A game of word association may have been the inspiration behind the conceptual Onomatopoeia design from Tibor Kalman. For this symbolic timepiece, the numbers 3, 5, 9 and 12 are replaced with iconography such as a tree, five fingers, a cat with nine lives and a dozen eggs. Onomatopoeia suggests not only the look and sound of numbers, but the idea behind them as well.
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About the Creator
Founder of the New York-based graphic and product design consultancy M&Co, Tibor Kalman helped change the way people see graphic design. According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Kalman was one of the few graphic designers whose accomplishments were legendary within the field and widely known outside, as well. Kalman’s work sought to challenge mundane design thinking and aspired to create unpredictable work.
In addition to his work at M&Co, he also worked as creative director for Interview magazine and as the editor-in-chief of Colors magazine—for which his unique perspective of bold graphic design, typography and juxtaposition of photographs and doctored images has been celebrated throughout the years. Kalman’s unique style and individualistic point-of-view eventually led him to receive the 1999 AIGA medal, recognizing him as the “design profession’s moral compass and its most fervent provocateur.”