Paper Samples: New Astrobrights Swatch Book

Astrobrights-parse-parcelWhat’s your favorite color? Most people know instantly what their color of choice is, for me this is a tough one. I find it’s a lot like choosing your favorite ice cream flavor, it kind of depends on my mood. Lucky for me I’m in The Sample Studio all day and can easily find a hue to suit my needs, from white to black and every shade in between. While some may think being surrounded by all this color can make one jaded to it, I am gitty when a mill revamps a grade and colors are re-imagined. Just last week I attended a meeting with some industry paper peeps where we were shown the recent grade refresh of Neenah’s Astrobrights offering. While the rep from Neenah spoke about the big changes to the grade (major additions of basis weights), I could focus on nothing else but the new lemon-lime duplex colors in the new Astrobrights swatch book.

If you’re not familiar with the Astrobrights line, it was originally developed by engineers at Wausau in 1969. It came about as a result of testing colored response cards; results showed the Solar Yellow shade yielded a 3:1 response rate versus white. The initial colors chosen came from samples they had in the lab from the dye company. Playing to the Zeitgeist, the brightly colored grade’s name was inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing and Astrobrights was born. With eye catching colors like Lift-Off Lemon, Re-Entry Red and Lunar Blue, the grade took off and became a go-to “Brights” grade for many in the print and design industry. The grade was acquired by Neenah this past decade and now has an expanded offering of 25 colors in 50#, 60# & 70# Text, 65#, 80#, & 100#C and 135# Duplex Cover. That’s even more options for color fanatics to choose from.

Now, they could have stopped with the three new duplexes: Solar Yellow/Terra Green (my personal fave), Solar Yellow/Bright White and Terra Green/Bright White and I would have been thrilled – but come on, it’s Neenah. They also have over 33 different styles of matching envelopes in all 25 colors. We’re talking Baronial, Announcement, and Square sizes! Oh and did I mention they also offer these in Policy envelopes? Well, yes they do. Of course they have all the standard envelope size/flap offerings, and don’t despair if your local paper merchant doesn’t have them in stock (I mean they cannot stock every shade/style of every envelope combo – that would be insane), because Neenah makes these available online. There’s also a digital size paper offering for dry-toner applications of their most popular shades.


In addition to the waterfall of colors/weights, the swatchbook is jammed packed with great info too. There’s a section on the postal guidelines which is super helpful, along with every production consideration possible and some nice info about the ROI of color and print. With spring right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to update your swatchbox and order the new Astrobrights swatch book today.

A look into  inside the clever name, bright colors and beautiful papers in this iconic brand:

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