Merry Saucemas

We thought we’d share a few pics from our recent Christmas party. This is actually the first full-on Christmas party we’ve ever had. We always want to, but we just get so dad-gum busy and it never happens. This year, it had to happen. It’s just been such a landmark year for us in so many ways. The volume and quality of our work has seen dramatic shifts over the past year and we just needed to celebrate. Fessey even hosted a trivia hour, which got rather heated. We got together for this family dinner at Palmer’s Garden & Goods and ate some very tasty Italian grub from Prato.

Our friend F Harvell of Occasional Photo came by to shoot the event at very short notice and we’re ever-so grateful. You can see the full gallery here.

 

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Nick Sambrato + Creative Mornings

Our chums over at Creative Mornings dropped us a line saying they wanted to feature Nick, our founder, on their blog. They asked for a few pics to accompany the interview on their site, so we called up our old buddy Bryan Soderlind and had a grand ol’ time showing the world The Real Nick Sambrato. If you’ve never met Nick, know that scrolling through these pics is an acceptable substitute. When you’re done, check out his interview with Creative Mornings and watch his talk on Money if you missed it. Follow Nick on Twitter for daily doses of… Nick.

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Sauceoween ’13

Mama’s Sauce has been overrun by doppelgangers! Sauceoween provided a bevy of tricks and treats to the crew. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Can you guess who’s who?

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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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!

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.

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.

Spring 2013 Internship

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We are feverishly elated to announce that the Mama’s Sauce Internship Program is now officially sponsored by French Paper Co.

No one shares our awkwardly intense enthusiasm for inspiring young print designers more than the fine folks at French. Together, we aim to build a program that introduces aspiring print designers to the world of spot color in a unique and hands-on sorta way.

Here’s a rundown of our new & improved educational gauntlet for Spring 2013:

French Paper Treasure Chest:

The kindly souls over at French Paper Co. will be supplying Mama’s interns with an arsenal of inspiring goods that are essential for any aspiring spot color print designer / paper geek.

Spot Color Seminar:

Learn a bit about the ins & outs of designing for spot color printing and demonstrate that learning by designing and printing a screen printed project.

French Sample Room:

Select intern projects will be proudly displayed in the French Sample Room.

Guest Professor:

Spring 2013 interns will have their portfolios personally reviewed by this semester’s Guest Professor: James White of Signalnoise Studio. This is a golden opportunity to hear a Canadian accent in a professional setting.

Hard work:

The only way to learn how to look at print is to look at print. A lot. We instill our obsession with quality in our interns by teaching them to check every single print that comes off press. Every printer at Mama’s Sauce got their start in quality control and it’s the only reason they can print the way they do.

Press Time:

Get to know letterpress and silkscreen printing by getting all up in the business of our presses. Learn to oil them, clean them, and help our pressmen run them.

The internships are unpaid, but we’ll happily work with your educational institution so that your work here is rewarded with credit. If you are not a student, don’t be afraid to throw your name in the hat!

If this sounds like something that makes you want to pee your pants, don’t fight that feeling. Click here to apply.

our red jumpsuit apparatus.

new website. check.
new uniforms. check.

we’re dressed and ready to print your goods.
let’s do this thing.

Sneak Peak!

So, it’s just around the corner… The convergence of the interwebs, old fashion letterpress printing, custom flat stock and textile screen printing, and of course full color print goodness… All of which will be neatly wrapped in a fashionable, and easily navigable, website – giving you the ability to order just about any print process from one place… When is it coming? Soon. Very soon. As we move closer, I would like to invite you to sign up for the email list (above in the header), so we can let you know exact dates as they approach. We’ll also let you know about the killer pricing that we’ll be offering for the first month of the new site.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a sneak peak of the upcoming Mama’s Sauce website…

Did you check out Step 2? Yup. You’ll choose the product, then HOW you want it printed. We’re giving you the control to dictate process. Amped? We are.

It’s all happening.