Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, known as AM Cassandre, was born on January 24th, 1901 in the Ukraine and moved to Paris before the outbreak of the WWI.
He studied at the Académie Julien where he mostly painted in the 'academic' style of Cezanne. His works eventually were inspired by the Bauhaus and Cubist movements and he began to use the name 'Cassandre' on all work that evoked this new modernist style (referred to as Art Deco today).
He found his calling in advertising. He felt that this was the best avenue to have his works seen by the masses and so he began creating advertising posters. His first claim to fame was winning first prize at the 1925 Exhibition in Paris for, Au Bucheron, the poster he created for a furniture firm of the same name.
This gained him quite a bit of notoriety and he began to generate hefty commissions on his travel posters - most famous being Le Nord Express and Normandie.
In the late 1920's he formed a Graphic Design agency, Alliance Graphique, and started to delve more deeply into advertising art, producing not only travel posters, but covers for Harper's Bazaar and advertising posters for Dubonnet.
Moreover, he was commissioned by the infamous type-foundry, Deberny et Peignot, to develop three new fonts that would become the quintessential Art Deco typefaces - Bifur (1928), Acier (1930-34) and Peignot (1937).
In his later years, AM Cassandre continued to work producing paintings and set designs for various theatres, as well as producing logos and fonts for various companies. His most famous logo was the 3-lettered 'YSL' for Yves Saint Laurent (1963).
He began to suffer from chronic depression in his later years and sadly, committed suicide in 1968.
His legacy lives on to this day and he is credited with being one of the most important artists of the Art Deco era - his contributions to advertising design have shaped modern methods and continue to inspire designers today.
By Derek Avery
Published by Chaucer Press, 2004
Art Deco 1910-1939
Edited by Charlotte & Tim Benton and Ghislaine Wood
Published by Bulfinch Press, 2003