A press meeting with Russian journalists


Formica Russian press briefingPR Account Manager Jana Pavelkova flew to Moscow last week to help facilitate and attend a special press briefing organised with our partner agency in Russia and client Formica Group.

The importance of meeting up with journalists face to face is still key in this world of email and online communication. It offers an opportunity to explore areas of mutual interest, and is critically important in some countries like Russia where press briefings are seen as a requisite for being perceived as a serious player in the market.

We have been supporting media relations with the Russian press for Formica Group over a number of years now, and the opportunity to get together was an important step in highlighting Formica Group’s activities at a local level.

Formica Group’s key representatives in Russia presented an overview of product ranges, surfacing trends and how Formica® laminate is being used and specified in buildings.

Jana says: “We invited the journalists to get involved and ask questions throughout the presentation, which led to some very interesting discussions such as the differences between country specific design trends, sustainability vs greenwash, as well as the latest advances in laminate manufacture and the material’s progression since 1913.

“The face to face meeting with journalists also helped to establish Formica Group’s presence on the Russian market and presented the company as an expert in their field.”

Future in the mind – challenging the boundaries of materials


Latex ExposedProject BambiSmart by natureEngineered IllusionsExploring existing, and at times underrated or discarded, materials with a focus on the future can lead you into unexpected directions. 

University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins’s Textile Futures MA end of year show displays 17 futuristic scenarios drawing on materials such as minerals, latex, potatoes, technical components and even animals and sealife. 

The process and theory behind each project have been the driving force for each of the students to create something new and unseen. New life has been given to the discarded potato cell wall to create a biodegradable material that looks like and could be plastic (10% & More); the mineral feldspar has been transformed into a luxury jewellery item (Disquiet Luxurians), and discarded deer hides  to leather (Project Bambi). 

Limitations of materials have been broken –  latex micro-waved to create pieces of jewellery (Latex Exposed).   

Transformation and sensory experiences were also themes.  Smart by Nature looked at transformable surfaces; while Engineered Illusions uses a study of visual optics to explore how textiles can enhance the female form. 

Scent-ography posed questions as to whether personal memories can be archived through captured scent, whilst Self-Medication cleverly combines the British love for tea with the preventative concept of traditional Chinese Medicine, drawing on textile craft techniques.

Get a preview of potential material trends and uses, plus many other architecture and design displays by visiting the Show Two at Central Saint Martins which is open to the public until 23rd June.

Further information can be found here. 

Our client Formica® Group was a sponsor of the MA Textile Futures degree show, continuing its support for innovation and young designers in the field of design-related disciplines.

100 Year Anniversary of the invention of Formica laminate


FormicaAt the Think Tank, we’re very proud to have worked with Formica Group over the past 10 years.

This year is a BIG milestone for Formica Group – it’s the 100 Year Anniversary of the invention of Formica laminate. 

We are starting to celebrate the 100 Years Anniversary in Europe and visitors to the Design District in Holland last week got a sneak preview of the new Formica Anniversary laminate designs, designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram in New York. 

Formica Group has also produced this short video where designers and architects around the world wish Formica laminate a “Happy Birthday”…

100 Years for Formica featured in The Guardian


Formica 100 years logoGuardian Formica Article2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of the iconic Formica brand, best known for laminates. The product was developed in USA in 1913 as a replacement for the mineral product ‘Mica’ and thus was called ‘Formica’ and did you know that laminate is made from paper? Many people don’t.

The Think Tank has worked with Formica in the UK and across EMEA for the past 10 years providing a range of marketing services including PR and as a part of the 100 years celebrations we have been working to raise the profile of the brand and its history through the media and yesterday saw a great article published on the website of The Guardian Newspaper.

Formica is an iconic product that is used all around us in our everyday lives and, judging by the fantastic comments posted on the Guardian website, many people have very fond memories of the brand. One of the pictures featured takes us right back to when The Think Tank was based in Soho and used to frequent the Piccadilly Cafe – we remember it well.

The article, titled ‘Shiny, happy households: Formica turns 100′, is written by Oliver Wainwright and looks at the history of the brand, and how it has developed and been used over the years.

To find out more about the history of this iconic brand click here and read the full article or alternatively click here to see ‘Formica: our century-old laminate love affair – in pictures‘, also published on the Guardian website.

You can also click below to view the article in PDF form.

Shiny, happy households_…pdf

Shiny, happy households_…pdf (957 kb)

Formica joins forces with Material Lab at 100% Design


Formica at 100% DesignAt this year’s 100% Design, (19 – 22 September 2012, stand E360, Earls Court) Formica Group has partnered with design resource studio Material Lab to create a unique pop-up gallery showcasing its latest innovative surfaces and materials.  

“Both Material Lab and Formica Group believe that being able to see, touch and feel materials is key to the design process as architects, designers and specifiers need to understand how their vision can come to life through the selection of materials,” says Simon Wild, European Marketing Director at Formica Group.  

The Material Lab pop-up gallery features Korten from the DecoMetal® range, AR Plus® High Gloss Laminate and also the latest addition to Formica Group’s product portfolio, Formica® Magnetic Laminate.  

The rich tones and intriguing surface relief of Korten evoke the look and feel of one of the favourite materials of modern architecture, corten steel. The handmade design incorporates iron particles, which make each individual sheet unique, creating a strong visual statement for any project.     

To find out and see more get along to 100% Design this week.

Click here for more info.

Stunning photography exhibition at T5 London in laminate


Formica T5 London ExhibitionT5 Exhibition London Queens JubileeIf when someone mentions Formica you think about the kitchen then think again. Formica® laminate is an amazingly versatile material and the Formica Bespoke service allows you to capture any image in laminate.

In a celebration of the city of London and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Formica Group has partnered with photographer Henry Reichhold in a T5 Expo exhibition at the check-in area of Heathrow Airport, London. The original creator of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Formica Group is delighted to be part of this exciting event supporting artists of today and tomorrow.

The exhibition opened on 30th July 2012 and will be running for three months until October 2012. The exhibition features two large images (3 x 12.5 meters) scaled to match the extraordinary Royal events of the Jubilee weekend 2012: the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Carriage Procession. The images are captured in Formica® laminate using the Formica® Bespoke artwork service structured to facilitate virtually limitless, unique design.

Taken from the 54th floor of Europe’s tallest building, the newly built Shard that towers over London Bridge, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant panorama was shot through glass on a rainy day. The skyscraper was shrouded in mist and clouds, resulting in a unique and dramatic backdrop of this historic event. The final image was created by combining over 200 pictures together in a giant jigsaw puzzle and then subjecting them to intense image manipulation to cut through the veil of weather.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Carriage Procession photo captures the incredible excitement and vibrant energy on the day. As the Royal coaches drive past the cheering crowd, the image of thousands of waving arms and flags creates a spectacular visual display.

Henry Reichhold specializes in digital imaging and works with a large variety of technology, ranging from mobile phones to high resolution cameras.

The results are stunning images capturing the spirit and atmosphere of each subject, be it cityscapes or enormous panoramic images such as the ones being exhibited at the T5 Expo. Continuously exploring new ways of showing his work, Reichhold chose Formica laminate to create this unique display.

Sustainability Communication for Formica Group


Formica Sustainability BrochureIf you popped along to Ecobuild a few weeks ago you may have come across the Formica Group stand. During the show they announced that they had completed the measurement of the carbon footprint of their entire range of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Continuous Pressure Laminates (CPL), Compact Laminates and Bonded Worktops products, and in doing so their products now qualify to carry the Carbon Trust’s
Carbon Reduction Label.   
To recognise being the first laminate manufacturer to achieve this The Think Tank developed a brochure which communicates the Formica Group environmental policy and their commitment to reducing carbon emissions across all its operations.  
The brochure in full can be viewed here.

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