Scissors, Glue, Paper and Lots of Imagination: The R. Nichols Process

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The seed for R. Nichols was planted in founder Nick Hanzlik at the impressionable age of 12. As a 6th grader in Mrs. Dater’s class, Nick began creating unique art projects made from cut paper and glue that surprised and delighted his teacher. When he received a hard-earned ‘A’, he knew he was onto something special.

Ever since that time, Nick has continuously worked on perfecting his craft, and today his creations are truly one of a kind. Like most hand-crafted pieces, there are several steps to the finished product. So from Nick’s imagination to your mailbox, here’s the R. Nichols process:  

1. Sketch

Each unique design begins with Nick simply sitting down at his desk with scissors, glue, and lots of paper, often with an idea in his head. Suddenly, inspiration just flows out effortlessly when his pencil hits the paper. Nick often draws upon his own life experiences, travels, and observations to fuel his creativity. For example, the “lawnmower guy” is inspired by memories of his father, and his iconic Paris designs come from his time living in the city and soaking up its unique culture.


2. Cut

R. Nichols Process

With the initial sketches done, Nick transforms the idea into a layered design by cutting out individual elements from various sheets of colored construction paper. The key word here is precision, as some layers may have thin, intricate lines or curves. In fact, some of Nick’s designs have as many as 100 individually cut pieces!


3. Placement 

R. Nichols Process

With all the layered elements, sketched and cut out, Nick then places the layers in order to ensure that each individual piece is up to his standards before the all-important next step.


4. Glue

R. Nichols Process

Next, It’s time for Nick to finalize the design by gluing each individual element into place. When it comes to the smaller or intricate pieces, Nick uses his X-acto precision knife to carefully adhere the glue, then place on the paper. Once this step is complete, it’s ready to be digitized.


5. Digitize for Product Line & Production 

R. Nichols Process

All elements are glued into place and are ready to be digitized. The artwork is scanned and if need be, further adjustments are made to the design for application on specific products. Finally, the designs are printed throughout the R. Nichols product line.


Here it is, the finished product. Our ‘Madame Cake Greeting Card’.

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