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Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist is the definitive and exuberant document of the late Tibor Kalman's work and ideas. This full-color, oversize title reveals Kalman's 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 in ...more
Paperback, 420 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Princeton Architectural Press
(first published 1998)
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Years ago I regularly bought copies of Colors magazine. I loved the unique in-your-face style of it, and how it was compiled and written for a truly global audience. Later I discovered children's books authored and illustrated by the amazingly creative Maira Kalman. Later still I discovered that it was her belated husband Tibor who had been the editor and driving force behind Colors. This book chronicles Tibor's path as an innovative, learn-as-you-go designer and creative genius. Alongside his w ...more
Edited by Michael Bierut and Peter Hall, the 420 page book features work highlights of Kalman as he started his career at a New York City campus bookstore, which is now Barnes & Noble, Kalman's work at M&Co, to his work on Benetton's Colors magazine under Oliviero Toscani. It features some writing by Kalman, and contributions about Kalman by Paola Antonelli, David Byrne, Jay Chiat, Jenny Holzer, Isaac Mizrahi, Florent Morellet, Leonard Riggio, Rebecca Robertson, Ingrid Sischy, Elizabeth ...more
I don't get it, Tibor Kalman's supposed to be this Brilliant Graphic Designer, so I bought this monograph. However, upon reading it, I find that he pales in comparison to current versions of designer-as-superstar like Sagmeister. I guess he did it in the nineties and it was provocative but I found his work to be only marginally interesting. After I purchased this I realized I really actually wanted to purchase Bruce Mau's monograph (easy to confuse those weird foreign names).
I enjoyed this book, even though I'm not that interested in graphic design. It was very interesting for me to see what it was like to run a design firm (even if it's an unconventional one). Overall the more you are interested in graphic design and art the more interesting this book will be to you.
If there was a Mount Rushmore of graphic designers surely Tibor Kalman's head would be on it. Even if you have no hint of design aesthetic you will still marvel at his work. Thought provoking and funny Tibor could do it all. You've seen his work although you may not know it.
Sep 19, 2007 Judy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those that like pictures and revolutionary pop art
Nice compilation of Tibor Kalman's work. The book is very artsy with typography to look at for its design quailty - but I found difficult to read. The writing was not bad, just difficult to read under such red, yellow or black backgrounds. The images are very cool.
Probably the only designer monograph I've really READ and find myself going back to. Has the usual monograph flaws—not very critical, overly self-aggrandizing—but to have all of Kalman's work in one place to reference and show students is wonderful.