Formica® is a brand with a long, storied history of design innovation. They came to Northlich looking to define their next century of innovation in the digital space. The goal was to develop online content that would appeal to young designers and shift the conversation about Formica® from a brand rooted in heritage to one leading the charge into the future.
But rather than simply creating content and hoping for buzz, we decided to build a unique piece of intellectual property that would serve as a platform for design innovation for years to come.
During research, we heard repeatedly from the Formica® base of architecture and design customers that they were seeking more online tools from their vendors. To fulfill that need, we built the Formica Envisualizer, a browser-based algorithmic design platform that makes it possible to create beautiful patterns in seconds and export high-quality artwork that can be printed on Envision, the custom Formica® laminate product.
Three separate tools make up the platform, each customized from a distinct algorithmic starting point.
Inspired by classic Formica® designs, the pattern generation tool lets users select a vector shape and reimagine its context, color and placement.
Experimental brushes allow users to create striking kinetic art with a few clicks of the mouse.
Anything created within the platform or any image file dragged and dropped onto the window can be turned into a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic design.
All artwork created within the Envisualizer can be tiled out to dimensions in line with the most common Formica® sheet sizes, and saved privately or publicly to a design gallery viewable to the world.
Upon launch at HD Expo, the conversation immediately changed. Impressed designers, bloggers and members of the media all played back different versions of a striking theme: “This isn’t your grandma’s Formica® anymore.”
A patent on the technology is currently pending.