Perfectly Pearl: Neenah Packaging’s New Paper Board is a New Level of Luxe

What do you think of when you imagine packaging with a pearly sheen to it? Elegance, sophistication, and class. But, of course, it has to be done right. When Neenah Packaging re-introduced their folding board line in 2015, their connections in the beauty and fragrance industry told them something was still missing from the lineup: a pearlized visual. While this isn’t revolutionary in the world of packaging design, the look and feel of a lot of the options felt a little too mass-produced—not exactly a great match for something that exudes style and grace.

“We set out to create something that had a unique hand, something more authentic, more organic, more handcrafted,” explained Diane Marchionna, Brand Manager, Neenah Packaging. “We wanted to achieve the essence of a real pearl, with all of its inherent character—not a simulated pearl.” So with strings of pearls and Audrey Hepburn as their inspiration, they worked closely with the internal R&D team who ran several trials and collaborated throughout the entire process. “We go through the same iterative process to create a new product that our customers do, “Diane added. “It’s all about finding that perfect magical elixir.”

Pearl folding board can certainly go beyond the confines of the beauty and fragrance industry—why not use it for a gift card holder, neck tag for a wine bottle, or a sleeve for wireless earbuds?. Neenah Packaging’s pearlized paper board is made especially with designers in mind, though. “The pearlized white visual can be as quiet—or as loud—as someone wants it to be. The development team envisioned it as a rich, beautiful backdrop for something as simple as a foil-stamped logo—think Chanel. With a larger, more elaborate printed design, the pearl effect shimmers through,” Diane mentioned. Designers can also consider custom colors with their packaging, helping products to stand out from the typical shiny white boxes on the shelves. “Depending on the artwork the brand look can be rock and roll or Mozart, or anything in between.”

What helps this packaging paper stand out?

Digitally Printable

“[This] is not universally true of folding boards. That makes the pearlized visual a great option for anyone who’s doing relatively small runs.”

Universally Printable

“You don’t need to work with a printer who has a particular expertise or special capabilities. Any printer who can print well on an uncoated white stock should not experience any difficulties printing this folding board.”

Custom Color Possibilities

“This is an area I love to talk about because the ability to do ‘custom’ is one of Neenah’s core competencies. So, with this paper, a designer can take the pearlized concept we’ve created and make it in most any color. Think grass green. Or the lightest pink ballet slipper. Or the color of a sunset over the Italian Riviera. This gives packaging designers limitless options.”