1950s Cassandre album covers for Angel Records

Nick Shinn's picture

The Lipatti album is a box set containing an 8-page brochure printed photogravure on a thick, intense cream-coloured stock.

There were several more Angel covers credited to “Atelier Cassandre”, all of remarkable quality.
Were these the work of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, a.k.a. Cassandre, the famous poster artist and type designer?
If so, he would have been in his fifties at the time.

John Nolan's picture

I have no info, but those are nice!

5star's picture

Garage sale pick-up?

I don't readily see a similar design style of these jackets with that of the poster artist Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron. The first image of your second post, the Emile Gilels jacket, does seem to have the somewhat of the same sense of 'humor/drama' that could of come from Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron tho.


All the jackets seem like they would of come from a garden variety in-house designer/illustrator because they all look systematic in their standardize pattern background typographic foreground. In that regard these lack the recognizable Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron rich dramatic style ... Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron took chances.

If these were done by him, I'm guessing he would of had a battle with the creative director ...lol.

That illustration of guy stompin' round the women is hilarious!

For what it's worth I'm thinking those jackets were done by three separate in-house designers/illustrators...


oldnick's picture

I would have to agree with Neil. Really: do you thing that Tommy Hilfiger designs ANYTHING with his name on it?

Nick Shinn's picture

In that regard these lack the recognizable Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron rich dramatic style ... Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron took chances.

It’s unlikely he kept the same style.
Look how Tschichold went classical post-war.
Chances?—these are pretty outrageous (especially for classical music covers), and so deft:

The way the Brahms names are surprinted on top of each other, on top of the ruled background, with no knockouts.
The Lupatti design with the enormous type ornament border, reversed out of a mid-tone sage and grey.
The overlapping letters in the Gilels cover—presaging Cassandre’s YSL logo?
The flatness of the tension between text and images playing against the faux perspective in the Suppé.
These are all masterful graphic ideas.

5star's picture

Could be Nick, but in the era of Saul Bass's masterful graphics you'd think that Cassandre would be given the space to create something with a little theater. If Harper's Bazaar gave him full rage covers...


...what happened to all that 'theatrical wow' graphic style, which would have served the great Bs very well, when he got to Angel records?

Neutered by an evil art director?

Cassandre's YSL is sensual in its interplay, the above images are generic by comparison.

imho of course.


dezcom's picture

Great recordings, too!

Nick Shinn's picture

Saul Bass didn’t do the lettering (which contributes so much of the personality) for all his masterful graphics.

I would certainly agree with Nick that the output of the “Atelier Cassandre” is not the sole work of the boss (just like a lot of typefaces that are more art directed than drawn by their designer).

I just wondered whether he did these himself.

I disagree that they are generic, they are exquisite examples of spot color process graphics (although the Oistrakh is a bit flat, literally, in its imitation of a tipped-on photo).

I didn’t get them in a garage sale, but have acquired them over time, many from vinyl record stores. These Angel covers really stand out from all the other stuff in the bins, particularly for the quality of printing, on thick uncoated stock. As well as “Atelier Cassandre”, there is an equal credit line for “Editions Mercure” — the famous French publishing house, and presumably printer. So I would assume the front covers were printed in France and shipped to the UK where they were assembled—and then exported to North America &c.

You’re right Chris, they are great recordings.
The Gilels G Minor Concerto is the best I’ve heard of it by a long shot.
I also have a slightly later (1961) Bernstein/Gould version, highly touted, but which just murders the Andante. It does have a great cover though, shot by Avedon, which really dates the Cassandre designs as being 1950s.

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