Tibor Kalman

Last updated
Tibor Kalman
Born
Tibor Kalman

( 1949 -07-06)July 6, 1949
DiedMay 2, 1999(1999-05-02) (aged 49)
Nationality American
Education New York University
Known for graphic design
Spouse(s) Maira Berman (m. 1981–1999; death)
Children2
Parents
  • George Tibor Kalman (father)
  • Marianne I. Dezsõffi (mother)
AwardsAIGA medal (1999)

Tibor George Kalman [1] (July 6, 1949 May 2, 1999) [2] was an American graphic designer of Hungarian origin, well known for his work as editor-in-chief of Colors magazine. [3] [4] [5]

Contents

Early life

Kalman was born on July 6, 1949 in Budapest, to parents Marianne I. (née Deezsoffy or Dezsõffi) and George Tibor Kalman. [6] [7] [8] He became a United States resident in 1956, after he and his family fled Hungary to escape the Soviet invasion, settling in Poughkeepsie, New York. [9] Both of his parents had Jewish ethnic roots, and converted to Catholicism to avoid persecution, so 'Kalman only became aware that he was Jewish at the age of 18'. [10]

In 1967, he enrolled in New York University (NYU), dropping out after one year of Journalism classes to travel to Cuba to harvest sugar cane and learn about Cuban culture, as a member of the Venceremos Brigade. [9] [11]

Career

In 1971, Kalman returned to New York City where he was hired by Leonard Riggio for a small bookstore that eventually became Barnes & Noble. He later became the creative director of their in-house design department where he created advertisements, store signs, shopping bags, and the original B&N bookplate trademark. [11] [2] In 1979, Kalman - along with his wife Maira Kalman, [12] Carol Bokuniewicz, and Liz Trovato - started the design firm M & Co., which did corporate work for such diverse clients as the Limited Corporation, the new wave rock group Talking Heads, and Restaurant Florent in New York City's Meatpacking District. [13] He sought to challenge mundane design thinking and aspired to create unpredictable work. [3] Kalman also worked as creative director of Interview magazine in the early 1990s. [9]

By the 1980s, Kalman was known for being 'the 'bad boy' of graphic design' because of his antics and radical consciousness. He believed that award-winning design was only possible when the client was ethical, and frequently called other designers out when he did not agree with their actions. He defined good design as a benefit to everyday life and should be used to increase public awareness of social issues. [3] [2] Kalman adopted a vernacular style as a way to protest corporate International Style which was the primary design style of the time. [2]

Kalman became founding editor-in-chief of the Benetton-sponsored magazine Colors, in 1991. Two years later, Kalman closed M & Co. and moved to Rome, to work exclusively on Colors. [4] Billed as 'a magazine about the rest of the world', Colors focused on multiculturalism and global awareness. This perspective was communicated through bold graphic design, typography, and juxtaposition of photographs and doctored images, including a series in which highly recognizable figures such as the Pope and Queen Elizabeth were depicted as racial minorities. [9] [3]

In 1999, Kalman won the AIGA medal as the 'design profession's moral compass and its most fervent provocateur'. [3]

Personal life

From 1981 up until his death, Kalman was married to the illustrator and author Maira Kalman (née Berman). [14] [15] [16] They met while attending NYU. [16] Together they had two children, Lulu Bodoni and Alex Onomatopoeia. [15] [17]

Death and legacy

The onset of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma forced Kalman to leave Colors in 1995, and return to New York. In 1997, he re-opened M & Co. and continued to work until his death on May 2, 1999 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. [9] [2]

Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, a book about Kalman's work and that with M&Co, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 1999. [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Emigre</i> (magazine) US graphic design magazine published from 1984-2005

Emigre was an award-winning (mostly) quarterly magazine published from 1984 until 2005 in Berkeley, California dedicated to visual communication, graphic design, typography, and design criticism. Produced by Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, Emigre was known for creating some of the very first digital layouts and typeface designs. Exposure to Licko's typefaces through the magazine lead to the creation of Emigre Fonts in 1985.

Stefan G. Bucher is an American writer, graphic designer and illustrator. He works through his design studio, 344 Design.

Michael Bierut American graphic designer

Michael Bierut is a graphic designer, design critic and educator. He designed the logo for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Steven Heller (design writer)

Steven Heller is an American art director, journalist, critic, author, and editor who specializes in topics related to graphic design.

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman is an Israeli-born American illustrator, writer, and blogger. She is known for her playful and witty illustrations, featured in publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker, and the children's books that she has both written and illustrated.

Rick Poynor is a British writer on design, graphic design, typography, and visual culture.

J. Abbott Miller or Abbott Miller is an American graphic designer and writer, and a partner at Pentagram, which he joined in 1999.

Ellen Lupton is a graphic designer, curator, writer, critic, and educator. Known for her love of typography, Lupton is the Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and the founding director of the Graphic Design M.F.A. degree program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. She has written numerous books on graphic design for a variety of audiences. She is a contributor to several publications, including Print, Eye, I.D., Metropolis, and The New York Times.

P. Scott Makela was a graphic designer, multimedia designer and type designer. Among other work, he was especially noted for the design of Dead History, a postmodern typeface that combined features of a rounded sans serif typeface and a crisp neo-classical serif typeface. With the emergence of the personal computer in the mid-1980s, Makela was among the first to explore digital programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. As a result, he created an idiosyncratic, original and highly controversial design aesthetic. In particular, his disregard for clean, modernist, problem-solving design agendas—synonymous with contemporary corporate graphic design—caused much debate among powerful, old-guard designers such as Massimo Vignelli, Paul Rand, and Henry Wolf.

Jennifer Morla is a graphic designer and professor based in San Francisco. She received the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award in Communication Design in 2017.

Alvin Lustig was an American book designer, graphic designer and typeface designer. Lustig has been honored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to American design.

Alexander Isley is an American graphic designer and educator.

Michael Patrick Cronan

Michael Patrick Cronan was an American graphic designer, brand strategist, adjunct professor, and fine art painter. He was one of the founders of the San Francisco Bay Area postmodern movement in graphic design, that later became known as the "Pacific Wave".

Peter Buchanan-Smith is a designer, teacher, entrepreneur, and the founder of Best Made Co.

Louise Fili

Louise Fili is an American graphic designer recognized for her elegant use of typography and timeless quality in her design. Her work often draws on inspiration from her love of Italy, Modernism, and European Art Deco styles. Considered a leader in the postmodern return to historical styles in book jacket design, Fili explores historic typography combined with modern colors and compositions.

M & Co. is a graphic and product design firm. It is located in New York, New York, United States. Their designs are described by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum as being "imaginative and witty."

Elaine Lustig Cohen was an American graphic designer, artist and archivist. She is best known for her work as a graphic designer during the 1950s and 60s, having created over 150 designs for book covers and museum catalogs. Her work has played a significant role in the evolution of American modernist graphic design, integrating European avant-garde with experimentation to create a distinct visual vocabulary. Cohen later continued her career as a fine artist working in a variety of media. In 2011, she was named an AIGA Medalist for her achievements in graphic design.

Gail Anderson (graphic designer) American graphic designer

Gail Anderson is an American graphic designer, writer, and educator- known for her typographic skill, hand-lettering and poster design.

Emily Oberman is a New York-based multidisciplinary designer and a partner at design studio Pentagram. Formerly, Oberman was a co-founder of design studio Number Seventeen and a designer at Tibor Kalman's studio M & Co..

Carin Goldberg is an American graphic designer, publication designer and brand consultant.

References

  1. "Tibor George Kalman in the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007". Ancestry.com. Social Security Administration. 1999.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Heller, Steven (1999-05-05). "Tibor Kalman, 'Bad Boy' of Graphic Design, 49, Dies". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Heller, Steven. "Tibor Kalman". AIGA | the professional association for design. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  4. 1 2 Poynor, Rick (17 May 1999). "Obituary: Tibor Kalman". The Independent . Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  5. Haber, Matthew (May 19, 1999). "Tibor Kalman: A highly innovative and influential designer, the onetime editor of Colors magazine died May 2". Salon.com . Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  6. "Obituaries: Tibor Kalman, Graphic Designer With Social Focus, Dies at 49". WWD. 1999-05-10. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  7. "Marianne Kalman". USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  8. "Kalman, George T." . Newspapers.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. 13 June 2003. p. B08. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Tibor Kalman | Contributors | COLORS Magazine". www.colorsmagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  10. Paola Antonelli, Tibor Kalman, Perverse Optimist, Booth-Clibborn Editions (1998), p. 54
  11. 1 2 "Tibor Kalman". ADC • Global Awards & Club. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  12. "M & Co. Biography, People: Collection of Cooper Hewitt". Cooper Hewitt Museum. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  13. Makovsky, Paul (March 20, 2006). "Restaurant Florent - 1985: A New York restaurateur creates a cultural hub by combining politics with design, activism with good food". Metropolis. Retrieved 2010-01-03. Quote: Florent Morellet "left most of the 1950s luncheonette features intact, and gave Tibor Kalman and M & Co. free reign[ sic ] to create ads and graphics that cultivated a Florent culture that survives today and extends well beyond the walls of the space."
  14. "Tibor Kalman in the New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018, License 7442". Ancestry.com. New York City Municipal Archives. 1981.
  15. 1 2 Alam, Rumaan (April 30, 2018). "The Singular Magic of Maira Kalman, at home with the beloved writer and illustrator". The Cut.
  16. 1 2 Heller, Steven (Spring 2003). "Reputations: Maira Kalman". Eye Magazine. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  17. Pearlman, Chee (2001-11-01). "FIRST LOOK; Unleashing Her Inner Child". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2021-07-06.