Coming of Age: No. 1

The moment we’ve all be waiting for… so sorry for the unexpected delay… the first prize in our first ever Coming of Age design challenge goes to: 16 in the City by The Social Type.
What teen wouldn’t love a fresh and even sweet take on the beloved TV series? There is something just so enchanting about a city skyline! Aren’t the little antennas on several of their buildings adorable? And I love the little stars in the sky, which coordinate so well with the little stars on either side of  ‘sixteen.’ The Social Type has taken the idea of a badge and blown it up and then overlaid it over an illustration… the party details support above and below for a very nice combined look. I also really love the chevron in the ribbon banner and the triple edging in the badge’s rick-racked edge–they’re traditionally girlie details with a modern edge! The Social Type has packed a ton of little details into this design, but manged to pull it all together very elegantly. Very impressive work ladies–channeling your inner sixteen-year-old is not easy! And congratulations on your gold medal!!!


Coming of Age: No. 2

And the silver medal goes to… Ann Gardner for C’est Mangnifique!

It’s lovely. It’s imaginative. It’s inspired. It’s foreign. It’s slightly mysterious. It really is magnifique! The font choice is spot on and the outline of the city is fabulous, as is the heart and arrow. Thank you for the enlightened start to the week Ann!


InStyle’s ‘Best of the Web’ Feature.

We were just thrilled to open up the latest InStyle and find Minted inside! I am always working hard to pitch editors to spread the word about our great community of indie designers.

By the way, how beautiful is Rachel McAdams?! She looks stunning in their feature.

The whole idea for the package was genius–they did a massive round-up of the best places to shop online. So helpful right before the holidays.

I must say, I also thought the whole package was beautiful–such great layouts! Love their choice of fonts and how they tied it all together with their little mouse cursive.

And a close-up:

The editors featured Marabou‘s Tree Design.

And Andres Montaño‘s Shabby She.

What great publicity for these talented designers!!

Another awesome part of the package was a handy sheet listing out all the websites for you to tear out and set next to your laptop the next time you’re surfing the web or maybe need a distraction at work!

Thank you InStyle for including us!


Coming of Age: No. 3

Miss Jody is up twice in a row with Modern Tradition.

This watercolor-like cloudscape is simply breathtaking!

Quoting from Waui Design‘s comments, because I simply couldn’t say it any better myself:

“wow jody… i’m speechless. this must’ve been how ken felt when he met barbie. it just takes my breath away. i loooove that background! it’s so soft and relaxing. the type, colors, and layout are a perfect match to go with it. this design would work great for almost every other category as well. can you say repurpose?”


Coming of Age: Judge’s picks

We were thrilled to have three blockbuster guest judges in our Coming of Age Challenge.

Mary Kate Steinmiller is the Fashion Market Editor for Teen Vogue magazine. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she has contributed to Teen Vogue for 6 years.

Mary Kate picked Lovely Play Bill by Epitome by Renner Design for her $200 judge’s prize.

Mary Kate says:

“I love the retro poster feel of this design. Girls today are obsessed with celebrity culture…and judging from shows like MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″, they want to feel like celebrities too. I think this invitation resembles the genuine NYC fashion/music event invites I receive on a daily basis. I think it will make girls feel like its a VIP party, a REAL event. The mix of fonts is super cool and I think teens will be drawn to the fact that it also resembles old school music posters. Its a fantastic design, and I’d love it for one of my parties. I think parents will accept that it has the feel of a real party invite, but also that retro groove. It doesn’t look like some club event, but still has that “real” party allure. I also like that it includes a website for the party…very cool and elevates the event.”

Marcy Blum is a conceptualist, event planner, entertaining expert and author. Marcy crafts every event with her own distinctive brand of unpretentious elegance, and an almost-preternatural ability to visualize space. And she has planned many young adult parties in her long career. Marcy’s impressive portfolio includes the weddings of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi, Billy Joel and Katie Lee, and Samantha Bryant and Colin Hanks.

Marcy chose Bright Rays by Angela Vivona.

Marcy says:

“Bright Rays is whimsical and the ice cream colors and hip design are used with a light touch so the whole invitation looks on trend, but not obnoxiously so. My clients would love that this invitation is tasteful and while not super simple is not obnoxiously extravagant for the occasion.”

Lisa Gaché is the foremost etiquette, manners and life skills expert for children from a parenting perspective. The Los Angeles Times named her company, Beverly Hills Manners, the etiquette school to “teach kids to be polite.” This educational and entertainment company, founded in 2006, is recognized for its new school approach to etiquette and manners.

Lisa chose Tweet Sixteen by Jana Volfova for her top honors.

Lisa says:

“Social media is extremely popular with this demographic and I feel the teens would respond favorably to this type of fun invitation that uses a play on words with something totally relatable.  The design is simple.  The color scheme with the background in orange is very hip and fun.  I like how the majority of the invitation is filled with a color with only a slight border of white as background.”

Our lovely judges also picked a few runner ups–they really struggled to pick just one from all our great entries!


Coming of Age: No. 5

We’ve had some really nice sweet sixteen and confirmation invitations in our countdown, but this is our first Bat Mitzvah invitation and Fete by Annie Clark just couldn’t be more perfect for this category debut.
I love how elegant this design is and certainly, orange and magenta and gray just look incredible together! I think this would appeal to mother and daughter alike.

We’ve heard Annie talk about typography again and again here on the blog, but it’s certainly a message that bears repeating. Here, Compendium and Mrs. Eaves work exceptionally well together. Compendium is certainly the star, while the Mrs. plays a supporting role. In particular, I think the ‘E’ and lower case ‘z’ look incredible.

A little history for fun on Compendium, courtesy of

  • It’s from Alejandro Paul, the same designer who created Burques, and is in fact it’s sequel. Although Alejandro  actually considers it Compendium to be Burques’s prequel, which makes sense because it is a bit lighter, slightly less ornamental and generally more grounded.
    • “Though Compendium has a naturally more normalized, Spencerian flow, its elegance, expressiveness, movement and precision are no less adventurous than Burgues. Nearing 700 glyphs, its character set contains plenty of variation in each letter, and many ornaments for letter beginnings, endings, and some that can even serve to envelope entire words with swashy calligraphic wonder.”
  • Alejandro Paul is one of the founders of the Sudtipos project, the first Argentinean type foundry collective. He taught graphic design and typography at the Universidad de Buenos Aires from 1996 until 2004 and has worked as an art director in prestigious Argentina-based studios.
  • Surprisingly, the font is only a few years old!

Holiday card and calendar photo shoot.

We were so lucky to get to work with two very talented ladies on our holiday ad photo shoot: Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, a blog about parties and pretty things, and Suzanne Shade, the creative force behind The Beholder, a cool marketplace for artists. I think you’ll agree that the results were absolutely fabulous.

Our CEO & Founder Mariam Naficy, who also manages Minted’s overall brand positioning, was thrilled to bring on Suzanne Shade as the lead stylist for the entire campaign. “It was important to me that the holiday ad campaign communicate both our beautiful designs and that we source them from a community,” says Naficy. “I interviewed several talented creative directors in San Francisco and chose Suzanne Shade, as she intuitively understood my vision for the Minted brand like no one else.”

Mariam was also extremely excited to focus our whole new ad campaign around the ‘inspiration board’ trend. “What I love about Suzanne’s concept,” says Mariam, “is that practically every woman in the US now not only understands the inspiration board, but probably has one of her own–or if she doesn’t have a physical board, she has one running in her head!”


Coming of Age: No. 6

We’ve had several feminine designs in a row, so it’s nice to have a more masculine one to change it up. Introducing No. 6: Acoustic Birthday by Robin Ott Design.
Everything about this is so perfectly restrained. The swirls are quite lively, but not at all out of control. The font justified under the large name creates a nice, uniform text block. The ’16′ inside the guitar is just really cool. And the color palette is bold, but not bright.

It’s so exciting to see new community members joining Minted every day and making an immediate impact! Robin has only been with us since June, but she’s already made quite an impression! Her Pear Family photo card is a personal favorite! The backer is especially incredible.


And the winner of the Facebook Joy Photo Contest is….

Finalist C -- "Joy is wondering what they are thinking about."

As Amy said in the comments, “That expression on her face is priceless”. We couldn’t agree more!

Congratulations, Christy, on your win, and thanks for sharing such a beautiful photo with us.

We’re also excited to reveal our guest judge’s favorite photo. Joy the Baker blogs about delicious treats such as this:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

And this:

Dutch Baby with Orange Sugar

So, it’s no surprise that she picked this:

"Joy is eating cookie dough."

Danielle, thanks for sending in this photo! We can all relate.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted photos and left comments. Wishing you all a most joyful holiday season!!! And also a very joyful weekend ahead.