A. M. Cassandre – Peignot

Cassandre was most well known as a poster artist, but he delved into many different areas of art, including the creation of typefaces. Many of his typefaces were widely used and impactful, with one of the more interesting types being Peignot, which he created in 1937. The type was commissioned by Deberny & Peignot. The company was a type foundry headed in part by Charles Peignot who discovered Cassandre at a competition he won with his poster Au Bucheron, and commissioned several typefaces from Cassandre throughout his career. The typeface is interesting because it was more of an experiment by Cassandre into legibility and the pure letter form. The font lacks a true lowercase letterform, instead using a multi-case style, where some letters are in the traditional lowercase while some are small capitals. The idea behind the typeface was that by doing away with multiple letter forms, the text was exhibiting more of the necessary of the Roman alphabet, and bypassing the excessive forms, making it easier to read and produce. Poignot is a modulated sans-serif font, which emphasizes the vertical over the horizontal in an art deco style. Cassandre wanted the typeface to be used in publishing, and in fact it did receive some attention and popularity in the years after it was published, mostly in poster and advertising publishing, the same fields Cassandre originally specialized in. The type’s use decreased as the trend for more traditional and less decorative styles became popular, and did not resurface until the 1970s.


Celebrating Cassandre: Gorgeous Vintage Posters by One of History’s Greatest Graphic Designers

Peignot (1937) by A.M. Cassandre, https://medium.com/fgd1-the-archive/peignot-1937-f4b0d28c08e7