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High Tech, High Value, High Ideals

Written by in Environmental Responsibility, Packaging

High Tech Packaging Must
Reflect Consumer Personal Values

Consumers today find packaging that is more thoughtful and intentional. Product makers and marketers expect greener, leaner, and more useful packaging.

Says Rebecca Bedrossian in Communication Arts magazine, “Green design is not just a matter of choosing the recycled or biodegradable paper and inks—though sustainable materials are a big part of the solution. Sophisticated designers view ‘green’ holistically: it is ethical, it appeals to buyers, and it adds to the value proposition.”[i]

Nowhere is innovation or eco-friendly brand appeal more essential than in the marketing of high technology products. High tech consumers are among the most youngest and most savvy, discerning, and sustainability-minded on the planet. Innovations in uncoated packaging papers are giving marketers new tools to appeal to them.

Consumer Electronics: Keep it Innovative

Consumer electronic packaging often features a visual play between package design and product performance—the product’s functional wonder is often expressed through technical design, paper, and print aesthetics. This industry looks to package designers to provide innovative ideas that balance form and function and communicate brand essence through packaging.

San Francisco-based agency Character partnered with Uneka to execute the engineering and manufacturing portion of Adobe’s new Ink & Slide stylus. The simple elegance of the product’s hinged box as well as the precise layering of components and materials reinforces the wonder of the technology inside the box.

Creative director Paul Miller worked on the Ink & Slide project: “The stylus category is crowded and driven by a marketing mentality that is often too busy and over-wrought with photography, design, and content featuring every benefit listed on every panel (in 10 languages) of a very small box. The choice of paper stock has to meet both conceptual and tactical needs. We wanted an uncoated sheet with a tactile quality reminiscent of traditional drawing but also suggested new tools within this category. The sheet needed a mark of some kind, in pencil or ink, that evoked creative expression.”

He adds, “Neenah also had really nice temperatures of white, and we wanted to match the package to the product. It’s a small detail, but because of the proximity of the items, it was necessary and Neenah came through.”

Typically consumer electronics packaging is glossy, and coated, but Miller says more and more companies are looking at alternatives to distance themselves from the competition, as well as place their products in new categories. Conceptually, the packaging is becoming more in tune with lifestyle products, which look and feel more tactile. “Uncoated packaging contextualizes the product a little more by considering where it’s going to be, not where it comes from,” he says. “A lot of what we are doing now, is focused on lifestyle vs. a typical consumer electronics perspective of what packaging is supposed to be.” Uncoated paper lends some warmth to this normally cool category, which is a good thing.


Google’s Nexus Q package design by Manual (

The point is this:  Boasting 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW), chlorine-free recycled paper is no longer enough. Package designers look for real innovation in packaging and retail promotional applications to distinguish their brands as ethical, thoughtful pieces of the consumer world. Companies like Neenah Packaging are creating packaging alternatives to meet this demand.

Learn More

To learn more about the value of uncoated paper in premium packaging design and branding, go to and read this detailed article:

[i] Green Design, by Rebecca Bedrossian, Communication Arts: