From Carol Zimmer, June, 2014
I met Tony in 1991, 23 years ago. We worked at a Lansing advertising agency together and frankly…it was NOT love at first sight. I thought he was an arrogant young man, with a chip on his shoulder. He thought I was an arrogant old woman with a chip on my shoulder. Once we found this common ground – we became fast friends.
We left the agency within a couple months of each other and rented an office together. We shared expenses and client nightmares and laughs together for a couple of years, before our paths took different directions. We were helped along with good friends and mentors like Carl, Kirk, Ben, Tom, Dave and Sherry, Linda and Christine. We were so young and I really think we survived by dump luck.
When Tony left for Denver, I was very sad but excited for him. We kept in touch and, when he returned, my partner, Carl Fish and I, welcomed him into our offices so he could transition more easily back into the area. We have some great memories of working with him during that time.
Tony had an incredible talent – he used bold colors, hard lines, and strong type treatments. In fact, I used to tease him that if there was a page to fill up with color and type, Tony was just the guy to do it…no white space for him! Now, I see that Tony had so many colors, shapes and textures to share with us, and just not enough time to use them sparingly.
So…as I reflect on Tony’s life and my memories of him, I see colors – lots of colors!
The first color I see is purple…actually a pink/purple, maybe an orchid color. For those of you in design.…that might be PMS #253.
Tony was a worry-wart and looked out for people he cared about.
We used to call him “Gramma Moore”. His apartment was very close to our office and, without fail, if there was a severe weather alert in the area, the phone would ring. It’d be Tony on the other end of the line making sure we took cover. Or…if my car wasn’t in the parking lot for a few days, I’d get a text or phone call making sure I was ok.
Or, there was the time I was very pregnant with my daughter and he and I had to go to a client meeting. He held my arm all the way down the icy steps and helped me get safely into the car…then (as only Tony could get away with) he took a garbage bag out from under his seat and said…’Here, sit on this…your water is NOT breaking in my new car!”
The second color I see is a dark magenta/almost crimson. Somewhere around PMS # 1955.
For those of you who knew Tony, you know he could be feisty and stubborn.
I can’t tell you how many times he and I would stand toe to toe and just have it out over things that seem absolutely ridiculous with today’s perspective. Things like where to put the logo, size of the type, and…of course, his avoidance of white space. I’d say, “can you just air it out a bit, Tony?”…and he’d say “NO, I’m the designer – go away!”. I remember us standing at his desk just screaming at each other, then we’d just burst out laughing. Somehow we put up with each other. I used to call him my baby brother because we fought just like a brother and sister and yet fiercely defended each other.
Yet, this tough guy would put my 2-year old son on his lap and teach him to draw…Nate is now 24 and still calls him “Tony-Topony”. He was also the first person, besides my husband, to hold my daughter, Emily, in the hospital.
I see the color green – perhaps the color of MSU green (where Tony provided many of his talents). That might be PMS # 356? I don’t know, but you can bet Tony would…
Tony loved being a designer and an artist. And he loved his clients.
We all know he was a brilliant graphic designer, but he also loved to paint and loved photography. He seemed to always be trying to learn a new form of artistic expression, whether it was for himself or for his work. He enjoyed long relationships with loyal clients by providing cutting-edge work and exceptional service. He was a “whatever it takes” maniac that I saw pull overnighters way too many times.
Lastly, I see the color yellow – and not a wimpy yellow, but a vibrant, hot yellow, like the sun itself! Maybe a straight up Process Yellow.
Tony absolutely loved his family. He spoke to me about how much he respected his mother and his grandmother and valued his childhood memories. He told me about how proud he was of his father and how happy he was that his parents could retire while they were young enough to enjoy each other. He very much looked forward to his visits to the lake, especially if his sisters and nephews were going to be there. He was especially proud of his nephews and spoke often of them.
I will miss Tony more than I can say. The phone calls, the random emails with little gossipy tidbits, the lunches, and even the weather warnings. I will miss our friendship.
Tony, you finally have a canvas big enough for all of your great many colors, patterns and textures.
I hope you revel in your broad strokes of light in infinity. The heavens will be a more beautiful place with you in them.
For me, whenever I see blue/black storm clouds brewing in their beauty, or a glorious sunset with pinks, oranges and reds…I will think of my friend …and smile.