Ceramics and Typography


Emigre co-founder, Zuzana Licko, is also a ceramic artist. You can really see the relationship between designing typefaces and throwing pots in these editions of vases: in both disciplines, the artist endeavours to explore traditional forms in new ways. How many was can you draw the letter "A"? How many ways can you modify the contours of a vessel?

Of course, both disciplines deal with creating visually and structurally balanced shapes. Both deal with the duality of inside & outside form. And both require resolving transitions of curves; when throwing a piece on the potter's wheel, the conceptualization of the shape can be reduced to a single line of curve transitions, which represents one half of the symmetrical cross section. These curve transitions and balance of form have much in common with constructing curves in letter forms.

One can imagine that these vases are actually a letter spinning at high speed on the potter's wheel.


In fact, Korean designer Ji Lee designer a three-dimensional letter series based on Univers revolved on a centre axis.


Stephanie DeArmond


The talented Karin Eriksson has incorporated typography in the surface of her tableware:


Historically, typographic marks have been included on pottery to mark the artisan or factory that created the work:


Etsy seller Cocomo has a great selection of ceramic pieces that would be great for making mosaics:


And mosaics made of flat ceramic, glass and stone have often included typography:


So there you have it: a quick overview of ceramics and typography — flat and dimensional, old and new. Feel free to include more links in the comments or send me an email.