TIBOR KALMAN: PERVERSE OPTIMIST by Michael Bierut
Princeton Architectural Press, 1998, First edition, 420 pp., 8 1/2" X 10 3/4", Hardcover
Tibor Kalman, probably best known for the witty designs of his company M&Co and his provocative work for Benetton's Colors magazine, defines the eclectic multidisciplinary approach that has come to characterize graphic design in the past decade. Eclectic is perhaps an understatement: Kalman's work ranges from journalism, advertising, and publishing to watches, paper weights, rulers, album covers, t-shirts, film titles, commercials, urban guidelines, and more. Born in Budapest in 1949, Kalman emigrated to the U.S. in 1956. He soon began working at Barnes & Noble, where he later became design director; he subsequently worked as art director at Artforum and Interview. His international acclaim came largely as a result of his work at M&Co, the trend-setting design firm he founded in New York City in 1979 and continues to run.
Tibor, designed by Michael Bierut of Pentagram and edited by I.D. Magazine senior writer Peter Hall, is the first comprehensive collection of Kalman's work and ideas. This full-color title-numbering over 400 pages-includes a pictorial manifesto by Kalman, revealing his thoughts on magazines, advertising, sex, bookstores, food, and the design profession. Product designs, stills and storyboards from his film and video projects, and spreads from his book and magazine work are included, creating what Kalman calls "an almanac of oddities." An impressive list of essay contributors includes Steven Heller, David Byrne, Jay Chiat, Kurt Andersen, Paola Antonelli, Isaac Mizrahi, Ingrid Sischy, Chee Pearlman, and Rick Poynor.