Michael Cronan was a branding guru with a knack for names. He dreamed up the moniker “TiVo” on his own and “Kindle” in collaboration with his wife, Karin Hibma. They were partners in the Berkeley naming, visual identity, and brand strategy firm ::CRONAN:: until his death from colon cancer in 2013.
“Michael and I met at Sac State when we were both art students,” says Hibma, a graduate of Sacramento’s Encina High School. “John Fitzgibbon was the art chair, and he brought in all of these young California artists as teachers.
“It was a very innovative faculty, and the great thing about Sac State was that there were a lot of overlapping disciplines where Michael found interesting dialogues,” she says. I remember (underground artist) R. Crumb playing music on the (Library) Quad with his band, and the Art and Mythology professor, Kurt von Meier, brought in Joseph Campbell (author of The Power of Myth) to speak. It was just a great art department.”
Learn more about Hibma and her fascinating life and career in this Q&A profile in the Los Angeles Times.