Tibor Kalman was born in 1949 in
During the year 1979 he gained very well paid offer where he should design signs for a discount trading house and only short time after he eventually established his own graphic design studio. He created his office interior with a silly triangular-shaped table which matched into a silly shaped conference room. It was all made in post-modern fashion and his office was highly decorated but window at the reception was all shattered with hammer. Tibor‘s wife (fig. 2) was called Maira and had a nickname ‘M’, thus he gave the name to his company ‘‘M&Co’’.
Tibor's wife Maira
Tibor's explanation to his funny designed office was:‘‘You could bring a bank client or a rock group there for a meeting, it sort of cut both ways.’’(http://www.adcglobal.org/archive/hof/2004)
The place of his M&Co business was in the
Tibor Kalman, Talking Heads
In 1986 Tibor was co-chairman of the American Institute of Graphic Arts national conference in San Antonio, called ‘‘Dangerous Ideas’’. It was a great thing for Tibor, where he was able to pay a proper attention on designers work and investigate their impact on society with propagation of products which are not beneficial whereas dangerous and destroying the environment and society. Tibor Kalman always emphasized to designers that they should be very careful and responsible for work which they create and think about how their work will influence the society, culture and environment around us. He always encouraged designers to think about the impact of their creations on society; he thought that it is very important for designer to think about consequences of their work. One of the Tibor’s creations was soapbox, where he focused on homelessness and instead of sending usual presents to his clients on Christmas, he sent boxes with a modest typical meal for homeless (fig 4).
(The New York Times)
fig. 4 (Homeless Lunch Box for Christmas by Tibor Kalman)
Tibor slowly stopped doing graphic design in the way of magazines Art forum and Interviews, where he was not really able to express all his ideas and was unsatisfying for him. His most grateful job came when he became an editor in chief of Colors, which was an English and Italian magazine. The publishing of this magazine was by the Italian company Benetton which engaged in clothes fashion. This role of being an editor made impossible for Tibor to continue with his M&Co company and thus he was forced to stop temporarily and moved with all his family to
Issue 4, (1993)
Tibor Kalman said: ‘‘Aimed at an audience of flexible minds, young people from 14 to 20, or curious people of any age.’’
Issue 7, (1994)
This magazine called Colors was a real liberation for Tibor as he could boundlessly realize all his ideas. One copy of Color magazine was focused on racism which title was ‘‘How to Change Your Race’’, other issue called ‘‘What If.’’ was including the collection of world famous people with racially changed skin color. Tibor Kalman changed the skin color of Queen Elizabeth (fig. 7) and Arnold Schwarzenegger to black; he also made Pope John Paul II as Asian, changed the skin color of Spike Lee on white and transformed Michael Jackson into Nordic type. Tibor Kalman said: ‘‘Race is not the real issue here, power and sex are the dominant forces in the world.’’(The New York Times) This is what I particularly like about Tibor Kalman, his ability to provocatively communicate message to the world.
Queen Elizabeth II, Colors Magazine
Issue 4, ''Race'' (Spring 1993)
He said: ‘‘I can design and manipulate in spin people politically in direction that I want and that is what I like about design.’’(You Tube, An Hour Conversation With Designer Tibor Kalman, 1998)
I like Tibor’s provocative expressions in his design, huge enthusiasm for changing the world with his wonderful and very creatively processed ideas. I admire him for his great success, his natural talent and touch for design; already for that reason he never formally studied to be a designer. Tibor was a truly great talker through his design creations and he made a lot of positive contributions to the world with his art work. Although he died at age only 49 he managed to contribute to the world and society enormously.
Hall, P., Bierut, M. (2000) Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist. New York: Princeton Architectural Press
Kalman, M., Kalman, T. (no date) Colors: Tibor Kalman, Issues 1-13
Obituary: Tibor Kalman – Arts & Entertainment – The Independent (1999) Obituary: Tibor Kalman [Online]. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-tibor-kalman-1094136.html
Tibor Kalman, ‘Bad Boy’ of Graphic Design, 49, Dies – Obituary; Biography – NYTimes.com (1999) Tibor Kalman, ‘Bad Boy’ of Graphic Design,49,Dies [Online]. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/05/arts/tibor-kalman-bad-boy-of-graphic-design-49-dies.html?pagewanted=2 (Accessed:
Tibor kalman/article/Pata Magazine (2009) Tibor Kalman [Online]. Available at:
Art Directors Club/Hall of Fame/Tibor Kalman (2004) Tibor Kalman [Online]. Available at: http://www.adcglobal.org/archive/hof/2004/?id=196 (Accessed:
Tibor Kalman: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article (2010) Tibor Kalman [Online].
Available at: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Tibor_Kalman (Accessed:
CharlieRose.com (1998) An Hour Conversation With Designer Tibor Kalman.
Available at: http://discussion-for-you.com/video/4543.cgi (Accessed:
Portrait of Tibor Kalman [Online]. Available at:
Photograph of Maira Kalman [Online]. Available at:
Kalman, T. (1980) Talking Heads Album Cover [Online]. Available at:
Kalman, T. Homeless Lunch Box for Christmas [Online]. Available at:
Kalman, T. (1993) 5 Colors Magazine, Issue 4, ‘‘Race’’ [Online]. Available at:
Kalman, T. (1994) Color Magazine, Issue 7 [Online]. Available at:
Kalman, T. (1993) Queen Elizabeth II, Colors Magazine, Issue 4, ‘‘Race’’ [Online].
Available at: http://designhistorylab.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/queen-elizabth.bmp