The Design Collection – Color & Texture That Wows


I’m tired of the little black dress. Yes, I’m guilty of having one in my closet that I rely on way too much. On paper it checks all the boxes: it’s black, it fits and I can wear it to a number of events. So yeah, technically it works. But does it WOW? No way. And I have to admit, sometimes I want a little wow factor. Well the same can be said about the paper specified for print. Basic white papers are fine for everyday projects. But if you’re looking to create a project that wows – the package that’s too irresistible to touch or the catalog to beautiful not to take – then color and texture are where it’s at. Lucky for us we don’t have to look too far, because Neenah Paper gives us the best of both worlds with their comprehensive new swatchbook, The Design Collection.

When it comes to creating the wow factor, The Design Collection is packed with options. Showcasing 15 specialty grades and 100+ different paper options, The Design Collection offers an extensive palette of luxurious color, texture and finishes. Inspired by Italy’s top fashion houses and America’s leading designers, this swatchbook is equipped with everything creatives need to specify stunning papers for luxury packaging and high-end print collateral.


“The fold-out, lay flat structure of the swatchbook gives designers an opportunity to see the collection as a whole. The book’s organization, from whites, to neutrals, to colors to pearlescents, is designed for ease of seeing this elegant, elevated, on-trend palette filled with the hottest colors and textures,” says Auburne Gahlman, Associate Brand Manager, Neenah. “In fact, The Design Collection has two papers that are matches for the two shades of the PANTONE® Color of the Year 2016: STARDREAM® Papers, Rose Quartz is a dead ringer for Pantone’s Rose Quartz, and STARDREAM, Vista matches Pantone’s Serenity,” noted Gahlman.


The new swatchbook replaces the previous two swatchbooks (The Design Collection 1.0 and 1.1), and includes all the previous grades as well as new and recent additions.

New Additions:
ASTROKING® Papers, with a hint of shimmer and a plush satin finish this paper adds opulence to any project. It’s available in one white and four rich colors: Snow White, Desert Sand, Moss Green Brown Stone, and Plum Tree.

Recent Additions:
NATURAL EVOLUTION Papers with a special surface coating on both sides, provide a soft, natural texture, an elegant touch and outstanding performance.
MONNALISA® Papers, the smooth sister to NATURAL EVOLUTION Papers, offers a smooth bright white surface for hang tags, business cards, books, brochures.
SLIDE™ Papers are considered the “packaging version” of the popular PLIKE® Papers, optimized for more resilience.


The swatchbook itself is a work of amazing design, featuring a special make duplex of Eames Solar White 165#C Canvas/Vellum duplex to give the book durability and act as a stunning canvas for the papers inside. The outside front cover features a tip on made of three grades Stardream Copper 105# Cover, Oxford Smoked 100# Cover and So…Silk Vanity Pearl 130# Cover.


My favorite part of the swatchbook is on the inside front cover featuring SEVEN different print samples on Stardream, Moondream, Astroking, Plike, Esse, Oxford and Natural Evolution. Packed with beautiful color combinations showcasing foil stamping and embossing, there’s production notes for everything.



I have to say, when we developed the packaging for The Parcel, this swatchbook proved essential. Our challenge was to create a wrap that would convey a sense of luxury and appeal to a very discerning audience, graphic designers. We selected Moondream for its luxurious, tactile beauty. The swatchbook made it simple to see what finishes and weights it’s stocked in along with an actual print sample showcasing the very technique we planned on using. In the end, our packaging featured a simple, blind emboss pattern – the only print we used was for the tip on. I have one sitting on my desk, and the first thing people do when they see it is run their hand across that Moondream sleeve. Did we achieve the WOW factor we were looking for? Well, given the recognition we’ve received for it, I’d say so.




Want a copy for yourself? Contact your favorite paper rep or resource.

2 thoughts on “The Design Collection – Color & Texture That Wows”

  1. Ahhh! It brings back memories of working on the design of the Strathmore and Beckett books — when IP had their fine paper division. Looks like great stuff!

    George Cathey

    • Wow, I had the chance to work on a swatchbook for a private label at my former company – it was intense.

      This swatchbook is pretty sweet, everything a designer could want in one book.


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