Tibor Kalman | Biography, Life, Work, Logos and Awards

Tibor Kalman

Tibor Kalman (1949 ā€“ 1999)

Tibor Kalman was the ultimate rebel, the quintessential graphic designer, and the revolutionary artist who invented new paradigms in design and influenced generations of practitioners in the field. Born on July 6, 1949 in Budapest, Hungary, his father was a well-to-do engineer. His family settled in New York after the Soviet invasion. Kalman attended journalism classes at New York University (NYU) for one year and dropped out to pursue a career in design. Window displays he designed for an NYU student book exchange so amazed its proprietor, Leonard Riggio, that when Riggio acquired the Barnes and Noble chain of bookstores, he appointed Kalman its creative director.

He established his own design firm – “M&Co” – in 1979. The company soon became a major player in the American design industry. Their album design for the Talking Heads gained worldwide acclaim and recognition. Kalman also served as editor and creative director of Art Forum and Interview magazines, but it was his work as the creative force behind Colors magazine that was to make him world-famous later in his short but hugely impressive career.

Kalman was diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and, after a few years of sporadic design work, he died aged 49 in Puerto Rico on May 2, 1999.

Tibor Kalman Elsewhere:

Tibor Kalman: 1999 AIGA Medal
Art Directors Club: 2004 Hall of Fame


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