Tibor Kalman (July 6, 1949 – May 2, 1999) was an American graphic designer best known for the groundbreaking he created with his New York design firm M&Co, and his influential work as editor-in-chief of the Benetton-sponsored ‘colours’ magazine in 1990.
His magazine, “colours” focused on global awareness and multiculturalism, it was an outlet for his political activism, which brought his restless intellectual curiosity and subversive wit to everything he worked on.
This perspective of his was communicated through bold graphic design, typography and juxtaposition on photographs and doctored images.
This includes a series in which highly respected and recognized figures such as the Pope and Queen Elizabeth were created and depicted as racial minorities.
He incorporated visual elements other designers had never associated with successful design, and used his work to promote his radical political ideas.
Today the influence of M&Co is still very strong, both as a result of its work and that of the many designers including Stefan Sagmeister, Stephen Doyle, Alexander Isley, Scott Stowell, and Emily Oberman, who worked there and went on to start their own design studios in New York City. Howard Milton and Jay Smith who worked with Kalman in 1979 went on to found Smith & Milton in London. Until his death (1999), Mr. Kalman was married to the illustrator and author Maira Kalman