Adam Grason: Helping campers everywhere.

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Don’t leave home without your gun! Or this poster!  Adam & his wife Christina are the peeps behind Zadok44, a creative studio specializing in apparel, illustration, & branding. This 11″ x 17″ “Camping Essentials” poster was printed on .017″ maple veneer, and was inspired by Adam’s imminent Fatherhood and Davy Crockett.

“This project had a very dear place in my heart. My wife and I were waiting for the arrival of our first kiddo (Harper), and I realized that as a designer & dad I had a self-inflicted obligation to create a piece for his room. We went with a camping theme, inspired by Davy Crockett and the idea for an “essentials” set was born. My illustration style nods very highly to the old 50’s style, and I wanted to capture that with this piece. I am also a huge fan of imperfect line work and chose to intentionally have things be off. I think it’s important to explore digital imperfection. I did some research on the essentials of camping and consolidated my own ideas into the piece. The digital era we are in has totally skewed what is essential for camping, ie. an iPod is not essential, but I found it on several lists. I pushed hard for a ton of hours and got it just where I wanted it. I strived to create a piece that would be marketable and a piece inspired by the adventures I want to have as a parent. Be adventurous my friends!”

- Adam Grason.

We loved running this project! Any chance we get to print on wood is pretty exciting. It definitely adds a few variables to the mix. The ink tends to lay down a little rough if the wood is really grainy, and the screens will pick up a little more dust along the way. Nothing too crazy though, and overall if makes a print like this even cooler.

 

The “Camping Essentials” poster is available now in the Zadok44 Store!

 

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Tattly Cards: One Real Card, One Fake Tattoo

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later…we finally made friends with the confetti-tossing, cheer-leading, heart-warming Tattly squad. They brought us in the loop on this project a while back and we’ve been chomping at the bit to tell you guys about it. Finally, Today Is the Day they announced their newest project!

Tattly Cards: One Real Card, One Fake Tattoo. This new stationery line is letterpress printed and includes a single matching Tattly Temporary Tattoo! A happy greeting and fun gift wrapped into one! The line consists of 5 original designs letterpress printed on Mohawk Paper by Mama herself.

This series features designs by Tina Roth Eisenberg, Jen Mussari, Jessica Hische, and Mike Lowery!

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Photo credit: Julia Robbs


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What government shutdown? We’re visiting the National Parks with Seth Lucas.

In case any of you found yourself banging on the front door of any National Parks over the past couple of weeks, here’s a little piece of aesthetic rebellion to keep you going. The “National Parks Checklist” poster by Seth Lucas is a fun and unique way to keep track of all the National Parks you have visited (even if you got turned away). Each domestic national park is labeled with green tree, but each purchase includes a pack of colorful tree stickers; so after you visit a park it gets marked with a different color sticker. Your poster gets more colorful as your adventures increase! The poster was printed on French Paper Co. Construction Whitewash 100C, and is a 5 color screen print with a transparent wood grain twist!

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My wife Maddy and I love to travel, and we have a lifetime goal of visiting all the National Parks. We wanted an artistic way to keep track of where we’ve been, and we wanted to encourage others to visit the amazing National Parks we have as well. We worked together to come up with a print & concept that looks great, and you can also place our tiny tree stickers on the parks you’ve visited to keep track of where you’ve been. It’s all finally come together working with Mama’s Sauce to make a truly beautiful print.

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One of the things that really makes this poster so awesome is the different levels of gloss, from the matted brown to the glossy transparent ink and the metallic gold. There’s a lot of great depth there that you really have to see in person to experience. And from a technical perspective, you really have to appreciate the level of thought that went in to staying as true to the design as possible. For example, we were worried that nailing the registration would be tough if we knocked out the tan numbers on the trees, because we would have had to go through the green and the dark brown. So we ended up printing the numbers with an ink matched to the color of the paper.

Seth and his wife Maddy run ElloThere, specializing in wedding invitations and art prints. The “National Parks Checklist” poster is available now right here.

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Ross Moody + Mama’s Sauce + Coffee = Awesome

On Friday, September 13th, we hosted the first in a series of talks/meet & greets that will be happening every semester. The event is an extension of our Internship Program, but geared for anyone with an interest in design and print. Our first guest speaker was our good buddy Ross Moody, the designer, art director, and mastermind behind 55 Hi’s. Ross spent the day with the Mama’s Sauce family, beginning with a shop visit and a portfolio review session with our current crop of Sauce Interns. His talk took place later in the evening, and was graciously housed by the honorable peeps over at Downtown Credo in College Park. Ross discussed his road map to 55 Hi’s, being a successful (and still happy) designer, and how his relationship with Mama’s Sauce has allowed him to build his business into what it is today. Many thanks to our friend F Harvell from Occasional Photo for the pics of the event.

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Following the talk, the Sauce screen printing team hosted a screen printing demo, where attendees were able to pull their own screens on a Ross Moody-designed souvenir; printed on some fresh French Paper of course. Laughs were had, screens were pulled, coffee was consumed, and everyone had a good ol’ time.

 

We can’t thank Ross Moody enough for coming down for this event, and Downtown Credo for providing such an intimate setting. Thanks to everyone who came out! Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for more information on future events!

Mama Welcomes Elizabeth!

After a lengthy scouring of the known world, Mama’s Sauce is VERY excited to announce that we have found our new letter press operator; Elizabeth Ross. Originally from Pea Ridge, Arkansas, Elizabeth made her way to the Sauce from Baltimore, Maryland; where she spent the last year and 1/2 there as a letter presser. After going to school for design at Harding University, Elizabeth found herself at a crossroads; not wanting to spend her career behind a computer screen, but still wanting to be involved in the creative process in some capacity. She began her career in the print industry with a bit of luck, as an apprenticeship in 2010 would quickly turn into a career & passion; ultimately leading her to her new home with us!

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Elizabeth made a visit to the Sauce in May of this year, and after spending a weekend with the crew, both sides knew that this was a match made in print heaven. She has been with us for about a month now, and has since been churning out top notch work day after day. Any letter pressed projects going forward will be handled by our new “Queen of the ‘Press,” so be on the lookout for some great projects in the near future!

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As an added bonus, not only did we get a super awesome new letter press operator, but she brought her dog too! The shop dog count now stands at TWO!

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Lions, Halftones, & Prints! Oh My!

Full-color designs find their way into our inbox quite regularly, and sometimes even into our workflow. There are times that we tackle them as-is, and photographs that look modern on-screen come out like they were printed in 1920, because they were printed just as they would have been then, see? At other times, said full-color designs come from the most modern forms of designers: in this case a 3D & motion artist. With a little direction from our print concierge staff, even the most modern of design methods can convert to spot color almost seamlessly, with results that are just stunning.

If you follow us on Instagram, we’re sure you recently noticed the beauty of a poster, “Lion A,” featured in our daily “What’s on Press…” post. This project was designed by Mancel Studios Founder & Creative Director, Mancel Lindsey. His Brooklyn-based creative studio specializes in motion design & animation that helps brands to grow equity & increase connection with their customers. Recently, we caught up with Mancel to get the scoop on this project, and what is coming down the pipeline for him in the near future.

What sort of design do you typically do on a day to day basis? What sort of designer would you consider yourself?                                                                                 Most of my work is focused on motion design. I consider myself a storyteller and design allows me the space to develop my voice.

What made you choose to screen print this design?
I’ve been exploring different geometric based designs lately and really wanted to create something that bridged my digital process with a high quality handmade craft. Screen printing gave me an opportunity to simplify my motion design work, essentially moving from hundreds of frames in a video to just one. And screen printing’s precision opened up a world of problem solving opportunities I just had to explore.

Did you anticipate to having to convert the art?
When I began playing with different shapes and techniques, I sampled a lot of colors from various images. I knew I would need to convert the artwork from 100s of colors to a few, I just didn’t realize how difficult it would be to achieve the same color contrasts and 3d geometric look.

Did you already think it was spot color when you did it?
My process usually involves adjusting and layering colors until it feels right when working with motion design. So I actually had to do some research into what exactly spot colors were for and why they were necessary. Color and color grading is an aspect of my work that’s more of an afterthought than a precise decision (unless working with a specific brand), like storytelling or animation. It can always be adjusted. Using spot colors and limiting my palette obliterated my comfort zone in this area.

How did you approach getting a quote? Were you asking if it was possible or were you just like, “How much to print this?”
I’m fairly naive when approaching new projects or ideas – meaning I don’t really think about whether something can be done or not. So when I brought this project to Mama’s Sauce I asked for a quote and sent over an early full color version. I also asked how the number of colors, print size, and paper type played into the cost.

Tell me a little bit about converting the art. Was it your first time doing something like this?
I spent a few days reworking the shapes and colors and decided to visually approximate and then organize colors into three layers – light, medium, and dark. I quickly saw how using a couple transparency values with each color gave me the contrast I was looking for, essentially giving me nine colors from three. I sent an email over to the Sauce asking about using transparencies and that’s when I learned about halftones. It sounded like that approach might work and give me the look I was aiming for. I was a little skeptical as to whether or not the halftones would be precise enough. I decided that if it worked, it gave me the color variation I was looking for while allowing the highlights and shadows to remain consistent regardless of color choice.

What feedback did you get from us? What about tips? Did you use any resources on our site, or online?
In the beginning there were many unknowns and questions on my end. I just didn’t have the frame of reference to understand what everything meant. I asked Brooks his opinion and insights regarding file structure, pros and cons of trapping, best use of half tone percentages, and relied on his expertise to help guide my final decisions with half tones and paper type. I think I read through the FAQ on the Sauce’s site three times while comparing Google searches and soaking up quite a few screen printing video tutorials on YouTube. I was surprised to find that I learned more from interacting with Brooks and reading the FAQ than I did in my own research.

What was the most handy bit (or few bits) of info you got, and from what source?
More than anything, the learning curve of designing for a new medium taught me valuable lessons for future projects. I made a ton of mistakes and gained a new perspective and love for a really satisfying craft.

Where can we buy one?
You can purchase this and future prints at http://mancel.tv. Maybe we’ll do a 3d print of this series next.

How do you see this project effecting your designing in the future?
This project was a test run of sorts for me. Creatively it was a huge success. I’m working on developing this into a monthly series of prints that will utilize this style with slight variations unique to each subject matter. I really like bridging the gap between different art forms. For instance, I may write a short poem, then paint a visual interpretation in acrylics on canvas, and then animate an abstracted 2d or 3d version from the painting, and then create a 3d print of something iconic in the animation. I’d like to continue exploring what that looks like for all my projects regardless of their originating medium.

How much more do you know as a designer now?
I feel like I’ve demystified the printing process a bit for myself with this project. And for me those moments really open up my art direction’s perspective and approach to new work.

“Lion A” is a great example of how the use of different halftone percentages can be used to pull off multiple shades using only a single color. For more information on the use of halftones in spot color printing, check out this section of our FAQ Page.

Mama’s Sauce brings home FPO Awards

We recently received the results from the annual FPO Awards, and Mama’s Sauce is VERY proud to announce that we have received 13 awards in total; including Best in Category for Silkscreen!

The FPO (For Print Only) Awards are an annual collection of the best in the print world, conducted by the good folks over at UnderConsideration. The judging criteria are right up Mama’s alley, with a 50/50 split emphasis on design and production. This year’s judging roster included five heavy hitters: three designers and two printers. Famed designer Art Chantry, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Design Army, Pum Lefebure, and Pentagram partner DJ Stout represented the Design judges. In-house printmaker at House Industries David Dodde and co-founder & production director at Vertallee Letterpress Brad Murph held it down for the Print side.

So, without further ado, here are Mama’s Sauce 2012-2013 FPO Award winners!

Clark Orr – “Willy Wonka Lick-able Wallpaper”

*Best in Category Winner*

Designed for a themed show at Gallery 1988, this poster recreates the ever-so coveted Lick-able wallpaper.

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Lab Partners – “Bright New Year” prints

A series of 5 posters given to clients & friends, wishing them a happy new year.

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Johnny Cupcakes – “Gaslight Anthem” poster

A very limited run poster designed by Chris DeLorenzo for an in-store appearance at Johnny Cupcakes London by Gaslight Anthem frontman, Brian Fallon.

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Clark Orr – “3D Hoverboard” poster

This art print for Gallery 1988 presents assembly instructions for the most coveted of child’s toys: the Hoverboard. Did we mention the instructions are in 3D? Welcome to the future.

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55 Hi’s – “Cheers” coasters

A set of 6 coasters encouraging you to drink to good health in 6 different languages.

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55 Hi’s – “Robot Calendar”

A calendar for those who are either preparing for the coming robot apocalypse or impatiently awaiting the singularity. Whichever camp you are in—everyone is in one or the other, right?—these adorable robots will help lighten the mood and gussy up some wall space while you count the days.

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55 Hi’s/Skinny Ships – “Letters” posters

Art print with 2 color variants: gold & silver.

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55 Hi’s – “Live Well” poser

A 3-color, silkscreen beauty encouraging good livin’.

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Dana Steffe & Samia Saleem – The Map Project business cards (Company now known as Karta)

These cards were designed to reflect the same ideology of the product—a tool to share places or notes with other people.

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Signalnoise Studio – Gum Cards

A series of limited edition trading cards depicting some hot & heavy creative pros. Rare variants include a metallic Aaron Draplin, a glow-in-the-dark Johnny Cupcakes, and a glitzy “stadium card” featuring Mama’s Sauce.

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Bluecadet Interactive folder

This pocket folder is designed for use with agency materials and served to frame printed correspondence and proposals in the whimsical and powerful identity of Bluecadet.

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Matt Chase – “Join Dharma” poser

An art print giving nod upon nod to J.J. Abrams’ “LOST.”

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Seamless Creative –  “Fortune Teller” Coasters

A set of four coasters providing predictions for different aspects of life: Love, Happiness, Career, & Adventure.

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The UnderConsideration crew will be producing the annual FPO Awards book, as well as a paid access website for release later this year. We are very excited to have all of our award winners featured! Keep your best eye on the FPO site for more information!

 

CreativeMornings with Mama

Our founder, Nick Sambrato, gave one heck of a talk for CreativeMornings Orlando. The theme was money and he took a really neat tack with the topic. In his talk, Nick explores what it’s like to be a part of Orlando’s vibrant creative community and questions why Orlando loses so many talented folks to bigger markets like NYC and San Francisco. He explains that money is a cog in the wheel of community: creating opportunity for the ones we love.

Grouper Identity by Kyle Miller

Our buddy Kyle Miller sent this beauty our way last year. It’s a blast when we get to be a part of such an extensive and well-thought-out identity package. If you’re not familiar, Grouper is a social club that sets up drinks between 2 groups of friends: 3 guys and 3 girls.

These business cards did a little Groupering of their own: 3 different colorways with matching edges kept us plenty busy. The cards were letterpress printed on French Paper Company Madero Beach 140 lb. cover that was then duplexed to 280 lb. cover.

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Shirts were silkscreen printed by our bosom buddies over at Real Thread:

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Hats by Ebbets Field Flannels:
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See more of the identity here.

When the Man Comes Around

Our noble ally Aaron Draplin came by the shop today for a visit. If, for some strange reason, you follow our work and not his, stop what you’re doing and take a gander at the DDC Portfolio. Many a dark day have we mustered our moxy from a few clips of Draplin raising a ruckus on stage at design conferences. In case you were wondering, this guy is the genuine article. None of his chutzpah is manufactured or contrived. It’s real-life chutzpah. Really. If you don’t believe us, take a look at at his father (the Draplin standing next to Draplin)…who shall henceforth be your hero.

It was cool to hear Aaron share his thoughts about our recent collaboration, Love Letters, and his drive to leverage creative resources for noble causes. We’re definitely gonna be in the kitchen with Draplin on some upcoming projects in that vein. Then again…he did yell “I’m never coming back” as he walked out the door.

This seems like a good time to mention that we’ll be on the bill with Draplin at Creative South in April. All you southern folk who give a rip about doing good work oughta come hang! More on this later.

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