Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Space Paper: A Brief Introduction to Neenah’s Astrobrights

The Launch Pad: What are Astrobrights?

Stars?  Meteors? Zodiac signs? 

Nope—they’re papers.  (As you probably already knew if you clicked on this headline.)

But those guesses aren’t as far off as you might think.  Neenah Astrobrights first came into existence in 1969: the golden year of the American space program, the year Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  Astrobrights’ creators wanted to tie their paper into the popular culture of the day, and so incorporated astronomical ideas into its creation with the prefix “astro”.  Also, the papers were and are brightly colored.  So: Astro + brights = Astrobrights.  The Space Race also inspired the names of each individual color: Celestial Blue, Lift Off Lemon, Re-Entry Red.  There are more—22 more, to be exact—all christened with space in mind.  You can watch Chuck Hodgson, a key player in Astrobrights’ creation, talk more about the process here.

In Orbit: What are they used for?

You can use Astrobrights for any printed material you want to pop.  As you’ll have noticed in that video, colored paper boasts a significant advantage over white paper in direct mail campaigns; it increases the retention rate by 18% and the response rate by 20%.  So, when you use colored paper, your readers are more likely to remember the content of your campaign, as well as to act on it. 

That’s cool, but what about examples of Astrobrights in action?  Well, for starters, look at these Christmas-y announcement envelopes in Re-Entry Red:

Or these attention-grabbing church collection envelopes (aka remittance envelopes) in Plasma Pink:

Or these Eclipse Black square envelopes (that some of you might recognize—we sent our Neenah Happy Hour invites out in them this past April):

But enough about envelopes.  What else can you make with them?  How about: school newsletters?  Read how this kindergarten teacher uses Astrobrights to launch her school year.

Or business cards, like this amazing (but outdated) one from Randy, our Neenah Paper sales rep, in Planetary Purple:

Or paper airplanes? 

Just kidding.  That’s only if you’re writing a blog about Astrobrights and you think it’d be funny to make a Galaxy Gold paper airplane. 

On a more serious note, Astrobrights are one of our more popular items with schools and school districts.  They also lend themselves easily to color coding, which we love because of its ties to Lean Manufacturing and the visual workplace (want some more information about Lean?  See our post on 5-S). 

So if you find yourself in need of some space-inspired brilliance in your printed pieces, give us a shout or visit our website to find out more.

Do you use Astrobrights?  Tell us about it in the comments!

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