The original feature of this work is to investigate the contribution of two families of nanocellulose for their application within specialty papers. It exists two families of nanocellulose, i.e. Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC) and Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF). It results in different properties in suspension and solid states. CNF with their ability to form entangled network are used as dispersive network for particles. In contrast, the self-assembly properties of CNC are used to obtain iridescent films. First, the films based on nanocellulose were considered as model layers. Then, results were implemented at the industrial scale within the papermaking process. It is proposed to use CNF based coating for saving opacifying pigments in lightweight paper, and manufacturing iridescent pigment to impart anti-counterfeiting properties. These sustainable and cost-effective approaches were then validated at pilot scale and by two patent applications.