Out of the Kitchen: Print Matters Austin

Print Matters is a speaking event comprised of tales from Brian French, 6th Generation French Paper Company and Nick Sambrato, Mama’s Sauce Founder, about their respective companies combined 150 years (143 of those from French alone) of producing paper and printing in an ever modernizing world. We bring this circus from city to city and work with a local designer to creative a limited edition screen printed poster commemorating the event and attendees have the chance to letterpress their very own certificates of authenticity.

In this out of the kitchen post, we’re giving you a peak at our Print Matters Austin event. Hosted by AIGA Austin and OK Paper and the amazing IBM Design studio in North Austin. For this particular Print Matters, we partnered with Ryan Hamrick to help design the free poster giveaway. See some of the event and our excursion of Austin below – everything from live printing to staying in vintage Airstreams overlooking East Austin to biking the city to find Barton Springs, amongst other amazingness that the city of Austin has to offer.

Want to bring a Print Matters to your community? Just holler. Big thank you to Hamrick for the pics he snapped of the event as well.























Out of the Kitchen: French Paper Co


French Paper has always been a close partner. If fact, they’re more than our house stocked paper, they’re family. This past week we paid a house call from our house to theirs. Come inside and see how the one of the main paper lines that we use for our letterpress, screen print, and foil printing is made. Scans of their papers are available on our Papers Explained Page here.

french corner
front ext
the man
do you even lift bro
stacks on stacks 2
back exterior
wanna buy one of me papes?

Cleaning Out the Fridge: A Week in Print, Vol. 2

Dominated by self-promotional brand pieces and amazing illustration, this week’s roster was equal parts challenging & rewarding.

This week’s photo backdrop: French Pop-Tone Berrylicious


Coen Brothers poster by MailChimp for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. 3 color screen print on French Pop-Tone Orange Fizz 100 lb. Cover.


Mel Brooks poster by MailChimp for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. 3 color screen print on French Construction Pure White 100 lb. Cover.


Steven Spielberg poster by MailChimp for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. 3 color screen print on Colorplan Lockwood 100 lb. Cover.


Terminator poster by Electric Zombie. 6 color screen print on Stardream Silver 105 lb. Cover. That’s right…silver.


Foil & Letterpress business cards by Alex Anderson on duplexed French Pop-Tone Black Licorice & Construction Pure White 100 lb. Cover. That’s white & silver foil on the black side, and black letterpress on the white side.


Self-promotional business cards by El Autobus. 2 color screen print on French Bubblegum, Fuse Green, Steel Blue, & Whitewash 100 lb. Cover.


Screen printed, letterpress printed, and edge painted business cards & note cards by Eyespeak. Printed on duplexed French Steel Grey & Pure White 100 lb. cover.


Split fountain letterpress printed save the date by Emily Burns. Printed on duplexed French Speckletone Madero Beach 100 lb. cover (final weight of 200 lb. cover).


Self-promotional business cards by Jaime Muñoz. Black foil on both sides of a Neenah Classic Crest Duplex.


Self-promotional business cards by Sevenly w/ a black screen print and a blind deboss on French Pure White; the edges were painted with a custom Pantone as well.


Wedding invite by Rashi Birla that combines screen printing and letterpress tastefully.

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!


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.

- Seth Lucas

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.











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.


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!

Spring 2013 Internship

Spot Color Internship Graphic design french paper co. signalnoise james white

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.

Things We Printed This Week

So I’m going to try something that requires a little discipline here… If you follow us on the Twitter and Facebook, you’ve probably seen ‘What’s on Press…’ which is basically a snapshot of whatever we have on press that day. We’re pretty good about keeping up with it and people seem to like it. Well, we print a lot more than we get to share – so each week I’m going to try and collect everything in bulk and put it out there. I really feel lucky to work with all of the wonderful designers who we print for, and hope that sharing the work that goes through our presses will help inspire you to see the possibilities that still exist with traditional print mediums. I’ll be trying to make it a Friday thing – forgive me for jumping the gun a bit early this week! Enjoy this weekly update – and if you want daily’s make sure to follow our FB & Twitter. Both links can be found in the right column of this here blog.

Click to make them big. Enjoy.

The New Full Color

After our last blog post, I thought it prudent to kick off the ‘no more full color printing’ roll by highlighting a of a full color print that we just did! “But wait, didn’t the last post just say that you’re going all screen print and letterpress?” Yes, yes it did. If you dig deep, you’ll see that there are cases where we’ll print full color prints still. One full color type of job that qualifies would be a full color letterpress print. Yes, that’s right. A 4-color process letterpress print.

We designed this save the date with the idea of the recipients getting something authentically old in their mailboxes. Something not just designed to look old, but authentically printed to feel like a save the date just found after aging decades in the wedding album of a couple married fifty plus years.

Printed on 140# French Muscletone – this save the date was both a blast to design and print!

run on a 1950 Heidelberg Windmill. the front ran through 4 times (CMYK)

the back of the print is a 1-color black letterpress print

look at those beautiful halftone dots!

John Hughes the Immortal

We had to sit on this print for a while before exposing to the world, as it was for a show at Gallery 1988THE ROAD TO SHERMER a tribute to John Hughes – but man were we brimming with anxiousness to show everyone this rad design from the always amazing Derek Deal.

The entire sauce team are giant John Hughes fans, so it just tickled us something crazy to print this poster… Now that the show is open we’re proud to be able to share it with you… Love JH? Get you one here while they last.

Sealed with a kiss… And some glue.

I have a confession.
It’s an embarrassing one. One that would be hard to admit, that is if I hadn’t had to confess it at least once a day for the past two years. I say again, two years… That’s how long I’ve been a printer without a business card. That is exactly how long it’s been since our staff of trained professionals, who specialize in creating these seven and half square inch handy (literally) little sheets of ink and reclaimed cotton and/or tree pulp, have been operating without cards of our own.

How does one in this profession get away card-less for so long? I can’t even imagine a dairy farmer without milk in his icebox, or a taxidermist without at least one moose head over his fireplace. But then again, there is that old adage, ‘The cobbler’s children have no shoes.’ I guess that applies to printers too?

Well not anymore. This cobbler’s kids got some shoes, baby. Some rad, letterpressed shoes. Clearly put, we finally carved out some time to design and print our own cards.

Being that it was a long time coming, we thought we’d go a little over the top. A two-color letterpress card duplexed (fancy talk for glued) to a chocolate brown french paper backing… Hit number one is a light hotdog colored kiss print, which is a slight graze of ink to the surface of the paper, leaving the surface’s original dimension in place. The second hit is a deep punch of light brown that ads the 3rd dimension, which the modern letterpress printing technique has become known for… The bite if you will.

Note the two-tone sides and brown back duplex.

We’re stoked on them…

Looking for a ‘one hit’ wonder? Check out the print we rocked right after the sauce card… A simple and elegant design done by and for our good friend Aaron Martin from Superwindy. Aaron has been wanting to do business cards since we met him ages ago… Being a designer – it took awhile to get it done. I guess we’re all cursed in this area? Working for others doesn’t allow us the time to do for ourselves? Well, It has finally happened for Aaron too – and word on the street is that he’s diggin on his new beasts.