New book takes a decade-by-decade look at Formica’s design and impact

A newly-released book takes a close look at Formica’s design and impact, decade-by-decade.

Photo credit: Formica Canada

Formica Corporation, the inventor of high-pressure laminate founded in 1913, has announced the release of a new book which examined the company’s design and impact, decade-by-decade.

Beyond Boomerang: A Celebration of 110 Years of Formica Patterns commemorates the brand’s 110th anniversary and over a century of its impact on residential and commercial interiors.

The book begins with the company’s origins as the Formica Insulation Company, a start-up that focused on using new
plastic laminate techniques for industrial and electrical applications and provides a decade-by-decade look at each era’s Formica patterns. It also explores the stories behind their design, driven by current events, cultural moments, technology advancements and design aesthetics.

“The research for this book made it clear just how much Formica’s evolution has been a reflection of North American culture,” said Meghan Howell, North American design and creative director at Formica Corporation.

“We’ve designed the book to highlight our patterns over the years and the untold stories behind them – from the designers to the economic, political and popular culture influences.”

The book was penned by licensed architect and historian Shawn Patrick Tubb who has a passion for mid-century modern historic preservation, with research support from Formica’s design team and other current and former associates.

Additionally, it provides a look through Formica internal archives, decade-old magazines for Formica advertisements and even visits to the Smithsonian to study the Formica patterns that are a part of the institution’s collection.

To date, Formica continues evolving its offerings for residential and commercial spaces to meet current design preferences.