Classified as a painter, commercial poster artists and typeface designer, Adlophe Mouron Cassandre was a very successful and popular artist due to his techniques in Surrealism and Cubism. As he progressed, his style became closely associated with Art Deco, which can be described as, “a fusion of various early 20th century styles”. It compiled the stylized curves of Art Nouveau and the geometric abstraction of Cubism, Futurism and Constructivism (artyfactory.com).
Elements of Art Deco consisted of unexpected combinations and patterns that always placed the decorative style of an object before its functional qualities. However, Cassandre believed that by designing a poster, it meant, “solving a technical and commercial problem in a language that can be understood by the common man” (artyfactory). With this sense of thinking, he was proclaimed to be one of the greatest poster designers of the 20th century, and a trailblazer for design.
Most of his designs possessed bold, dynamic, shapes, complimented with lines and forms that were brought together by fashionable/complimentary text. His talents didn’t just stop at the layout of his design, but transpired into how he executed his usage of colors as well. In majority of his designs he saturates his art with a vast amount of black, weather it be in the background, throughout the text, or simply used for the border. In each of his designs he either guides the eyes of the reader or limits eye movement to highlight the focus or inner message of the poster.
A great example of this design can be seen within a print that was created for a cabinetmaker, titled Au Bûcheron. In this design “a starkly drawn, well muscled black figure posed against a radiant yellow background, holds a woodsman’s axe upraised to the full length of his rippling arms.” (dieselpunks.org)
In addition to the usage of black, Cassandre pays godly attention when applying highlights. Instead of simply demonstrating simple strokes of a contrasting color, this artist creates a harmonious gradient that allows readers to strengthen their visual perception of texture/material. This example can also be seen in arts titled “UNIC” or “Pathe”, where cassandre angelically displays a sheen and slickness to the surface area that implies the shape, direction and material based off how large and the direction of how the gradient persist.