâ€™s take a lookâ€Ś
"There were no new or innovative typefaces which existed at the time. The Bifur created a real scandal...at least in the small world of publishing and printing. Engraving this design was a remarkable tour de force. Needless to say, Bifur was not a financial success, but in those happy days one could afford to take a few risks." - Charles Peignot.
‘The spirit of modernity tends to seek beauty in recognising and obeying concrete facts; or as the scholar would say, in submission to the object. It eliminates decorative fantasies as unjustified.’ … ‘He constructed in place of designing; the architect in him took the place of the calligrapher.’ … ‘Do not mistake us; the letter which we place before you does not pretend to substitute the letters of the past. It simply marks the crossroads which it may be well to explore.’
WORDS ONLY, ARE IMPORTANT ALONE, A LETTER IS NOTHING
French version sold for $2500
BIFUR ALPHABET-1 COLOUR
BIFUR ALPHABET-2 COLOURS
‘A TYPE TO ATTRACT ATTENTION-FOR LINES WHICH ARE NOT IN THEMSELVES THE MESSAGE BUT WHICH ARE THE MEANS OF CONVEYING THE READER’S EYE TO THE SUBJECT.’
Soldans Ltd. was not only the main importer of french typefaces in England, but also imported french typefaces from Deberny & Peignot.
Geometric sans serif Black Steel comes in two variants, Black and Grey, using the latter for its "grayed out" the same system found in the hatch Bifur, its "big brother" was released a year before. The steel type combines features which may seem contradictory: geometric and elegant, industrial, innovative, constructive and ever so attractive.
The typeface Peignot was designed for the type foundry Deberny & Peignot. Charles Peignot, director of the foundry in Paris worked closely in the creation of all types from the foundry including Peignot. In 1937, Cassandre designed the Peignot typeface, in which the lowercase letters are greatly influenced by the uppercase letters.
In 1963, A.M. Cassandre designed the Yves Saint Laurent's monogram.
The world reknown YSL monogram was designed by A.M. Cassandre in 1963. He managed to blend the letterforms with exceptional harmony, mixing sans and serifs in a subtle way, while successfully mixing roman and italic forms all at the same time. The challenge that Cassandre easily overcame is the unwritten rule of not mixing roman and italic forms in one word. He also managed to connect all the letters with a continuous graceful flow from left to right. Itâ€™s an unusual mixture that is just perfect. Today, the Yves Saint Laurent graphic identity is truly one of the most unique amongst all the fashion houses. Definitely one of a kind.
"A poster, unlike a painting, is not, and is not meant to be, a work easily distinguished by its 'manner' - a unique specimen conceived to satisfy the demanding tastes of a single more or less enlightened art lover. It is meant to be a massproduced object existing in thousands of copies - like a fountain-pen or automobile. Like them, it is designed to answer certain strictly material needs. It must have a commercial fashion." - Adolphe Mouron Cassandre
Cassandre blended bright colors and geometric shapes to his posters. His designs were inspired by Cubism. The poster designs reflect the early 20th century art movement, the industrialized environment of paris as well as avant-garde tendencies. Cassandre influenced a new wave of poster art knows as Parisian poster art.
The iconic posters from Cassandre'sÂ Normandie / Voyage Inaugural, 1935, are exceedingly rare to find. The Normandie poster on the right sold for $16,500 at an auction a few years ago. The birds in the picture show the grandeur of the ship and presence that the Normandie ship has arrived.
The 1930s inspired Art deco poster shows Cassandreâ€™s briliant humour. The play principle of this poster is the humor that Cassandre used in the poster for the final result. The Dubonnet poster influenced the idea of billboards.
Atipo, a Spanish design studio created a new font last year called Cassannet. The art-deco inspired typeface: Cassannet, was inpired by Cassandreâ€™s work. The creative house decided to promote their new font by re-creating the poster series of Dubonnet by A.M. Cassandre. I want to share the brilliant video they made, promoting the new font: Cassannet.
h"p://vimeo.com/ search?q=CASSANNET Â
‘1950s Original Art Deco Poster, Philips Television – Cassandre,’ L’Aﬃchiste, accessed Nov. 28, 2012, h"p://www.laﬃchiste.com/collecOons/iconic-‐posters/products/ philips-‐television ‘Font Designer-‐A.M. Cassandre,’ Linotype by Monotype Imaging, accessed on Nov. 28, 2012, h"p://www.linotype.com/358/amcassandre.html
‘A.M. Cassandre,’Design Is History, accessed on Nov. 28, 2012, h"p://www.designishistory.com/1920/am-‐cassandre/
‘Portrait of A.M. Cassandre,’ images from A.M. Cassandre France, accessed on Nov. 28, 2012, h"p://www.cassandre-‐france.com/amcassandre/amc-‐portrait.html
‘Cassandre’s Bifur: a naOonalisOc typeface?’ Design WriOngs on Wibo, posted on June 20, 2012, h"p://www.wibobakker.nl/2012/cassandre-‐bifur-‐naOonalisOc-‐ typeface-‐auriol-‐peignot/
Gary Andrew Clarke, April 12, 2011, Someblog (or other), ‘Adolphe Mouron Cassandre -‐ Bifur promoOonal brochure, h"p://graphicnothing.blogspot.ca/2011/04/adolphe-‐mouron-‐ cassandre-‐bifur.html ‘Acier,’ Musee de l’imprimerie Lyon, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://collecOons.bm-‐lyon.fr/MIL_01CTF00101189MG01? &query=Otle_s:%22Acier %22&hitStart=2&hitTotal=8&hitPageSize=25 Cansu Erdinc, December 27, 2011, A blog about History of Visual CommunicaOon Design, ‘A li"le rewind: Peignot,’ h"p://cansuerdincva312.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/a-‐li"le-‐ rewind-‐peignot/
‘Charles Peignot,’ Atypi, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://www.atypi.org/about-‐us/whos-‐who/charles-‐peignot
‘Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (1901-‐1968),’ IdenOfont, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://www.idenOfont.com/show?10Y
‘Le Peignot,’ image from Le Livre, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://www.le-‐livre.fr/Fiche-‐RO40105864.html
‘My design classic: The Yves Saint Laurent logotype and monogram,’ Computer Arts, posted on July 24, 2012, h"p://www.computerarts.co.uk/features/my-‐design-‐classic-‐yves-‐ saint-‐laurent-‐logotype-‐and-‐monogram
A.M. Cassandre-‐Dubonnet Poster,’ images and informaOon from PB Works by Kirsten Larsen, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://hogd.pbworks.com/w/page/18698596/am%20Cassandre %20-‐%20Dubonnet%20poster
‘Logo Resources,’ YSL Logo Resources, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://www.yourlogoresources.com/yves-‐saint-‐laurent-‐logo/
‘Normandie Posters; The Rare and Iconic,’ images from the Swann Galleries, accessed on Nov. 29, 2012, h"p://swanngalleriesinc.blogspot.ca/2010/03/normandie-‐ posters-‐rare-‐and-‐iconic.html
‘AOpo’s Cassannet Recreates Classic Cassandre AdverOsement In The Flesh,’ The Font Feed, posted on January 3, 2012, h"p://fonoeed.com/archives/aOpo%E2%80%99s-‐cassannet-‐ recreates-‐classic-‐cassandre-‐adverOsement-‐in-‐the-‐ﬂesh/
‘Cassannet,’ Video on Cassennet by AOpo on Vimeo, h"p://vimeo.com/search?q=CASSANNET
‘Font Based on the Style of Le"ering Seen on Cassandre Posters,’ Cassannet, accessed on Dec. 4, 2012, h"p://www.cassannet.net/