Virtual Paper Swatchbooks? What the heck?!?!

I have been working in the printing industry for over 24 years, and during my time as a General Manager and Estimator I have looked at many paper swatchbooks. Thumbing through cabinets, drawers and countless shaped books has consumed a large portion of my life. Which paper would work best for this? I can’t seem to find the right color. Who the heck misplaced the Strathmore book?

Now, we view paper swatches online. How is that possible? Choosing a paper is not just a visual process, but a tactile experience as well. I was very skeptical of how this feature could be effective for selecting a paper color as well as a texture.

I have to admit though, Neenah did a great job with these Swatchbooks. I first looked at the Classic Linen book, since I wanted to “feel” the Linen paper online. I was impressed at the detail of the paper, and the ability to zoom in and see the actual paper online. I felt like I was actually looking at a book of Classic Linen Paper.

So my next thought was how could I use this if I where a print salesperson or if I was still in the day to day grind of a printing company. Thankfully Neenah has already answered that for me.

“A virtual swatchbook is a perfect example of how to best use technology to direct customers to the right paper color, surface and weight,” says Tom Wright, director of design for Neenah Paper. “Today, using web-based tools—like our Think Ink and eco calculator iPhone apps, BlackBerry downloads, and now the iPaper swatchbooks—is part of helping customers make the right paper selections, so when they print, they can do it well.”

To browse Neenah’s online library, visit, where electronic versions of some of Neenah’s promotional sales tools are also available.

How can you use this technology in your day to day workflow?

What other forms of online tools would you like to see or use?

Feel free to comment below.