André Francois was a French graphic artist, cartoonist, and illustrator whose career formed a bridge from the beginnings of modern graphic design to the present. He had contributed many roughly drawn, darkly satiric cartoons and covers for many well-known magazines, including 57 covers for The New Yorker. Since the 1940s, his exquisitely witty and elegantly executed illustrations have earned him an enduring international career- in the US, Europe, and Japan- and he has been a major influence on many of the best-known illustrators and designers of the past 5 decades in these places.
Throughout Francois’ career, he devised commercial advertising and poster graphics, designed ballet and theatre costumes and sets, and wrote and illustrated children’s books, including his own. In addition, he also designed countless book covers for Penguin Books, playing cards for the art director of Simpson Piccadilly and graphic works for the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris. He also used to have numerous one-man shows, but since 1960, his time has mainly been devoted to painting, engraving, collage, and sculpture.
André Francois is certainly a man of many talents. Not only was he a visual artist, he was also involved in the performing arts and creative writing. I was first drawn in to him by his simple but meaningful covers for The New Yorker but once I learned more about him, I am also quite interested by his children book covers. Both illustrations follow the same style, but he has somehow managed to design them so well that his style fits for both quite differing genres.
- “André François.” ADC • Global Awards & Club, adcglobal.org/hall-of-fame/andre-francois/.
- Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “André François.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Andre-Francois.