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Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist ISBN 13: 9781568981505

Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist - Hardcover

 
9781568981505: Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist
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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.

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Review:
A witty, eclectic tome of images and writings-half catalogue, half manifesto-- spanning the career of the graphic designer Tibor Kalman, the man behind Benetton's Colors magazine; a Communist-theme apartment building called Red Square that hastened gentrification on the Lower East Side while seeming to subvert it; and the new Forty-Second Street, for which he claims full responsibility. Kalman creates powerful, unprecedented, sometimes haphazard imagery (Ronald Reagan with AIDS, a saint having an orgasm), but always for commercial purposes (to sell sweaters). New Yorker

The context of this book, like the person it profiles, is informal and spontaneous. It is a selection of Kalman's prolific efforts including the unforgettably good, the bad and the downright ugly (he is still apologetic about his work for Red Square, a posh real estate development in the heart of Manhattan's downtrodden Lower East Side.) Documentation of his projects is accompanied by the bantering, but frank, commentary of Kalman and early M&Co designers such as Michael Beirut and Stephen Doyle. Communication Arts

From Library Journal:
From his introductory notes explaining the book's subtitle, Kalman demonstrates a clear contrariness to the common understanding of the role of graphic design. From window dresser and shopping bag designer of the nascent Barnes & Noble in the 1970s to founder and leader of the award-winning M & Co. design firm in the 1980s to his revolutionary anti-selling aesthetic as founding editor-in-chief at Benetton's Colors magazine, Kalman has sought out roles unfamiliar to him and done them in his own way. This hasn't stopped him from developing one of the best-known and most influential bodies of work in the field. If all this monograph did were to convey this complex personality?as it does in the more than a dozen essays by and interviews with former clients and co-workers?it would be a grand success. But, more than that, it surveys important work from his entire career in more than 600 illustrations, all thoughtfully captioned. Essential for all academic libraries, this addictively browseable tribute is also recommended for larger public libraries.?Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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