Zuzana Licko founded Emigre magazine with her husband, fellow typographer and graphic designer Rudy VanderLans, in 1984. Emigre set the standard for digital typography and design and led to the creation of the Emigre Fonts type foundry, which is credited for being the first digital type foundry. Their magazine started out as a very small, self-published culture magazine that quickly morphed into a graphic design magazine that evolved into one of the most significant forums for design of the past few decades. Chloe Veltman wrote in the New York Times, "from 1984 to 2005, Emigre magazine achieved cult status. With their unconventional and striking use of fonts, publications like Wired and McSweeney’s, both based in San Francisco, owe it a debt. In 2006 the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired the entire Emigre magazine canon for its permanent design collection, and put the magazines on display for a year." The Emigre archive was acquired by the Letterform Archive in San Francisco.
For most who toil in the digital realm, a yearning for the handmade is a natural swing of the pendulum. Licko turned her attention to creating ceramics and textiles. "I’ve always enjoyed creating ceramic objects, and I need this to balance out the ephemeral nature of digital work. I find that my current work on modular ceramic sculptures and textile is actually an extension of type design. I’m using font software to create sketches for my ceramic sculptures, which exist of repeating elements. Each sculpture has a variety of shapes that can be combined to make different sculptures. The font software helps me go through the possible variations. The elements for the textile designs are also created as fonts, which I configure into various patterns. Perhaps my focusing on a physical medium is a reaction against everything being consumed digitally these days."