In the 1980’s after Kalman founded the design firm M&Co, he had the opportunity to work for the new wave music group Talking Heads. He is still known for the album cover he designed at time.
Kalmans involvement in magazine graphics played a significant role in his career.He first worked in the magazine industry as art director of Artforum from 1987-88 and creative director of Interview from 1989. However he is better known for his role as founding editor-in-chief of the Benetton-sponsored Colors magazine in 1990. Colors was billed as "a magazine about the rest of the world", it focused on multiculturalism and global awareness. This perspective was communicated through bold graphic design, typography and juxtaposition of photographs and doctored images.
When he worked for Artforum and Interview he mostly guided the look, not the content, of these publications. In fact, without total control he was frustrated by his inability to experiment with a new pictorial narrative theory that he was developing. As a teenager he was an avid fan of Life magazine, and believed that in the age of electronic media, photojournalism was still a more effective way to convey significant stories. This belief strongly influenced the look, style and layout of Colors magazine.
Kalmans relationship with the United Colors of Benetton company began while editing pictures for the photographer Oliviero Toscani, who had created the pictorial advertising identity for Benetton, the Italian clothing manufacturer, Tibor helped produce a series of controversial advertisements focusing on AIDS, racism, refugees, violence, and warfare that carried the Benetton logo. In 1990 he was recruited as editor-in-chief of Colors magazine which was seen as a rather controversial magazine at the time. He produced five issues in new York before closing M&Co in 1993 and moving to Rome, where he edited eight more issues until the onset of non-Hodgkins lymphoma forced him to leave in 1995, and return to New York.