John Hazen

Posted by: Vedant Puri & Roderick Towner

John Hazentitle455147260

President, Hazen Paper company

Company’s philosophy:”Adapt or Die”

“I consider myself a creative entrepreneur and a team builder. I am not an artist in the classic sense. But my company makes true original holographic art.We invent new methods of producing holography as well as holographic techniques.  My passion is the forward movement  of my company in a broad sense. Our philosophy is “adapt or die”.” -John Hazen

An insight into the company and its producth2

Hazen Paper was founded in 1925 in Holyoke by John Norman Hazen(Mr.John Hazen’s grandfather).They invented a pearlized textured paper that was used by Hallmark for greeting card paper They keep in mind that ultimately all product designs die and keep on inventing.In the 1990’s the company became very interested in holography inspired by a National Geographics edition from the late 1980’s that featured a holographic skull on the cover.Hazen was part of a collaboration of several companies to produce that famous magazine cover. In 2004 Hazen set up it’s first holographic laser lab. By 2007 Hazen had taken all production in house and became one of the most vertically integrated producers of holography in the world.Today, Hazen Paper Company is fundamentally a versatile team of people with a wide range of skill sets. They produce decorative paper of many types utilizing a range of production operations and techniques some of which are highly complex and proprietary. Their vanguard product line is holographic design.”For every idea (design) that works there are a hundred that don’t. Every day we struggle to be relevant  in a very competitive, hostile and fast changing world wide market. There are no guarantees. There is “no net” “ says John thereby showcasing the hard work,creativity and risk involved in their business.The company produces new and compelling holographic designs that get incorporated into commercial products.

Their customers

Ultimately our customers are “brand owners”. Movie studios, celebrities, marketing executives, designers, states, countries, business owners, entrepreneurs.  ‎In a broad sense our holographic and EnviroFoil® products are used in the packaging and labeling of consumer products. Golf balls, toothpaste, perfume, movies, chocolate, candy, etc. Our product is typically incorporated into the communicative function of the packaging. A classic example of a Hazen Product is the holographic box used to package Beyonce’ Pulse(a perfume). Legend has it that Beyonce’ herself chose our hologram from a wide array of options when she approved the packaging for her perfume. It is said she liked it because it looked like her “light show”. 

 About the President,Mr.John Hazenh3

When we asked John about his view on what art was for him his answer was very interesting.He says,

Art is fascinating and memorable and satisfying. ‎Why? Hard to say. But we can’t keep our eye’s off it. It holds our attention.We are in the visual art business. ‎The goal is to create imagery (graphic arts) that is fascinating, memorable and satisfying. We may catch your eye with a shiny surface but we will try to fascinate you with a hologram of a rose and you may be intrigued and you may remember it. 

But to be clear it is not to say that nature is not more fascinating, memorable and satisfying. We can make a holographic rose,but it will never be as beautiful as a real rose.”which i feel is a humble and wise answer and speaks a lot about his personality. The holographic design process never feels like a job to him. Most of John’s  time is used up in tending to the myriad of practical demands that are required to manage a business and manufacture products. “I enjoy problem solving. And in many ways that is what I spend most of my time doing. When I need a break I play with holographic design. It re-energizes me.”and I personally believe when someone is doing something they love they often excel at it and Mr.John Hazen is a living example for that belief.

John’s role in the company:h4

“I personally am not the holographic expert. Fortunately we have experts on the team.Making a hologram is a very complex process. It involves computer technology, lasers, optics, robotics, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, logistics, synchronization  and artistry. It requires a team of experts. And it requires a leader, like an orchestra conductor, who sustains and marshals and meters  and directs the resources required. ‎That is my role.” 

History of their products and services in a city like Holyokeh5

As you know Holyoke was known as the “Paper City”‎. A hundred years ago Holyoke was the hub of paper production and the development of paper products in the world. Holyoke was a planned industrial city that offered the fundamental resources needed for paper making at that time: power from the CT river and the dam and the canal system, abundant skilled labor, good transportation and logistics, proximity to forest and wood pulp and “entrepreneurial resources” (capital, inventiveness, leadership, vision).In the 1960’s-80’s paper production began to move to the Southern States to be closer to fast growth softwood trees and cheaper labor  and ultimately lead to outright industrial decay. And finally the “industrial apocalypse” took place in Holyoke and in the USA.  h6

Hazen has managed to survive the “industrial apocalypse” in Holyoke  by being extremely proactive and investing heavily in new products and technology.”We never rest on our laurels”.Hazen has been constantly and rapidly adapting to the changes and aggressively seeking new customers, markets and products. ‎About a decade ago they set up our first holographic lab which they have expanded dramatically in the last 10 years. Today Hazen has a very comprehensive and vertically integrated holographic design business in Holyoke. Recently they have modified some aspects of our product to the needs of redeveloping city of Holyoke.”We have adapted our product to be more environment friendly.  In the last decade we have developed a process that reduces the amount of aluminum used in our process by more than 99%. The source reduction for plastic is even greater.This new product-line category and process is more easily recycled than newspaper. It has a number of environmental improvements such as a great reduction in energy and materials derived from fossil fuels. With this, Hazen has been able to offer our customers a better product that is significantly less harmful to the environment than other materials on the market. “Importantly the product is relevant because it achieves aesthetic ‎improvements along with the environmental benefits.Ultimately when we adapt our products we must be ever mindful of what our customers want or need. If we invent a product that the customers do not value then we have achieved nothing. The market provides the ultimate validation for our art and our product.”

A few of many laurels


  • “Hazen Paper captured the Marketing Award for the Lotto Quebec Celebration 25E Anniversaire Pouch 2014 for Loto-Québec, Montreal.”
  • “The Technical Award in the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category recognized Hazen Paper’s aww3metallizing and converting role for another Victoria’s Secret fragrance, Victoria’s Secret Love.”
  • “The Technical Award in the Healthcare, Cosmetics and Toiletries Category recognized Hazen Paper’s metallizing and converting role in setup boxes for Gucci Pour Homme and Made to Measure gift sets from Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.”aww2
  • “Hazen Paper earned the Marketing Award in the Decorative/Display Category for its role as awwmetallizer and substrate supplier for the DVD case for Finding Nemo, a movie released by Disney Pixar, Burbank, California.”


You may contact Hazen Paper at:

240 Water St, Holyoke, MA 01040

413.538.8204 ; f 413.533.1420

Mailing Address:
PO Box 189
Holyoke, MA 01041

You can reach John at:

Some information and pictures on this post have been used from other websites! The sources have been mentioned below: