Trade Resources Industry Views Neenah Relaunches Its Classic Papers

Neenah Relaunches Its Classic Papers

Neenah has expanded its product portfolio with the relaunch of its CLASSIC Brands.

The iconic CLASSIC Papers line is the most comprehensive, best-selling collection of fine printing papers on the market.

The brand family, which first debuted in 1962, instantly became a designer-favorite. Now, 55 years after its initial launch, this unparalleled, market-leading portfolio of premium uncoated papers, has been reimagined and reorganized into the new CLASSIC Papers, complete with new colors, new textures, new duplexes, new digital choices, new envelope offerings, new swatchbooks, a new promotion, and a show-and-tell video.

The extensive revision has been more than a year in the making. The new items introduced into the line were carefully considered and developed based on market feedback. Neenah conducted in-depth focus groups and interviews with designers and printers around the country. “The result is the most comprehensive single-grade refresh Neenah has ever undertaken, with a modern palette of colors and textures that are bold, fresh, and classically timeless,” said Kathy Kemps, Senior Brand Manager, Neenah. Neenah partnered with Design Army to reimagine the entire CLASSIC® Papers portfolio. 

Pum Lefebure, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Design Army, who collaborated closely with Kemps said, “When rebranding something classic, you have to think classic. For something to be classic, it must stand the test of time. Like centuries-old Renaissance art, or even a 1960’s classic Eames Molded Plywood Chair. We looked at several color palettes and chose colors that work the hardest — those that aren’t trendy but instead have the ability to stay relevant. In other words, classic colors. We are excited to see this collection function as a foundation for the design field.”

Eight New Colors

Bare White: Beautiful, balanced white that bridges the transition between Avon Brilliant White and Classic Natural WhiteCool Gray: Light shade that bridges the transition between Antique Gray and PewterCadet Gray: Rich gray tone to round out the existing gray offeringChambray: Fresh twist on denim blueAubergine: Deep, comforting color similar to the rich purple of a fresh eggplantMilitary: Warm, rich, natural looking greenCobalt: Timely and trending vivid blueImperial Red: Fresh, bright and fashionable red

“We literally created the new colors by hand, mixing paint colors in the office! Once the eight new colors were perfected, we needed a recipe that would translate to the paper machines,” said Lefebure, “We spent two days in Atlanta with Neenah’s color dye partner, Kemira, developing the formulas, and matching handmade paper samples to our paint colors. It was a time-intensive, but very exciting process.”

Two New Textures

CLASSIC Techweave: This high-end, structural and trendy brand embodies finely woven fabric with a high-tech twist. The finish is consistent side to side.CLASSIC Woodgrain: This elegant brand has the aesthetic charm of a wood texture, and an eco-friendly and sustainable tonality. The finish is consistent side to side. 

New Duplex Combinations

Six new duplex combinations bring the total number across the CLASSIC® Brands to 16. Three new duplexes were added in CLASSIC CREST, and the always popular Epic Black/Solar White duplex is now also available in CLASSIC Stipple, CLASSIC Techweave and CLASSIC Woodgrain.

New Digital Offerings

CLASSIC® Papers offer an extensive digital platform, with the addition of 64 new digital items, to bring the total to 237 digital items across all CLASSIC Brands.

New Swatchbooks

In a highly collaborative process, Neenah and Design Army developed the new colors and textures for the refreshed line, then reorganized the portfolio (which now includes 36 beautiful colors across CLASSIC’s nine brands) into a simplified system of three new swatchbooks: CLASSIC CREST, CLASSIC Linen, and CLASSIC Textures, which contains CLASSIC Laid, CLASSIC COLUMNS, CLASSIC Stipple, and the two new brands CLASSIC Techweave and CLASSIC Woodgrain.

New Promotion

Adding to the excitement, Neenah and Design Army have created the new Think CLASSIC Papers promotion. A big, bold, beautiful book that presents 64 oversized drool-worthy pages filled with design, art, photography, typography, digital printing, embossing, foil stamping, metallics, die cuts, French folds, and colors and textures galore. Each stop-and-stare page showcases a different piece of artwork, and a different production technique.

Look Behind the Scenes

A new video, Making of a CLASSIC: Behind the Scenes, takes viewers through the process of developing the new CLASSIC Papers colors and textures, the thoughts behind the swatchbook reorganization, plus offers a look at the art direction behind the fabulous photography done specifically for the new swatchbooks and promotion.

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