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These out-of-the-box tile styles – by brands including Del Conca, Ornamenta and Vives – make an artistic impression.

Japanese manga artist Kazuhiko Katō, creator of the über-popular character Lupin the Third, the master thief, is the latest artist invited by Del Conca of Italy to apply his illustrations to ceramic tile. The manga-­themed designs are just one example of how pop culture is finding its way onto the floors and walls of restaurants, hotels and, occasionally, the home.

Cartoony wood effects from Ornamenta, and other playful expressions that riff on unlikely sources – tartans (courtesy of 14oraitaliana), along with bricks and supersize weaves, for instance – are among the most eye popping. Some of the credit goes to advancements in digital technology, which enables high-definition images to adhere to ceramic and porcelain without fading, chipping or wearing. The possibilities are endless.

1 Wood by Ornamenta, 24 x 24 inches

2 Lupin by Del Conca, 8 x 20 inches; 8 x 8 inches

3 Brick by Ornamenta, 24 x 24 inches

4 Yabane by Peronda, 18 x 18 inches

5 Genil by Cas Ceramica, 6 x 12 inches

6 Weave by Ornamenta, 24 x 24 inches

7 Hive by Realstone, 9 x 9 x 9 inches

8 Uonuon by 14oraitaliana, 8 x 48 inches

9 Tartan by 14oraitaliana, 24 x 48 inches

10 Caumartin by Vives, 4 x 8 inches

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.