Cassandre was the pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, born in Ukraine of French parents at the turn of the 20th century. As a young man he moved to Paris, studied at a couple of art schools, then soon found work for a printer designing posters.
In time he formed an advertising agency with partners, served a wide variety of clientele in the 1930s and became best known for his travel posters. His work for Dubonnet was among the first to be designed especially to be viewed from moving vehicles, and memorable for references to painters such as Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso.
He also designed the well-known typefaces Bifur, Acier Noir and Peignot, taught graphic design at two art schools and designed the Yves Saint Laurent logo in 1963.
Of posters he said, “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 mass-produced 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 function.”
Cassandre posters ©R.Mouron, www.cassandre-france.com
~ Robert Grey