At Chic+Nawdie’s Studio: How We Make Our Giclée Art Prints

Today I decided to add another column to our blog where I take you to our little studio and explore how we make Chic+Nawdie’s products. In the ages of mass production and everything-made-in-China, we want you to know that Chic+Nawdie is truly a business that emphasizes craftsmanship, sustainability and our local community.

Our first entry of Chic+Nawdie’s Studio column, I would like to talk about our art prints. When I went to fairs, one of the most common questions I got about our art prints was: This looks like real watercolor – Is this an original? (Their faces looked amazed and excited…) When I told them that was an art print, they turned to me confused and a little disappointed. The truth is I cannot sell my 8″x10″ original watercolor painting for $20 each. That is the price of an art print, a very affordable one in fact because our prints are all giclée.

So what is a giclée art print anyway and should you pay $20 for just a print? According to wikipedia:

Giclée (/ʒˈkl/ zhee-klay or /ˈkl/) is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmakerJack Duganne for fine artdigital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to suggest high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.

In short, giclée art prints are printed from high-res digital scans with archival quality inks onto various substrates, typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction. Its quality can be used in museums and galleries.

With Chic+Nawdie’s art prints, we adopt this process because we don’t want our customers to think these are just cheap posters digitally printed and can be found anywhere. We want our art prints to last a lifetime, not to fade colors while being more affordable. We use Canson Infinity Etching Rag paper with heavy weight (310gsm) and beautiful texture that feels like watercolor paper. Our printer is Epson Stylus Pro 3880, an 8-Color inkjet printer that uses Epson UltraChrome K3™ with Vivid Magenta Professional-level pigment-based ink technology. We keep cost low by printing and packaging everything in-house, one by one.

So yes, our prints do look like originals but they are more affordable. We have 3 sizes for now: 8″x10″ ($20) – 11″x14″ ($30) – 16″x20″ ($45) which are all standard sizes that you can find frames easily for. For original artworks, please contact me directly [email protected]

Here are some pictures that explain our process more. Since our studio is also our home, we cannot share too many overall big pictures. (We don’t want you to spot our messy kitchen or the fact that cards are everywhere in the living room!)

Love,

Nhung

Original artwork that get scanned to start printing

Original artwork that get scanned to start printing

Our beloved hero: Epson Stylus Pro 3880

Our beloved hero: Epson Stylus Pro 3880

Trim the paper to the right size

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Each print has a stiff backing chipboard then slipped into a cellophane bag

So that it stay safe when shipped

Then sealed with a sticker!

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Up-close details of the final print! So beautiful like an original right?

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