CINCINNATI, OH -- Formica Group, the original inventor of laminate, celebrates 100 years with a fresh take on its iconic Formica® brand laminate. The 2013 Anniversary Collection features 12 new patterns that reflect the Formica brand and its history.
"While Formica Group invented laminate, designers are credited with realizing its full potential as a stylish and desirable surfacing material," said Renee Hytry Derrington, Group VP of Design for Fletcher Building's Laminates & Panels Division, which includes Formica Group. "The Anniversary Collection is just one example of our commitment to continue the joint exploration with the design community to define the future of Formica Group in the next 100 years."
Collaboration with World-Renowned Design Firm Pentagram
Pentagram, the world's largest independent design consultancy, created the collection exclusively for Formica Group. Pentagram partner Abbott Miller designed the anniversary patterns, introducing characteristics and colors that are new to the range.
"Developing this iconic brand's 100-year Anniversary Collection was inspiring," Miller shared. "Formica laminate is extraordinary because of its Zelig-like nature, blurring the past, present and future while completely crossing all social and economic categories. It's a material with distinctive tactility, a warmth and domesticity; it's man-made, yet has attained a natural quality in our lives."
Miller's vision for the Formica Laminate Anniversary Collection underscores the material's limitless design potential. "The heart and soul of Formica laminate is a printed sheet. Pattern and color are intrinsic to the culture of the company, so exploring the translucency of ink and the interaction of pattern and color was a natural area for me."
Twelve New Patterns in Four Collections: Ellipse™ Collection, Endless™ Collection, Dotscreen™ Collection and Halftone™ Collection.
Ellipse and Endless play off the anniversary theme "Formica Forever" by utilizing innovative printing techniques that allow independent layers of pattern to randomly interact during the course of printing. The method creates seemingly infinite patterns that appear consistent due to the fluidity of the overlapping elements. Unlike most patterns that repeat every 50 inches, the pattern repeat of Ellipse and Endless only occur every 500 to 700 sheets, the equivalent to more than a mile in length.
Ellipse uses the "hidden oval" in the iconic Formica brand logo to create a series of layered strands that ripple across the surface.
"The patterns and colors of the Anniversary Collection acknowledge the brand's past - especially with designers such as Brooks Stevens and Raymond Loewy - but without delving into nostalgia," Miller said. "While the collection aligns with the brand's heritage, it offers surfacing design that is unique in the market. It also was satisfying to know that we were pushing the technical boundaries of print."
In addition to the Anniversary Collection, Pentagram's Miller and partners Michael Bierut and Daniel Weil collaborated on Formica Group's anniversary brand elements, Formica Forever book and display concept.