Cersaie 2003

Saturnia by Edilcuoghi is a product line inspired by Rapolano travertines and is suitable for mid- to upper-level residential and light commercial applications. It is available in six colors, in 32.8-by-32.8 cm and 49.3-by-49.3 cm formats.

In Cotto Veneto’s Luci d’Oriente series, the Echi d’Oriente underglaze decoration, inspired by Japanese culture, is used to enhance the Luci series mosaic, which is available in 11 colors.
The 21st Cersaie trade show was held Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2003, in Bologna, Italy, drawing more than 97,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors. These totals represent a slight decrease from attendance at last year's show, due to international economic troubles. Despite the decrease in attendance, business was brisk throughout the show, and a wide variety of new ceramic designs were on display, highlighting the latest trends in ceramic design.

More Subtle Textures and Colors

One noticeable trend at Cersaie was an increase the subtlety of textures and colors, leading to a more refined and urban look.

Rustic designs that have been predominant in recent years have been softened, featuring more delicate textures and patterns, as well as deeper colors. There was also a noticeable use of pastel colors. In addition to the ubiquitous blues, greens, browns, yellows and oranges were also popular shades.

Noteworthy pastel lines included Vogue Ceramica, Art Color, and Marca Corona. White, in myriad shades and finishes, is also regaining popularity, while rich earth tones remain popular, particularly slate looks. A noteworthy approach to white was Azuvi's White Fashion, a Zen-inspired collection of different shades of white with colorful glass accent pieces.

This shift points to a definite trend away from the rustic country look that has been dominant recently towards a more urban contemporary look. Coarse, rough textures have shifted to smoother, more refined finishes. Weathered and distressed looks have given way to more modern designs featuring straighter, smoother edges and flatter surfaces, forgoing the heavy reliefs and textures that have been popular in the last few years. Even stone look finishes, which remain very popular, have softened their look, with lighter veining and smoother edges. Some outstanding stone look tiles included Atlas Concorde's Gallery, an extremely realistic marble look available in polished and satin finishes; Coem's Pietre Jurassica, a natural stone look with rectified edges, Azuvi's Geotech line, which added the new Lena series in six different finishes; and Roca's Rock and Rock, which also featured new colors.

Colorker’s Luxor is a contemporary glazed porcelain tile that features metal and glass decorative accent pieces.
Geometric Patterns Proliferate

Another trend evident at Cersaie was the increased use of geometric patterns, which were combined with bold, vivid colors to create a variety of unusual designs. Outstanding examples of this trend include Musa's intricate black-on-black patterns, Ceramica Pinto's Southern Italian interpretation of a tribal rug, and Fap's Vision, which featured floral patterns. Bardelli's Ultime Notizie (Latest News) combined colorful butterflies with newspaper clips, while Kronos' Imagine featured blue textural stripes. Marca Corona launched Game, an extensive collection of colorful, three-dimensional tiles. Lea introduced new textural patterns for the popular Progetto 14 series; Art Color displayed Dripping, which featured a tone-on-tone design; and Cotto Veneto showed Water Lilies, a floral image available in a variety of colors.

Larger Formats and Mosiacs Gain Popularity

An interesting trend in ceramic is the diversification of sizes; while floor tiles are becoming increasingly larger, smaller designs, such as mosaics, have also gained in popularity. Rectangular shapes continue to dominate, with shapes getting longer and thinner. This increased variety of shapes and sizes allows for more possibilities in pattern design, and many manufacturers combined different shapes and sizes of tile in the same displays.

Examples included Ceramica Di Treviso's modular Totem series, Colorker's Luxor glazed porcelain line and Apavisa's Lifestone series, in which decorative systems are created by cutting the tile into elongated pieces, strips or mosaics, which are them mesh-mounted for easy installation.

Greater Diversity of Accent Materials

Another noticeable trend was the use of glass, metals, wood, and other non-ceramic materials, which were integrated with ceramic to create a wide variety of new looks and unusual designs.

The Lena series is part of Azuvi’s Geotech collection of all-through body porcelain tile. This collection includes six stone look series which feature soft textured surfaces and satin finishes. Geotech is available in 17-by-17-inch, 16-by-24-inch, and 4-by-16-inch formats; color choices include gray, dark gray, coffee, and beige.
These materials were either incorporated directly into the tiles or used as inserts or trims, to created iridescent and shimmering effects. There were a variety of new glass tiles, including opaque finishes created using new techniques. Notable glass tile lines included Vitrum by Ceramgres, an opaque glass tile with rectified edges, a new feature for glass tile; and 24% by Brix, a crystal glass series that used LED lights to created various special effects. Sicis introduces Glass 3, a mixed mosaic using pieces from three collections to create stunning patterns. Cogir Glass introduced Formelle Astro, an intricately patterned design, while Bardelli displayed large numbered art pieces rendered in glass. Other notable glass lines included Venturina by Studio Effe, featuring a jewel-like look, and Bisazza, whose ubiquitous mosaics featured new colors; the company also introduced Canyon, which features large-format tiles made from crushed glass in resin that give a terrazzo look.

Ceramic Collections Grow in Scope

Another trend evident at Cersaie is the growth of ceramic tile collections to include all necessary components for any installation, from unified wall and floor tiles to a complete line of trims and specialty pieces. These complete collections allow the design of any room, in multiple areas, all using just one collection. Notable examples of this trend include Tau, which introduced two new collections, Haus and Teak, each of which includes solutions for the whole house as well as exterior spaces. Haus features soft textures typically seen in wallpapers and satin finish paints. A popular colors from this collection is a warm coffee shade that coordinates well with wengue, a trendy furniture wood. Another full collection is Ceracasa's Betton, which features different colors, patterns and decorative pieces that can be combined in many ways to create very specific and different design themes.