A.M. Cassandre (1901-1968) was a French Art Deco commercial illustrator and typeface designer. Born in the Ukraine, he and his family moved to Paris in 1915. Cassandre studied at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and at the Academie Julian. Influenced by Cubism, he created simplified forms and lines. He formed his own highly successful advertising agency during the 1930s until its collapse in the chaos following the 1940 fall of France. Cassandre continued to work in various media, including stage design, until his suicide in 1968.
Normandie (1935) is his most famous work today. The shape of this liner is vastly exaggerated vertically to give it a regal splendor and strength.
Northern Express (1935) is my favorite of Cassandre's works. The dynamic angles stretching out into the distance speak of the era's optimism about technology, and the narrow parallel lines which frame it are representative of Art Deco's concept of symmetrical elegance. Compare.
Although a stylish and classy typeface, Cassandre ironically created it in 1937 for practical reasons of legibility on posters. Its most famous use was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.