Imperfect Ceramics Add Character to Mass Production
Brands seeking ways to give mass-produced design a handcrafted feel should take note of Cedit's tile collection, which celebrates the beauty of imperfection through intentional inconsistencies in colour.
As the middle market search for more nuanced, individualised products, the challenge for brands is to produce randomness and even imperfection at scale, without impacting the cost.
Italian ceramics manufacturer Cedit has collaborated with Amsterdam-based design duo Formafantasma to develop Cromatica – a range of tiles which uses subtle nuances of colour to create surfaces with a handcrafted feel. This approach subverts the norms of manufacturing, which typically strives for consistency and even colour across batches.
The collection offers six colours with two surface finishes: natural or glossy. Based on a palette created for Cedit by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in the 1980s, Formafantasma extended each colour group to its widest range, and applied these hues to the tiles.
A gradated scale of colour is visible in each of the large porcelain slabs. These can be cut into smaller tiles and shuffled, so that a range of hues is included in each pack. For example, the Binaco (white) colour group includes blush tones and hints of green, yet still works as a set.
In our Look Ahead for 2018, we highlighted the growing importance of crafted imperfection in surfaces and products. The challenge for brands and manufacturers is achieving this at scale – a conundrum that Cedit has solved, inspiring others to follow. See our S/S 2019 Materials Focus report Human-Made for further inspiration.