February 26, 2014
This handy dandy flow chart perfectly illustrates Kalman’s sardonic wit in looking back at the early days of M & Co., where he and his designers serviced the big early 80’s corporations with self-described “Design By The Pound.” Happy to engage in schadenfreude of his own profession, and even his own firm, this was typical of his no holds-barred style. Calling out designers on their glib and morally vacuous concepts and branding for the big corporate firms was his favorite pastime, and no one was exempt from Tibor’s scathing criticism. At one time, in a classic Tibor Kalman paradox, he excoriated fellow colleagues Charles Spencer Anderson and Paula Scher for appropriating older design styles and squelching their creative responsibilities. Paradoxically, he himself heavily borrowed from the vintage iconography that had become the vernacular of visual communication in America to express his messages, but his rationale was always that he referenced those styles specifically as panacea against the overly slick corporate design-think of the day.