Clear Out the Letterpress, Make Room For the Kiln


Huh. Somehow we don’t remember this landing on the radar anywhere, but it appears to have been out now for a little while. Emigre, the now-ceased-journal/essay stop/font factory, has gotten itself into the business of…wait for it…ceramics. We’re not sure how exactly, other than they’re beautifully designed pieces (and lots of ’em), and maybe there’s a connection because making typefaces is basically kinda moving squiggly pieces together, so, okay, maybe that’s how they got into it. But we’re certainly not complaining any, because they’re damn fine ceramics, and typical of Emigre, they’ve got a very well written write-up that explains the whole thing:

Ceramics began for me as a distraction to the tedious aspects of typeface design work. The making of objects is something I enjoy, and which I greatly miss about the digital medium. Over the years, I’ve discovered that pottery and type design are connected in many ways, some of which are contrasting.

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.