Tibor Kalman

Tibor’s influence in the Graphic design world can be seen everywhere- from Posters, Books, Music Videos, Film titles, to Magazine Design, package design,  corporate ethics and logos. But the legacy he left the world, perfectly described by Steven Heller:-

Of the two names that changed design in the ’80s and ’90s—Mac and Tibor—one changed the way we work, the other the way we think. The former is a tool, the latter was our conscience-

( http://www.printmag.com/imprint/lest-i-forget-tibor/ )


Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949. Aged 7 he and his family arrived in a new land called America, as impoverished immigrants fleeing the Communists in 1956. Although he became very successful he never forgot his experience of poverty- being displaced – practically homeless.

Tibor attended the New York University and studied journalism. However he dropped out and worked for a small book store as a clerk. One day he helped by arranging a window display and this highlighted a successful interest in design, which led to him becoming director of design – for ( the now giant Literary firm,) Barnes and Nobel in New York. This led to opening his own design agency M&Co in 1979. He then went on to serve as as creative director of Magazine ‘Interview’ in 1990 and later as editor chief of ‘Colours’.

He is greatly known for his multidisciplinary design work with the conceptually progressive firm M&Co in New York which he started with Bokuniewicz and Trovato and named after his author/ illustrator wife, Maira. M&Co’s work represented another kind of postmodernism-  witty, ironic, referential, but never sentimental, informed by a practiced cosmopolitarian sense, that defined the ‘quintessential New York-ness’. Tibor believed that since graphic design is mass communication, it should be used to increase public awareness, of a variety of social issues and responsibilities.


He savored the nuances of type and had a fetish for vernacular design—the untutored or quotidian signs, marquees, billboards, and packages that compose mass culture—but understood that being a master of good design meant nothing unless it supported a message that led to action. Even most stylistic work must be viewed in the context of Tibor’s persistence.

Everything had to have meaning and resonance. 

M&Co had developed a house style of its own based on vernacularism, the so-called “undesign” that Tibor celebrated for its unfettered expression, which also fed into the post-modern penchant for referencing the past. While Tibor’s ire sometimes seemed inconsistent with his own practice he rationalized M&Co’s use of vernacular as a symbol of protest —

a means of undermining the cold conformity of the International corporate style.

Known for his reactionary attitudes to Social concerns he combined visual elements and associations never thought of before with innovative ideas , humour and style. This new way of ‘Capturing’ the audiences attention, he did with sophistication and used this platform to promote his views regarding the concious responsibilities Designers have or should have to their consumer audiences. He did not stop there, he also approached the subject of corporate social integrity with his fellow designers and clients, often using his influence which declared – that designers can and must be responsible for the content of the message as well as the presentation – must be image conscious professionals. His promotions projects ranged from 1980’s art rockers ‘Talking Heads’, to the furniture company ‘Knoll’ and the ‘Restaurant Florent’.


The magazine ‘Colours’ epitomises this sensibility. He used to be inspired by the former  ‘Life Magazine’, and decided to take social ethics to new heights and jolted the world to see things a different way. Tibor took a provocative stance on Social Problems and has been criticised and praised for its sensationalism, obscenity and sexual statements. He placed dialogue between advertisments and consumers up for debate and to state political opinions. He encouraged his audiences to engage by exposing the ‘formula’ the advertising industry used, with its choices of images of sexual, violent or multicultural, as context in design, to sell products and promote social conformity.

ColoursBaby95_tibor02 ColoursRace95_tibor01 Colours Hand95_tibor00 ColoursEye95_tibor03

He asked moral questions of consumer society and its manufacturers.
He wrote a book entitled ‘Perverse Optimism’, aptly describing himself and attitudes and continued to teach post Graduate students from the School of Visual Arts in New York till the end,
in his fight with cancer in May 1999.

Colours was the first magazine aimed at the Global Village – A quarterly, in 4 languages,
launched to a world audience of young and flexible minds or
just curious people of any age that were interested.
The Magazine provided an outlet for Tibor’s beliefs in socio-political activism.

The heart of Tibor’s accomplishment was enlarging the parameters
of design from service to cultural force – Steven Heller.

His Final Communication was his exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art titled : -‘Tiborosity’ – August 1999 – which later toured the USA and the world.


Tibor Kalman @ Art + Culture :  http://www.artandculture.com/users/179-tibor-kalman

Steven Heller : Lest I forget Tibor : http://www.printmag.com/imprint/lest-i-forget-tibor/

Tibor Kalman, ‘Bad Boy’ of Graphic Design, 49, Dies: New York Times, 1999. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/05/arts/tibor-kalman-bad-boy-of-graphic-design-49-dies.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

TIBOR KALMAN:  Biography by Steven Heller: http://www.aiga.org/medalist-tiborkalman/

Obituary: Tibor Kalman: The Independent obituary by Rick Poynor, May 17, 1999. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-tibor-kalman-1094136.html

Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist by Andrew Blauvelt (2004) : Design Book Review, Issue 43, Fall 2000


31/5: Brian Eno – Oblique Strategies

Brian Eno Pioneer

Who is Brian Eno? 

Perhaps best known as a musician and producer, he’s also an artist, professor and thinker. Music-wise, even if you haven’t heard any of his own records, you may have heard his production contributions to albums by rock legends U2, David Bowie, Talking Heads or James. In other media, his music sometimes appears in films (Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, Heat), television programs and commercials, and the Windows 95 start-up sound.

What are  Oblique Strategies?

Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) is a deck of printed cards in a black container box created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt and first published in 1975. Each card offers an aphorism (saying) intended to help artists (particularly musicians) break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking.


“These cards evolved from separate observations of the principles underlying what we were doing. Sometimes they were recognised in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated. They can be used as a pack, or by drawing a single card from the shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case the card is trusted even if its appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident.”


“The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation – particularly in studios – tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you’re in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that’s going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn’t the case – it’s just the most obvious and – apparently – reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt *this* attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt *that* attitude.”  -Brian Eno, interview with Charles Amirkhanian, KPFA-FM Berkeley, 2/1/80

You can download the Oblique Strategies widget for your desktop here.

Isabela Capeto for Melissa Shoes


These are the Melissa sandles I was discussing with Deb, when she was researching Vivienne Westwood, who has designed ranges of shoes for this interesting company.

Based in Brazil, all their shoes are made from recycled plastic which has got to be a good thing..

Isabela Capeto who designed the example above does a wide range of design (from shoes to clothing, sunglasses to bikes) and is well worth checking out.

She recently launched her own perfume, the bottle/packaging is rather groovy..


Alan Fletcher – Designer Research by Carolyn Russell

Alan Fletcher      alan_fletcher_p

……was born in Nairobi, Kenya 1931 and aged five was transported back to England when his father died.
He studied Graphics in Central School in London, then the Royal College of Art. His real turning point was his post-graduate year in 1956 at Yale University in the US, with tutors  Paul Rand, Herbert Matter and the ex-Bauhaus master Josef Albers. He worked on for a further two years in America, for Fortune Magazine in New York, making new contacts and keeping company with his tutor Rand and other movie directors and designers.

This influenced his life – he became streetwise, developed a love of puns, visual cliché expressing a kind of American urban knowingness, he was able to adopt ‘the wisecrack’  into a visual conceptas well as the ‘ridiculous glamour and bravado’. Fletcher was inspired by the optical and fantastical elements being experimented with in Europe, those of Moholy-Nagy’s photomontages and photograms, along with the poetry and collage work of Kurt Schwitters and his contextual displacement of the known alphabet in unusual terms and ‘situ’. He shared an affinity with the strange and beautiful , often seeing relationships within and around shapes and linework of objects. He has been likened to the Czech Avant Garde, philosophically.


Fletcher is said to have been ‘One of the most influential figures’ in graphic design in London, England and Europe. He had a passion for sunrise colours in his design work that boldly and poetically helped change the inter war years of appreciating colour in design. In the ‘Design Museum’ his work is referred to as a synthesis of graphic design elements and traditions of Europe and North America, and I wonder about the influence of the colours of Africa in his early years. Fiona MacCarthy wrote of Alan Fletcher, his personality and style played a strong role in the for front of the 60’s design movement and shot colour and style into postwar London. His works are known most for being both spirited and witty (designmuseum.org/design/alanfletcher).

alan_fletcher_8fff-grahpis                          alanfletcher2

Fletcher’s quirky aptitude for the use of typography as a visual art form and not only to convey a just a message to be read and understood , but to have a considered impact, either to shock, to deliberately provoke reaction or to confound the viewer.  He wished to prove that visual communication was a serious artform and working magic into word formations.

 He Played Games with Verbal and Visual Perceptions.

From the 1950’s he transformed the bleak walls of London, with his simple yet striking posters of design logos for institutions and companies such as, Penguin, Pirelli, Cunard, Penguin Books, BP and Olivetti.  His was a fusion now of, Euro Modernist / American Post-War Graphics and British Pop Art. He marvelled in the geometrics of traffic signs and road markers, constantly observing,detecting inspiration for design concepts. In 1959 Fletcher headed back to London,  a job for Pirelli, a Milan company and arrived at a time of Visual Revolution and transformation in England and Europe, he would be a huge part of.

In 1962, Fletcher co founded –Fletcher/Forbes/Gill, an early modern design consultancy company  and contributed to the blossoming of London period as infinitely rich and strange. Their work opened the eyes of Britain to new designs like combining Type and Image and Reconfiguration of Objects in the traditional sense. This changed the face of commercial ads, logos and corporate identities.


Eg:- Pirelli Slippers Ad – photogaphically devised slippered feet topped with real
passengers heads on a cut away London Double Decker Bus.

From the 60’s to the 70s Fletcher worked on huge scale design projects for Shell and  Reuters. A change in company dynamics in 1972 and adding new designers saw the Co’s name ‘Pentagram’ emerge. This company was to dominate the design scene in Britian for the next 20 years growing bigger in London and then with offices in new York and San Francisco.

Fletcher was obsessed with how many variations of views or versions of images there are of things. From Palm Trees to the typographical  Ampersand. He Worked On 1960’s Retro Lettering For Logos For Goods n Chattles and the Victoria & Albert Museum, now the famous V&A logo based on the period Bodoni  typeface.  He created design programs for Reuters, Lucas Industries, The Mandarine Hotels , Lloyds of London, Damlier Benz – the list goes on.  He was president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1983. Designing for over thirty years, Fletcher worked on projects ranging from Penguin Books to the IBM logos. His posters reveal paradox and sense of humor, in his work.

In 1992 he left Pentagram to work alone in his own studio in Notting Hill, with clients including Domus Magazine, Dentsu, London Transport, Shell, Toyota, and  Novartis Campus.  In 1993 Fletcher became Art Director of Phaidon Press.
Though fascinated by modern technology Fletcher was a defender of Handwriting and Drawing – To scratch or graze a line – Graphein

From an Interview with Alan Fletcher by Rick Poynor 1991 for Eye Magazine:
RP: Why do you use your own handwriting so much in the posters?

Alan Fletcher: I like to reduce everything to its absolute essence, because that is a way to avoid getting trapped in a style.  You’ve got to keep on breaking down the barriers. Of course you could argue that I’m creating my own style and that’s a weakness and I should try harder. I think you would probably be right. I always think of writing as drawing. Every letter is a symbol, so you can begin to play games. I don’t treat writing as calligraphy. The more controlled and raw it is, the more interesting it becomes.

Fletcher wrote and designed Books such as : The Art of Looking Sideways (2001) and Beware Wet Paint (1996), both published by Phaidon Press. He co-authored Identity Kits – a pictorial survey of visual signs, Studio Vista (1971); Graphic design: visual comparisons, Studio Vista (1963); A Sign Systems Manual, Studio Vista; together with four publications on the work of Pentagram: Pentagram – the work of five designers and Living by Design, Lund Humphries; Ideas on Design, Faber & Faber; The Compendium, Phaidon (1989); and The Art of Looking Sideways, Phaidon (2001). Fletcher’s last book, Picturing and Poeting, was published posthumously in 2006.


Alan Fletcher biography : England & Co

Design Museum- 50 years of Graphic Design – Alan Fletcher

Fiona MacCarthy on graphic designer Alan Fletcher (2006)
http://www.guardian.co.uk \

1991 Winter Edition Eye Magazine:

Alan Fletcher (graphic designer) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Fletcher_(graphic_designer)

Thinking Form by Aswin Sadha, 2012.



Marimekko kids… circa 1967

As promised a few pics from my family archive.1967-25

My brother Nick and I all dressed up in our Marimekko and posed in the Eames chair, like trendy architect’s children of the time..

These are the few that show off the clothes to the best advantage.



Here we are later that day rocking out at the NSW Art Gallery later that day…

Zandra Rhodes

Zandra Rhodes

ImageZandra Rhodes was born in Chatham, Kent, UK in 1940 and introduced to the world of fashion by her mother, a fitter for the Paris fashion House of Worth.

Zandra’s own lifestyle is as dramatic, glamorous and extrovert as her designs. With her bright pink hair, theatrical make-up and art jewellery, she has stamped her identity on the international world of fashion.


 Internationally acclaimed designer whose iconic work has been seen on red carpet events and runways throughout the world.

She has designed for clients as diverse as Diana, Princess of Wales, Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Freddie Mercury, Kelly Osborne, Ashley Olsen, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.


Her early textile designs were considered too outrageous by the traditional British manufacturers so she decided to make dresses from her own fabrics and pioneered the very special use of printed textiles as an intrinsic part of the garments she created.


In 1967 she opened her first shop: The Fulham Road Clothes Shop in London with Sylvia Ayton.

She presents two major collections each year, licenses her distinctive designs to major fashion and beauty labels.



Zandra rhodes also makes jewellery, wrapping paper, china for Royal Doulton and furs for Pologeorgis in New York. She has also collaborated with MAC to produce a limited edition make-up range.

Zandra Rhodes creates breathtaking stage and costume looks for some of the world’s most popular operas.









google images.

wont be coming in today

hi clea i wont be coming in today caught a bug plus had next nothing sleep last night so yeah sorry ill be in next week ok see ya Tyler