In 1921, two venerable French foundries combined to create Deberny et Peignot. By the '30s, Deberny et Peignot was seeing revenue from its exclusive French distribution rights of the German Futura typeface, which they rebranded as "Europe" (emphasizing further its internationalist associations). "As to type fonts, a new internationalization is taking place," observed foundry collaborator Maximilien Vox in 1929.
But ever the patriot, Vox added, "It is not impossible that France, with its innate sense of proportion, will see the birth of 20th century type." That same year, Deberny et Peignot debuted a French modern type, Bifur, designed by A. M. Cassandre (1901-68).
Four years earlier, Cassandre had been winning prizes at the famous Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, the exhibition of modern design that gave the Art Deco style its name. Foundry chief Charles Peignot hired Cassandre to design letters for the firm. Cassandre's Bifur, like his later Peignot type, exemplifies the Art Deco typefaces that were advertised as modern, but with French style and taste.