Friday, September 25, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 2: Modes of Appeal; Historical Design Research

(A.M. Cassandre, 1931)
Poster for the ocean liner L'Atlantique,1931. The ship is constructed on a rectangle, echoing the poster's rectangular edges. (Megg's History of Graphic Design 4th Ed., pg. 283)

A.M. Cassandre was born in Charkov, Ukraine, in 1901 as Adolphe Jean Édouard-Marie Mouron. He used the pseudonym A.M. Cassandre as a painter, graphic designer, poster artist and stage designer from 1923. A.M. Cassandre lived in Paris from 1915 in Paris. He studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian, working as a student for a while at the Hachard & Co. press. A.M. Cassandre made a name for himself as a poster artist, designing hundreds of posters in a bold, stringently geometric Art déco style. A.M. Cassandre designed posters for the Paris furniture store Au Bûcheron (1923), for the apéritif Pivolo (1924), the paper "L'Intransigeant" (1925), Pernod (1934), the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer du Nord, and several steamship passenger lines. A.M. Cassandre's posters are notable primarily for the emphasis placed on typography. Over the years A.M. Cassandre developed the following typefaces: Bifur (1929), Acier (1930), Acier noir (1936), and Cassandre (1968). Together with Charles Loupot and Maurice Moyrand, A.M. Cassandre founded the advertizing studio Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1930, which only existed until 1934. From 1934 A.M. Cassandre taught at the École des Arts Décoratifs and even ran an art school of his own for a while. From 1936 to 1939 A.M.Cassandre lived in New York, where he freelanced as a commercial artist. His most important works in New York were the cover designs he did for the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar. In 1939 A.M. Cassandre returned to Paris, where he now also worked as a stage designer and returned to painting. In 1963 A.M. Cassandre designed Yves Saint Laurent's monogram.

Biographical information courtesy of:

Mode of Appeal:

This piece is appealing not only due to its simplicity, abstract, and streamlined nature, but also because of its appeal to ethical character or Ethos. Through the visual exaggeration of scale of the ocean liner in comparison to the tug boat exemplifies the building of character and trust with the viewer. The grand image of the ocean liner also shows authority and further represents the monolithic qualities (solid/unbroken hull) and is seen as strong, safe, and reliable.

These other works by Cassandre also establish the grand, strong nature of the ocean liners:


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