Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 11-15 Winners

Today we are pleased to announce the 11th-15th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

11. Lehan combines a multitude of traditional elements to create a decidedly modern composition. The texture and pastel color make her snowflakes float and the mix of fonts add visual interest without compromising the card’s elegance. Hats off!

12. The juxtaposition of classic botanicals, tangled through a thin inline font is unexpected and breathtaking. Kelli ups the elegant factor by adding foil. I love how she leads the eye to dangle from the last berry before gently landing on the name.

13. Lori channeled the painter within for this bold beauty. We love how this card hints at so many creative techniques we adore: sun prints, watercolor, and just the right amount of gold.


14. Bethan’s discreet composition does an incredible job of being nurturing while still maintaining a fresh, modern edge.  The delicate lines and organic asymmetry of the branches draw you in and create a sweet sense of intimacy. Spellbinding.

15. The flourishes and twirls of Mandy’s hand-lettered greeting are reminiscent of curled ribbons on a carefully wrapped package. She adds just enough variety in type to be whimsical, but not overdone and the white is a classic choice. A fabulous card for any new couple!

 

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 16-20 Winners

We continue to bring on the cheer with the announcement of the 16th-20th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

16. This delightful design by Rachel of Alethea and Ruth is full of festive details. From the sprigs of holly to the soft hues and classic font this card will turn even the biggest Scrooge jolly!

17. Jennifer’s expert use of bold font and bright color makes this design pop with joy. We love her daring use of this block font that just emanates cheer.


18. We are completely delighted by FatFatin’s retro tree design made modern with touches of pastel and gold foil. The unique photo placements will provide endless opportunities for families to show off their silly side.

19. Jennifer brings a fresh take on a traditional chevron with this award winning design. The perfect angles and design clusters are reminiscent of snowflakes with just a hint of art deco. We’re swooning over this modern beauty.

20. Kristy’s opulent design captures the beauty of the season. Her perfect font selection and delicate wreath details combine seamlessly to create a sweet handmade feel to this timeless card.

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DIY: Fringed Party Horns

Festive and full of fun, these little noisemakers will add instant flair to your next party. Hand them out to guests as they arrive at your celebration or display them at each place setting. Best of all, these party horns are easy to make and can be customized to complement any party theme.


Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 21-30 Winners

I am proud to reveal the 21st -30th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. We are continually blown away by the quality and quantity of submissions to the holiday challenge, and to be voted into the top 30 is an incredible accomplishment. My most sincere congratulations to these very creative talents.

21. Classic and slightly retro, Olivia’s card elegantly showcases even the simplest snapshot.

22. Warm Holiday Wishes evokes that wonderful cozy feeling only winter can bring. Genna’s playful illustrations and bright color palette get us excited to romp in the snow.

23. Misa’s hand drawn illustrations and swaths of watercolor capture the joyful effortless in her design.


24. Melanie Severin’s design sparkles with just the right amount of foil. The sweet added touch of tiny white dots is reminiscent of a snowglobe.

25. Four Wet Feet Studio captures two of our favorite styles with a beautiful blue wash of watercolor accented with delicate gold foil flowers. We love the framing and unexpected  colors on this card.

26. Simple and striking, Annie Mertlich’s design left a big impression on us. Her red watercolor Noel is perfection with the addition of sprigs of holly. The white backdrop leaves plenty of room for this  uncomplicated design to shine.

27. Chris’s use of traditional, vintage elements and modern type makes this card an instant classic.


28. We adore hand-lettering and this card by Little Print Designs is a burst of festive fun.

29. The sweeping curve of Design Lotus’s joy is both striking and seemingly effortless. While the delicate type gives her design a modern feel.

30. Shiny Penny Studio’s playful use of type perfectly captures the sentiment of this oh-so-cute card.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 31-40 Winners

Today, we continue to bring on the cheer with the announcement of the 31st-40th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. From Petra’s lively watercolors boughs to Phrosne’s delicate hand-drawing, winners 31-40 demonstrate how the diverse styles of our community bring the spirit of the holidays to life. Fabulous job to these amazingly accomplished artists!

31. Petra’s energetic illustrations creates a delightful card that is a fresh take on botanicals.

32. Phrosne’s intricate hand-rendered detail is a stunning way to celebrate a new bundle of joy.

33. Andrea’s flourishes of gold and delicate details create a christmas greeting that bursts with cheer.


34. Once again Kristen is a master of simplicity. This bold white script that will elevate any family photo.

35. We love how Sarah’s art deco-inspired font make the champagne-style sparkles feel all the lighter and more effervescent.

36. Carrie is an expert of modern minimalism adding just enough variation in type to be editorial, but also feel warm.

37. Lea’s artful crafting of type into a tree can’t help but make us feel merry.


38. Using gold and subtle rotation, Lauren brings the soft magic of snowflakes to this modern greeting.

39. Jessica’s painterly pines complement the masculine serif to create a perfect couple’s card.

40. Fine and Dandy Paperie manages to communicate both formality and fun using layered framing, and the organic shape and dancing rhythm of the leaves.

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Minted Parties: Cardboard Box-Themed Birthday Party

Susan Hutchinson of the wonderful blog Fleurishing recently threw the most amazing party for her twins’ Henry and Marie’s third birthday. Her family was in the midst of a big move (read: totally surrounded by boxes!). But instead of skipping a party this year, she turned the boxes into a fabulous cardboard box-themed birthday bash. We asked her to share all of the party details.

Cardboard Box-Themed Birthday Party Ideas Susan chose “Cardboard Box” invitation by Lehan Veenker for Minted for her twins’ birthday party.

Cardboard Box-Themed Birthday Party Ideas

This is genius! How did you come up with the birthday party theme?
We’re in the midst of a move and are surrounded by boxes! I honestly was leaning towards not doing anything this year. But then I had a light bulb moment and couldn’t believe my luck when I found the “Cardboard Box” invitation by Lehan Veenker for Minted—that sealed the deal, it was too perfect. It simply had to be done.

Where did the party take place?
At our (still empty) new place—an industrial loft in an old knitting mill factory (circa 1895).

How did you make those amazing cardboard structures?
My husband Parker made them—he’s amazing! I researched online and found some pretty cool ones, both commercial and homemade, as inspiration. Ours ended up being pretty unique, though, thanks to his imagination and brilliant engineering! It took him about three late nights after work to craft them. He reached a new level of rockstar daddy status.

Cardboard Box-Themed Birthday Party Ideas

How many guests attended?
We had about 10 adults and 13 kids… our closest friends and their children!

What were everyone’s reactions to the party?
The kids’ reactions were the best, of course—seeing their faces light up with delight was such a treat. The best part was when we passed out (washable) markers and told them to go wild decorating and drawing on the boxes.

Cardboard Box-Themed Birthday Party Ideas The party menu included cardboard-colored snacks like graham crackers, square-shaped pretzels, and a homemade croquembouche that Susan made out of 200 donut holes!

Creative Kids' Birthday Party Ideas: Cardboard Box Theme For party favors, Susan gave each child in attendance a copy of the book Not a Box, about a clever rabbit with a knack for imagining brilliant cardboard creations.

Creative Kids' Birthday Party Ideas: Cardboard Box Theme

Photos: Courtesy of Susan Hutchinson of Fleurishing

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 41-50 Winners

While most people are wrapping up the summer, everyone at Minted is focused on the upcoming winter holidays.  And we’re excited to announce – the Holiday Card Winners are here!

“The Most Wonderful Time” was our eighth holiday card design challenge. I am thrilled to say that this was the strongest holiday card design challenge we’ve had in our 8 years; Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs. I appreciated how much designers took to heart our request for creativity and to carve their own creative path.

Here is this year’s challenge by the numbers:

  • We attracted 4,661 submissions from 479 artists
  • Designers held 856 design polls, and participants submitted 8,305 comments and 79,948 likes

As ever, we want to thank each and every designer who submitted a design, gave a critique, voted in a design poll, or shared festive posts in the Minted Community Facebook group to help their fellow community members get in the holiday spirit. Our community is truly what makes Minted unique and is, without question, the very reason we have the best design and art in the world.

Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer – here are your 41st-50th place winners. Stay tuned for 31-40 tomorrow. Huge congrats to our first batch of holiday winners!

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How Has Education Inspired Your Creativity?

Back-to-school season has got us thinking about how education inspires creativity. For this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, Minted artists Taleen Bedikian, Lori James, and Kaydi Bishop think back to their college days.

Taleen Bedikian
Torrance, California

“I love being surrounded by creative thinkers and even non-creatives who question the whole. When I was first majoring in Fine Art, my professor opened my eyes to the idea of gestalt, reminding me to step back and really look at what I am seeing. It’s the whole that we see that really moves us. Having learned this, I like to test myself when tackling projects, which usually means tilting my head, squinting, or backing up to assure that my work feels good as a whole. It’s just something that has stuck with me through the years, and I like to think it helps.”

Lounge-1” by TRB Design

There’s Always Hope” by TRB Design


Lori James of guess what?
Honolulu, Hawaii

“At Honolulu Community College, I had a very inspiring professor named Harrison ‘Bud’ Brooks who really spurred my passion for design. He stressed the importance of knowing the basics and instilled an ethic of discipline and hard work. He challenged us to seek out good design and analyze the underlying elements—composition, layout, typography, etc.—to understand what made it successful. He also taught us never to be complacent, but to continue to learn and grow and evolve as artists. Mr. Brooks definitely had a huge impact on who I am as a designer, and I’m so thankful to have had him as a mentor.”

Petit Monsieur” by guess what?

Snow Time Like the Holidays” by guess what?


Kaydi Bishop
San Francisco

“With a background in interior design and architecture, I find myself inevitably inspired by everything from the uncommon moulding detail to ancient tile patterns. In college, I had the opportunity to study in Florence, Italy, consequently studying many of these details first hand. After college, I was fortunate to travel throughout Asia and the Mid East for my job. Everywhere I turned, I found myself photographing inspiring patterns, materials, color combinations, etc. The education I receive from traveling continues to serve as my main source of inspiration to this day.”

Brushed Casablanca” pillow by Kaydi Bishop

The Half Shell” by Kaydi Bishop


How has—or does—learning and education inspire your creativity? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

#WhatInspiresMe is published every other Monday. This is the fourth edition; read the third edition here.

Published August 31, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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Through the Lens Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners for our first ever photography-only art challenge! In this challenge, we asked you, the Minted Community, to channel your inner Gursky, Weston, Sherman, or Steiglitz. We were blown away by the artistic photographs we received in this challenge. Congratulations to our special prize winners!

Curator’s Choice Award: for the photograph that most captures
the eye of Minted’s Curatorial Team
Going for a Swim“ by Whitney Deal


Outer Edge Award: for the photograph that pushes
the boundaries of our assortment
Joshua Tree“ by Kaitlin Rebesco


Urban Landscape Award: for the photograph which best
celebrates the urban environment
NYC Viewpoint“ by Debra Pruskowski


Still Life Award: for the most interesting composition
using a combination of objects
Collection“ by Sadie Holden


The Good Sport Award: for the best artistic and innovative
photographic image involving sports
Our Pastime“ by Karen Kaul


Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge

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Meet a Minted Artist: Kristie Kern

Violin major-turned-graphic designer. History professor’s wife and awesome 10-year-old’s mom. Robust coffee lover and ambitious home cook. These are just some of the words Kristie Kern uses to describe herself.

With 130 Minted awards under her belt, it’s no wonder she also calls herself an “exuberant Minted artist.” Here she shares her story—as an independent graphic designer who works from a beautiful home in Akron, Ohio.

How did you hear about Minted?
I first happened upon Minted while doing some research for a client, and was blown away by what I found. Though I often visited Minted after this to admire the amazing designs and designers, I didn’t enter a challenge myself until almost a year later; I was busy with my design studio and young son.

During the summer of 2011, my workload slowed quite a bit. Instead of immediately pursuing more work and clients, I decided to take advantage of the down time to finally enter a Minted challenge. I submitted one design for a gift tag challenge, and then received two file requests for my next challenge, which was for weddings. I was instantly hooked! Seeing my excitement as I jumped up and down at the news, my then 6-year-old son yelled, “We’re rich! We’re rich!”

I still get excited with each new file request, but what has become much more exciting to me over time is the way that Minted has reinvigorated my passion for design.

(Left) Kenton Kern, Kristie’s son | (Right) Minted works: “You and Me” by paper rose, “Numbers Elephant” by Kristie Kern, “A Very Happy Day” by Kristie Kern

What is a typical day like for you?
I often begin my day running with a group of amazing neighborhood moms, then aim to be in my office on the third floor of our 1919 Craftsman cottage by 8 a.m. First, I sort through email, then list my intentions for the day (on Post-Its!), which include work deadlines as well as personal goals. By far, my best time for creative work is early morning, so I try to make that happen as often as possible. Evening is spent enjoying family dinner and helping with my son’s piano and violin practice.

Criss Cross” by Annie Clark

How do you describe your style?
As an independent designer for nearly 11 years, I’ve been fortunate to work with a variety of clients; many of them long-term, ongoing relationships. However, much of the work I do involves designing within an established brand. The wonderful thing about designing for Minted is that I get to explore my own aesthetic—and it is still evolving. I love so many styles, from chic modern to whimsical, feminine, and urban. I love to experiment, and it’s so interesting to see what sells well—it may not necessarily be a design that was a big stand-out in a challenge.

Tell me about one of your designs for sale on Minted and how it came together.
I like the way my notebook and stationery set “English Countryside” turned out. It actually began its life as an art print submission that just wasn’t feeling right. I ended up taking that art print out of the challenge I’d submitted it to, but kept the basic design in my back pocket. When the time came to re-envision it as a notebook, it came together easily.

I also still feel good about my wedding invitation suite “Bliss.” This design evolved as I moved various elements around my Illustrator file rapidly—this often helps me see things that I wouldn’t otherwise.

I usually start a design without much more than a glimmer of inspiration, and just let things flow organically. One thing I’ve learned is that the creative process can be a strange and very personal thing, and can take on a life of its own. Sometimes you just have to follow where it leads and be “in the zone” while it’s happening. Being in this zone is where I do my best work, but it can be so elusive. I wish I could bottle it!

Who are your favorite designers?
I love the simple forms and bright, unexpected color combinations in the work of children’s book author and illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats. I also adore the rhythms of color New York painter Juri Morioka creates in her abstract art. In the stationery world (aside from the many crushes I have on the work of fellow Minted artists), I really enjoy the work of Ingrid Reithaug and Tonje Holand, the Norwegian duo who make up the design studio Darling Clementine.

Leaf Study” by Kristie Kern

What’s your advice for new designers?
Make a non-negotiable appointment with yourself each day to practice your passion, preferably during the hours that you are at your best. If you have to break this routine, try not to let too many days go by before you get back to it. I’ve found that the more time I spend outside the creative zone, the longer it takes to find that oh-so-happy place again.

In terms of design, these are some of the things I keep working on myself: When you realize you’ve stopped designing and have started “decorating,” take a break. Come back with fresh eyes, shift a few things around and take a few things away. Try to look at the overall composition rather than fussing with tiny details in the beginning. Find the focal point, then pare back on anything that competes with it (or decorates it rather than enhances it). Then refine: Check kerning, leading, and for a pleasing amount of space between text and graphic elements. Detailed attention to typography can really make a design.

Designing for Minted has brought amazing opportunities. The added visibility has helped potential clients find me and has generated additional work. More important to me, though, is the strong sense of support that I’ve received from being part of the Minted community. Especially for anyone in a solo career, feeling connected to a group of peers is so important, and I’ve found my fellow Minted Artists to be not only wildly talented designers, but also incredibly smart, funny, generous and good people.

Hello World” by Kristie Kern

More from Kristie Kern:
• Minted Store
• KristieKernCreative.com

Photography by Stephanie Miller and Angie Arthur

Published August 28, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

 

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