“While the Formica brand has been in existence for 100 years, designers are credited with realising the full potential of laminates as a stylish and desirable surfacing material,” said Renee Hytry Derrington, Group VP of Design for Fletcher Building’s Laminates & Panels Division, which includes The Laminex Group, custodians of the Formica brand in New Zealand. “The Anniversary Collection is just one example of our commitment to continue joint exploration with the design community to define the future of the brand in the next 100 years.”
Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy, created the collection. Pentagram partner Abbott Miller designed the anniversary patterns, introducing characteristics and colours that are new to the range. Miller’s vision for the Formica Laminate Anniversary Collection underscores the material’s limitless design potential.
“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.”
The Anniversary Collection includes 12 new patterns in four collections: Ellipse, Endless, Dotscreen and Halftone.
Ellipse and Endless play off the anniversary theme “Formica Forever” by utilising 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 occurs only 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. Endless creates a digital grain from bars that alternately layer and punch through a coloured base. The result is a continuous tone-on-tone, architectural pattern that provides visual interest at close range and, from a distance, provides a geometric texture.
Dotscreen and Halftone celebrate the brand’s history of exuberant colour and printing technology. Both Dotscreen and Halftone feature “solid patterns” of bright and saturated colours made more complex by undercurrents of detailed patterning. Fine dot motifs provide a second scale of interest within the optimistic hues.
Each Anniversary Collection pattern contains a subtle, tone-on-tone Formica brand watermark embedded into the design on every sheet.
“The patterns and colours 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."
The Laminex Group is also pleased to announce its 2013 New Zealand collection of stunning new Formica laminates, made up of 23 colours including some fantastic optical solids that appeal through subtle patterns up close which transform into solid block colours from a distance. Some new finishes are also being added such as Naturelle, which perfectly replicates the warmth and naturalism of timber veneer.
“The new colours are designed to have both residential and commercial appeal and are influenced by European design trends, with a unique flavour for New Zealand,” says Jared Dinneen, National Marketing Manager for The Laminex Group NZ.