Thursday, July 21, 2011

Morandini alphabet

This intriguing alphabet was created by Marcello Morandini (left) for the German ceramic company Rosenthal, in the eighties. The idea was to enable a customer to have their initials (only two) placed on the Rosenthal's studio-line dinnerware service, a three sided vase or a wall plate.
    This lovely alphabet is probably a unique example of Constructivist design tracing its roots back to the Bauhaus and mid-European art during the Twenties and Thirties.  
    Rosenthall published a small fan-out booklet (right) for shops so that customers could see what their initials looked like before ordering.  I don't suppose there are too many of these around now though I can't believe it's worth much except to typographers and graphic art folk.
    I had P(amela) and R(obin) put on a vase as a wedding anniversary gift.  The back of the vase had the word Happiness in twelve languages, though that was set in Helvetica Light caps, twelve lines centered and glazed in gray.


My wedding anniversary vase with P and R.

Twelve page brochure, 8.75 by 8.5 inches.

Four page leaflet, seven inches square.



  1. I ordered a vase with the initial of my mother. The order was accepted but was later informed that production was discontinued. I was terribly disappointed as some time before I acquired a vase (the tallest on) with the initials of my father.
    I have a (black) vase with the initials VL (Vivien Leigh) . . .