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Jean Carlu originally began training as an architect but turned to commercial art after an accident in which he lost his right arm. During the 1920's and 1930's he was a leading figure in French poster design. Along with A. M. Cassandre and Paul Colin, Carlu translated the influence of Cubism into symbolic and architectonic imagery. In 1937, he was chairman of the Graphic Publicity Section of the Paris International Exhibition. He came to the United States to organize an exhibition at the New York World's Fair, for the French Information Service. He remained here when Paris was captured by the Germans. It was during his time in the US the he designed one of his most famous posters - "America's Answer! Production" This poster won him a New York Art Directors medal as well as being voted poster of the year. He also designed work for Container Corporation of America and Pan American Airways. In 1953, he returned to France and continued his work as a poster designer and consultant for many companies, including Air France and Firestone France. He was the International President of AGI from 1945 to 1956 and retired in 1974.

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