Tibor Kalman: “We don’t talk about planes flying. We talk about them crashing.” 26 Jul 2006
14 comments Latest by Roger Wong
In Color Him a Provocateur, Wired talked to designer Tibor Kalman. Here’s some of what he said:
We live in a society and a culture and an economic model that tries to make everything look right…But by definition, when you make something no one hates, no one loves it. So I am interested in imperfections, quirkiness, insanity, unpredictability. That’s what we really pay attention to anyway. We don’t talk about planes flying; we talk about them crashing.
There was a time not so long ago when egomaniacs made media to their own personal standards, and when you make something for yourself, it will always be far better and more honest than something you make to please the marketplace.
Everybody who wants information wants it to be free. People who make it, assemble it, edit it, and publish it want to make a living at it. Some of them want large Mercedes-Benzes. But what I want to know is: How is info supposed to be free when food isn’t?
Q: Where are you looking for innovative media? A: I don’t know. Probably it’s being hatched in some garage. It’s always the freaks in garages who make things move forward. There’s always a garage and antisocial behavior involved. I think without those two things there is no real cultural advancement.
There’s tons of room left to experiment with traditional media…I want to know if it’s possible to make a movie that’s just words, or if it’s possible to make a movie on paper. And why can’t television be 100 times faster? Or slower? And why are 90 percent of magazines structured the same way? And why do they all stop at borders?
More TK quotes, from Moira Cullen interviews Tibor Kalman:
After 15 or 20 years I discovered that design is just language and the real issue is what you use that language to do. Now I’m at a point where I’m tired of talking about what kind of accents to use. I want to talk about the words that are being said.
What is said determines who listens and who understands. Graphic design is a language, but graphic designers are so busy worrying about the nuances - accents, punctuation and so on - that they spend little time thinking about what the words add up to. I’m interested in using our communication skills to change the way things are.