Nanocellulose is an interesting building block for functional materials and has gained considerable interest due to its mechanical robustness, large surface area and biodegradability. It can be formed into various structures such as solids, films and gels such as hydrogels and aerogels and combined with polymers or other materials to form composites. Mechanical, optical and barrier properties of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) films were studied in order to understand their potential for packaging and functional printing applications. Impact of raw material choice and nanocellulose production process on these properties was evaluated. MFC and NFC were produced following two different routes. NFC was produced using a chemical pretreatment followed by a high pressure homogenization, whereas MFC was produced using a mechanical treatment only. TEMPO-mediated oxidation followed by one step of high pressure (2,000 bar) homogenization seems to produce a similar type of NFC from both hardwood and softwood. NFC films showed superior mechanical and optical properties compared with MFC films; however, MFC films demonstrated better barrier properties against oxygen and water vapor. Both the MFC and NFC films were excellent barriers against mineral oil used in ordinary printing inks and dichlorobenzene, a common solvent used in functional printing inks. Barrier properties against vegetable oil were also found to be exceptionally good for both the NFC and MFC films.