It was on the ICFF show floor that wallcovering brand Astek and Tom Lerental, the founder of surface design company Tomma Bloom, discovered each other’s work. Two years later, the pair has launched Uplifted, a group of haptic-printed wallpapers that mix raised and flush elements, allowing one to see and feel the patterns.
The two companies first took note of each other in 2021, when Tomma Bloom exhibited in the Launch Pad section of WantedDesign Manhattan and Astek had a booth in the show’s main area. But sparks didn’t fly until the end of the next year, when Lerental contacted Astek about contract printing.
Astek was interested, but “saw an opening to discuss collaboration as well,” says Astek COO and Creative Director Sarah LaVoie.
“Tom has a fresh take on color and pattern that caught our attention.” - Sarah LaVoie, Astek's CCO and Creative Director
But there was something else. Lerental had been exploring ways to break the 2D conventions of textiles, creating 3D wallcoverings incorporating MDF elements. Astek was trying to achieve a similar goal, but through haptic printing. However, the latter had yet to find the right design partner with which to debut the 3D technology it was developing.
That changed upon the team meeting Lerental.
The Astek x Tomma Bloom Uplifted collection features nine options that explore interactions between form and hue. Bold patterns, geometric structures, and energetic colors define the offerings, which draw on a palette of pink, green, teal, blue, tangerine, and lavender.
The printing process is quite clean. The designs are produced using VOC-free and Greenguard-certified inks, and then cured with LED and UV lamps instead of solvents. All Uplifted options are also available as 2D prints.
Lerental credits ICFF with making the Uplifted collaboration happen. “The Fair allowed me to bring my products to a broad professional audience,” she says. “That [helped me] transfer more of them into living spaces.”