Valiani Invicta at the Heart of Perego Carta’s Paper Wonder Lab

In this article, published by Italia Publishers, we delve into Perego Carta’s Paper Wonder Lab, a company from Sesto Fiorentino (Florence) with over a century of tradition in the paper product market.

At the heart of this experiential space, designed to give brands and creatives the opportunity to bring their graphic and design projects to life, the Valiani Invicta compact digital cutting system plays a starring role. Our machinery in the Paper Wonder Lab is equipped with interchangeable tools for cutting, half cutting and creasing, in addition to a camera for print and cut registration alignment. Discover all the details.

Perego Carta, exclusive distributor of Pergraphica papers, opens an experiential space where creatives and brands can bring their graphic and packaging projects to life.

Paper Wonder Lab is where paper and digital technology become magic

Founded in 1895, Perego Carta boasts over a century of tradition in the paper product market. The Florence-based company, led by the Perego family for five generations, has around twenty employees and generates a turnover of about 12 million euros (2022), half of which comes from the sale of paper for printing and packaging.

For Perego Carta, printing substrates are not just a business, but a passion that materializes in products, values, and skills, adapted for various markets and types of customers. Although commodities dominate the turnover, high-quality papers and cardboards are becoming increasingly important in the company’s value proposition and profitability. To strengthen its position in the high-end product sector, Perego Carta added Mondi’s Pergraphica black and colored papers to its catalog in 2022, becoming the exclusive distributor for Italy. This ambitious decision, particularly in a market dominated by national paper mills with well-known brands recognized by creatives and printers, is beginning to bear fruit. So much so that, in recent weeks, the merchant has extended the commercial agreement to include Pergraphica white papers.

To support its growth strategy in the premium segment, in November 2023 Perego Carta inaugurated the Paper Wonder Lab, an experiential space dedicated to printing and packaging professionals. It replicates, on a smaller scale, the typical decision-making, creative, prototyping, and production flow of a medium-complexity graphic and paper engineering project. We visited it for you in preview.

A moment from our visit to the Paper Wonder Lab at the Perego Carta headquarters in Sesto Fiorentino (Florence)

Marketing and training at the heart of paper trading

The paper distribution industry, once rich in tradition and professionalism, has seen a depletion of resources and exemplary models. This situation has been addressed by paper mills through direct promotion programs, but they have struggled to reach customers and influencers comprehensively. Perego Carta has chosen to differentiate itself from low-value-added generalist models and, in 2018, established a marketing and customer care team that now comprises five people.

“We invest in training, studying and storytelling of the product, consulting for brands, designers, and converters,” explains Lorenzo Perego, Managing Director of Perego Carta. “This is the only way we can stand up to competitors and be a point of reference for our customers.”

Based on seasonality, trends dictated by fashions and cultural models, and market demand analysis, Perego Carta selects products, creates collections, and launches promotions to encourage professionals to explore new options. Every week, the marketing team designs, produces, and sends hundreds of samples to as many agencies, print shops, and creative contacts within companies.

“From cosmetic companies to hotel chains, wherever there’s a paper communication plan, informed decisions need to be made,” Perego emphasizes. “Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right person is a significant effort in sowing, but ultimately it pays off.”

L’area produttiva di Paper Wonder Lab

Lorenzo Perego
Managing Director di Perego Carta

“We decided to equip ourselves to produce realistic mock-ups on the same material and with the same expected quality of the finished product.”

Why Paper Wonder Lab

Over the last decade, through dialogue with supply chain stakeholders, Perego Carta has sensed the growing frustration among creatives, as well as the difficulty for print shops and paper converting companies to provide professional-quality prototypes.

“Too often, those who develop a project combining paper, printing, special finishes, die-cutting, and other complex techniques struggle to present it convincingly,” Perego points out. “So we decided to equip ourselves to produce realistic mock-ups on the same material and with the expected quality of the finished product, thus supporting designers and relieving printers of a burden they struggle to manage.”

The Paper Wonder Lab team is familiar with the properties of each substrate and its compatibility with the technologies used by converters. This allows them to offer clients suggestions and advice on the most suitable papers and production techniques. To ensure a wide range of options, Paper Wonder Lab makes available to users about a hundred different substrates, 30% of which are selected from the Mondi Pergraphica catalog.

At the heart of Paper Wonder Lab

The Paper Wonder Lab works in synergy with the adjacent converting center and logistics hub of Perego Carta. The 400 square meter space is divided into several areas, including recreational and welcoming spaces, a consultation area for material selection and project development, and a workspace for the creative and marketing team.

However, the heart of the Lab is the production space, which houses a Ricoh Pro C7500 printing machine with five color channels (CMYK plus an option of white, clear, invisible red, gold, silver, fluorescent yellow, or fluorescent pink), capable of simulating spot varnishes and creating special effects.

To complete the production process, the Lab is equipped with a compact Valiani Invicta digital cutting system with interchangeable tools for cutting, half-cutting and creasing, in addition to a camera for print and cut registration alignment.

An immersive experience

Our journey in the Lab begins in front of the Paper Wall, where visitors can physically explore dozens of papers, cardboards, and special substrates, always available and pre-cut to SRA3 size. We are greeted by Sofia Taiti, a Graphic Designer at Paper Wonder Lab, with whom we discuss a potential project: a case for a deck of playing cards.

Without a ready file, we access the Valiani M3 parametric model library, adjust the template to the size of the product, and review a 3D rendering. Once the file is confirmed and the paper is chosen, Taiti quickly “dresses” the case using Adobe Illustrator; she includes the Lab’s logo and that of Pergraphica, which we decide to print using only white toner.

After completing the imposition and adding registration marks, we can proceed with the printing and then place the sheets on the suction table of Valiani Invicta for scoring and cutting operations. About half an hour later, we are ready to leave the Paper Wonder Lab with our assembled boxes, filled and ready to be shown to a hypothetical end customer.

Assets and skills to inspire and enable the market

By visiting, anyone can request a session at the Paper Wonder Lab, starting with an existing file, an idea, or an item to package. Depending on the project’s complexity and the requested services, the Paper Wonder Lab team will develop a production plan with the aim of delivering the finished product to the client on the chosen substrate, along with the digital files necessary for printing and creating any required die-cuts. Although Perego Carta is currently offering a number of free experiences, access to the Lab may become fee-based in the future.

A case designed, printed, and die-cut for our visit to the Paper Wonder Lab.
Top-Right, Changing the tool on Valiani Invicta.
Bottom-Right, The Ricoh Pro C7500 printing machine