' The difference between good design and great design is intelligence'
Born, Budapest in 1949, Kalman and his parents were forced to flee the Soviet invasion in 1956. They settled in N.Y.
Tibor was a very influential American graphic designer in the 1980s and 90s. He attended NYU, where he studied journalism, before dropping out. With two others he formed the design company M&Co., which was named after his wife, Maira.
Kalman combined his desire to break new ground visually with a passionate commitment to social causes. Kalman's radical politics and his radical designs were inextricably linked. "I use contrary-ism in every part of my life. In design ... I'm always trying to turn things upside down and see if they look any better,"
Throughout his 30-year career, Kalman brought his restless intellectual curiosity and subversive wit to everything he worked on -- from album covers to the redevelopment of Times Square. Kalman incorporated visual elements other designers had never associated with successful design, and used his work to promote his radical politics. The influence of his experiments in typography and images can be seen everywhere, from music videos to the design of magazines such as Wired and Ray Gun.
In Colors magazine, Kalman found the perfect platform for his ideas -- both visual and philosophical. With its striking, graphics- heavy layout and its bilingual articles on themes like race and AIDS. Being an issued based magazine, it pushed boundaries in terms of its editorial emphasis on politics, and it pushed design to the point of post-literacy by making words secondary to images.
Tibor Kalman: Design and Undesign (Cutting Edge), by Liz Farelly (1998)Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, by Tibor Kalman (1998)