While he is of Hungarian descent, Tibor was a very influential American graphic designer in the 1980s and 90s. He attended NYU, where he studied journalism, before dropping out and going to work for a small book store. The store would eventually become Barnes and Noble, the literary retail giant, Tibor would become the director of their in-house design firm. Together with Carol Bokuniewicz and Liz Trovato he formed the design company M&Co., which was named after his wife, Maira.
He is most famous for his provocative work for the publications Interview, and especially Colors. Colors magazine is a quarterly publication intended for young adults world wide, it is published in 4 different languages. Kalman became the founding editor-in-chief of the magazine, which covered a specific, and often controversial, topic with each issue. His designs for the covers of the first 13 issues garnered him much attention as a designer. He died in Puerto Rico in 1999. His influence has reached many well-known designers including Alexander Isley and Stefan Sagmeister.