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Builders' Show: Formica celebrates 100 with retro patterns

Builders’ Show: Formica celebrates 100 with retro patterns

One of the most colorful booths at the International Builders’ Show belongs to Formica, the Cincinnati-based inventor of laminate, which celebrates 100 years in 2013. To mark the milestone, the company is unveiling its new Formica Laminate Anniversary Collection, a line of 12 graphic patterns with a mid-century modern flair that captures the spirit of this American icon.

Formica partnered with the world-class design consultancy firm Pentagram to create the new patterns. “Developing this iconic brand’s 100-year Anniversary Collection was inspiring,” said Pentagram partner Abbott Miller. “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 12 new patterns are part of four collections. The Ellipse collection uses the hidden oval in the Formica logo to create a distinctly layered look. The Endless collection has a digital grain that provides visual interest up close and geometric texture from afar. The Dotscreen collection offers luminous colors with fine micro-dots. And the Halftone collection is reminiscent of printing screens with bright colors patterned around toned dots.

While the patterns are definitely retro, Formica hopes they will play well in various design environments, from mid-century modern to transitional to contemporary. Consumers should expect to pay about $12 per square foot, plus installation. For more information on countertops, including laminate, quartz, granite, concrete, and more, see our countertop buying guide and Ratings.

And for more news and trends from the Builders’ Show, including videos of new products, see our full coverage.

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