Joy to the World Holiday Challenge: The Top 21-40th Place Winners

After a long summer of holiday submissions, voting, and file requests, I could not be more excited to kick off our Joy to the World winners’ announcements with our top 21-40 winners, as ranked by the community of customers, designers, fans, and friends. Last year, we were blown away by the 2,206 entries we received. This year, you outdid yourselves yet again with an incredible 2,658 submissions. The quality and strength of those nearly 2,700 designs is a true testament not only to the wonderful talent of the community as a whole, but also to the accomplishment of the top 21-40 designs below.

Thank you so much to everyone who put yourself out there by submitting a design and providing invaluable critique and feedback to your fellow community members. Thank you also to everyone who helped determine the winners by voting in not one, but two rounds, to make the process as fair and as accurate as possible. Your participation, support, and hard work are what makes Minted the source for the freshest, most unique designs on paper. Without further ado, I give you the top 21-40th place winners. Congratulations to our first batch of holiday winners!

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Minted Launches Art Prints.

We’ve finally done it after dreaming about it for three years: Minted has launched a unique, carefully curated selection of art prints from our talented global community of designers and artists.  It may come as a surprise to lots of folks that inside the company, we have never thought of ourselves as a stationery retailer, but instead as a design community.  With the launch of our art business, we’re thrilled to provide further access to exposure, income, and community to creative geniuses everywhere.  We know consumers are interested in the work of independent artists; with Minted’s art collection, they can access the work of independent artists but also enjoy the trusted printing, paper, and customer service quality that Minted has come to represent over the past four years.

Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy at Minted's art launch party.

We are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to reducing the deaths of women and girls worldwide due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth.  Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, the model, yogini, and director of the documentary film “No Woman, No Cry”.  Christy founded the organization after experiencing a life-threatening complication during the birth of her daughter. Minted will be donating 50% of the sales of our children’s and nursery art collection to Every Mother Counts in the months of May, June, and December 2012, and 6% the remaining months of the year, all the way through May 2013.

To celebrate the launch of our art business and our partnership, Christy and I co-hosted a party at my home in San Francisco last week.  Minted community designers ERAY (Eric Comstock) and Hello Hailey (Hailey Myziuk) were flown to San Francisco at Minted’s expense to attend the party, based on their performance in a recent art competition.  I thought you might enjoy pictures from our very fun day:

2:30pm: Christy stopped by Minted headquarters in San Francisco to speak to our employees about maternal mortality and what they could do to help.

Art prints at Minted

Art prints at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns with the Minted.com team

(L to R): Janae Leininger, Mariam Naficy, Christy Turlington Burns, Niniane Wang at the Minted office

4:30pm: we traveled to my house in San Francisco.  Minted asked interesting people from the technology and design communities to curate art from our collection, and we displayed their picks throughout my house.  Jeremy Stoppelman, the founder/CEO of Yelp, Marissa Mayer,  VP at Google, Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ and now amazing fine art photographer, Victoria Smith (the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay), and Alison Pincus, the co-founder of online decor site One Kings Lane, all picked beautiful curated sets which were displayed on the walls of my house (I’ll do another post about framing and creating those collages later!).  When we walked in, this was Christy’s reaction to the art (you can see the wall she curated in the photo at right – her choices fit perfectly with the style of my home!)

Christy arriving at Mariam Naficy's house

Christy and Erin arriving at Mariam's home

Christy Turlington Burn's art choices from Minted

Christy's curated art picks from Minted's collection

Christy changed into a very gorgeous dress, then we sat down to discuss details of our partnership.  Here are Erin Thornton, the executive director of Every Mother Counts, Christy, and I sitting in my living room.  Erin and Christy are incredibly bright, caring, dynamic women.  The Minted team learned so much from them about global maternal mortality – more than one thousand women die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 90% of these deaths are preventable.  Christy and Erin recently launched a No Mother’s Day campaign to remember moms who are lost every day, leaving families behind.  We brainstormed ideas including fielding San Francisco and New York Marathon teams to raise awareness and funding.

5:15pm – Minted community designers Annie Clark, Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) arrived at my house – they were pretty excited to see their art up on my walls!  It was really meaningful to the entire Minted team to be able to celebrate the launch with them.

Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) with Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Eric Comstock with his piece "Fun Games that Make You Laugh", which we hung twice in a row for effect.

Annie Clark with her piece "In a Row", which was chosen by Yelp's CEO as part of his curated picks.

Here I am standing in front of selections from Minted’s children’s art assortment, one of my favorite things we have launched.  I think people have been looking for a personal connection to art for a long time.  Our customizable art is still indie chic, but allows the customer to make it her own by choosing colors and text personal to her and her particular space.  Our customizable art includes family trees, maps, wedding celebration art, and more. The children’s selection is fresh and modern, and includes a variety of customizable and non-customizable prints for children’s rooms and nurseries.

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

6pm – The party was in full swing, with an interesting mix of design, technology, and retail people turning out to see Minted’s art collection and to hear more about Every Mother Counts.  All of our guest curators came to explain why they chose what they chose.  Hiroki Asai, the head of graphic design at Apple, was there and a hit with the designers.  Bloggers Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay were among those to make it to the party.

Alison Pincus and Gary Friedman

Ali Pincus, founder of One Kings Lane, and Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, in front of Ali's curated picks.

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Victoria Smith, the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay, chatting with Mariam

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

And finally… here is a shot of the extremely hardworking, fabulous, intelligent Minted team at the party.

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

I would love to hear ideas as to how Minted can continually improve its art business and also how we can all help Christy and Every Mother Counts.  Please feel free to leave your comments here!

PS – Minted prints art on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper.  The initial offering will range in size from 5”x7” to 44”x60”.  Crowd-sourced from an ever-growing community of thousands of artists and designers, the Minted art collection will be continually refreshed.  All artwork is available in several colorways, in order to allow customers to match art prints to their home décor.

PPS – Except for the photos of the Minted team and Lara Deam, which were taken by Drew Altizer, all other photos were taken by Elisabeth Fall.

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Special Art Awards from “Untitled”

Happy Long Weekend!  I am writing to you from Hawaii, where I have just had a lovely meetup with Minties Laura Hankins, Charis Derry, Melissa Rota, and Allison Richardson.  We toasted each other at Brasserie du Vin in Honolulu, and discussed ways in which the designers felt we could improve Minted.  Thank you, ladies, for a really nice afternoon!

On another note, we’ve finally finished our art selections at Minted, and we look forward to a launch by early April.  We’re thrilled to see the emergence of an entirely new category, which will evolve and grow to further and further heights as time passes.

We received over 1,600 submissions and set very loose guidelines as to the types of art we were looking for.  Here are Minted’s editorial team’s choices for the best art from the challenge.  One thing to note is that if you examine the rating distribution for each individual piece of art (located at the top right of each design rating page), you’ll find that votes seem to be distributed further from the mean than the average stationery submissions.  Put another way, people seem to agree more on their ratings of stationery designs and less on their ratings of art.  What constitutes “art”, it seems, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

So, Minted design community, thank you for bravely trying and succeeding in this new category at Minted, and take with a grain of salt that the picks below are simply Minted’s editorial team’s subjective selections.  We look forward to seeing in which new directions you lead us.

All the designs selected below, both winners and runners up, will be launched for sale at Minted.

Rule of Two Award for the best set of 2 art prints

Winner: glink glunk and e is for elephant by ERAY

Eric truly knocked it out of the park in our first art challenge. His color combinations are unexpected and amazing, and we love the way his sense of humor shines through in every piece. The cityscape in “Glink Glunk” complements the characters in “E is for Elephant” like a charm. We’d love to live in the quirky world he has imagined.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Jazz Duet #1” and “Jazz Duet #2 by Moglea | “Below Ravello” and “Ligurian Houses” by kelli hall | “Lots of Hearts” and “Woodgrain Hearts” by Max and Bunny | “Two Villages and the Little Bear” and “Restless” by Kayla King

Loft Living Award for the best art print suited to a modern, urban home

Winner: Metropolitan by Susan Asbill

Every time we visit New York City, we dream of setting up camp in a super chic loft. Susan channels loft dwellers perfectly with her geometric skyline and mod color blocks in “Metropolitan.” We love her sophisticated use of negative space.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Type Study: New York” by pottsdesign | “Chevy Chevron” by SimpleTe Design | “Highway Wildflowers” by kelli hall | “b&w ode 6” by koshi | “Rectangles” by carly reed

Avant-Garde Award for the best edgy or boundary pushing art print

Winner: quiet places by Annada Hypes



The truth is we hang things on our walls because they either consciously or subconsciously move us in some way. Annada Hypes has captured the wonder and awe that we all have towards that which is much bigger than ourselves. She couldn’t have picked a better saying—it’s a new one to us—and she couldn’t have paired it with a more perfectly executed, gentle giant.

Runner Ups (from left): “Deer Flirtation” by SimpleTe Design | “Goners” by Ryan De La Hoz | “Parceled-Out” by Jessica Kleinman

Best personalizable children’s art print

Winner: More than a village by Cadence Paige Design

Paige has taken a sweet, bucolic saying and image and made it both fresh and modern. We love her combination of bright and subdued colors that all really work together. While perfect as is, Paige has designed this so that family members or loved ones can each sign a leaf, thereby completing the village. We can’t imagine a cuter baby shower activity / souvenir for a mom-to-be.  Take note, designers who are entering the current children’s art challenge – we wanted to give you a sense here of the balance between whimsy and modernity that we are looking for in the children’s/nursery category.

Runner Ups: “Summer Picked Poppies” by kelli hall | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design | “A Family of Oranges” by Christine Loo | “Happiness is…” by ERAY

Best non-personalizable art print

Winner: bumble bee by ERAY

Inspired by Richard Diebenkorn, Eric has created his own piece of wonder-filled abstract art. We see an endless number of things happening in this collage of textures, some known like the school paper and book text, and some quite unknown. We see fish colliding, we see helicopters taking off, we see balancing birthday candles… but mostly we see unrelated shapes that combine to form something both extremely interesting and very complete.

Runner Ups: “Autumn” by Tin Ornament | “Ojo” by Maddy Nye | “Muted Bouquet” by Moglea | “Glink Glunk” by ERAY

Best art print using only black and white

Winner: constellation by annie clark

Fear, vastness, and emptiness have been taken out of the galaxy in this print, leaving sweetness and intimacy. The texture from the watercolor paper creating the background is beautiful and we love the brush stroke on the side, which suggests continuation.

Runner Ups: “Emerson Love” by Wondercloud Design | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett | “Change” by Sydney Newsom | “Woods” by j.bartyn design

Best hand-illustration or painting to be made into a print

Winner: stargazers by Maria Gromek

These girls may be the two very sweetest in the whole world. Maria has such command over textures and details. We love the lined wall, the cross-hatched bench, the checkered skirt, the striped scarves and the dimples in the sky. Wouldn’t every mother hope her daughters were just like this? Perhaps looking at life from a different angle and maybe one prefers books and the other animals, but still delighting to be in one another’s company?  A story is waiting to be written around this picture.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Friendly Forest” by Wondercloud Design | “Lucky Girl” by krista messer | “Love Birds + 1” by rene mijares | “Treetop” by Unless Someone Like You | “Map of Paris” by angel b lee | “Longing for Sutro” by Wilka Design

Best typography-based art print

Winner: heaven by j. bartyn design

Now this is practically our company motto. We can barely resist printing it a million times and tacking it up everywhere. With her perfectly justified choice of typeface, Cambria has illustrated her point brilliantly. And we love how the cold, hard truth is the small afterthought at the bottom.

Runner Ups: “God is Love” by VOSS | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett

Best art print using only black, white, and one other color

Winner: You and Me by rose eckford

Rose’s “You and Me” has a quirky personality that we love. The contrasting letter weights between “you” and “me” create a certain tension, while the organic shapes of the imperfect circle and the swirling ampersand add character. The de-saturated pink provides a modern, unusual pop of color that would jump off any wall.

Runner ups: “Love is in the Air!” by ERAY | “Stone” by annie clark | “City” by Todd Jones | “More than Coffee” by lehan paper design | “Jazz Duet #1″ by Moglea

Best personalizable nursery art print

Winner: raindrops keep falling by Stacey Meacham

Now this is personalized art at its pinnacle. With a lovely color palette and liberal use of white space, Stacey has made a truly lovely piece of nursery art. The idea of a new baby coming down from above in such a miraculous way is quite touching. The script of the child’s name with the birth date in a block below make the piece feel very complete.

Runner Ups (clockwise from left): “Quiet Places” by Annada Hypes | “Frolic” by nocciola design | “prairie tale” by Moglea | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design

Best personalizable wedding art print

Winner: Je t’aime by chocomocacino

Gerrie’s “je t’aime” is the very definition of ‘sweet simplicity.’ What better way to say ‘I love you’ than with this modern, yet pretty art print? We love the texture of the pink bubble; from the rounded shadows to the slightly heathered background, the print feels so inviting. And of course we’re suckers for a bit of romantic French.

Runner Ups: “Surname” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak | “Shot Through the Heart” by Anna Elder

Customer’s Choice Award

Winner: prairie tale by Moglea

While Meg Gleason’s design is not new to us (we’ve loved it since Meg first entered it as a baby shower invitation), we couldn’t be happier to see it as art print as it’s always been just that; a true piece of fine art. There just isn’t much one can’t not love about these whimsical little creatures and we all know how much little ones love animals. Meg has gone with a retro shade of green, which we feel makes the design slightly more edgy and art-like.

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J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons Chooses Her Favorite Minted Holiday Card, Featured in Catalog

There’s just one special prize from the Sending Good Cheer Holiday Challenge that we have yet to reveal and in this case we really did save the best for last! It’s the Judge’s Pick from Jenna Lyons, the Executive Creative Director and President of J.Crew, who was a judge in Minted’s holiday card challenge. By bringing unique, colorful, and eclectic style to millions of women, Jenna has become a design icon to our generation.

Jenna Lyons in her NYC office (see the Minted envelopes on her desk!).  Courtesy of Martine Fougeron.

Out of close to 2300 submissions, Jackmove’s “Etched” is Jenna’s pick for her favorite holiday card. Jenna said this about the winning holiday card: ” This design is cool and modern. I love the simplicity—it’s exactly what I want from a holiday photo card.” A huge congratulations goes out to Jackmove’s Jack Knoebber for this top honor. Not only does Jack receive the special prize, his design has been featured in “Jenna’s Top 20 Wish List” in J.Crew’s November catalogs as well as on their website. You can buy Etched exclusively here at Minted.

Here’s the card with a picture of Jenna and her brother at left (yes, we know it is unfair that some people are both talented and good-looking).

Jack was ecstatic about this win and the exposure that he will receive from the feature in J.Crew’s catalog and on the J.Crew site. “I was shocked for a while. I didn’t realize the impact and exactly what that meant at first,” says Jack. “Having Jenna pick my card is a huge honor, and I’m still somewhat in disbelief that mine was picked out of so many great designs.”

We decided to take this partnership one step further by teaming up with a charity that both Minted and J. Crew feel strongly about. This holiday season we will be donating 15% of gross profit from the sales of “Etched” to Teach For America. Teach For America’s mission is to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in this effort.  What could be more important to our country than improving educational opportunities for everyone?  I have a strong belief in this, as a product of an American public school (Chevy Chase Elementary School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, in Maryland).

During Minted’s collaboration with J.Crew, I had the good fortune of taking a tour of J.Crew’s offices in New York. I admired how entrepreneurial the J.Crew culture is.  You can visibly see how the company is innovative, resourceful, and has a sense of adventure akin to a smaller company; it is no wonder that the company consistently produces design that influences and frankly blows away the assortment at other companies across the apparel industry.  Boards line the hallways filled with great fabrics and inspirations, much like the Minted offices.  One of the biggest mysteries: I am still trying to deconstruct how Jenna’s pinboard manages to combine lots of things and incredible chicness at the same time (you can see it in the picture above).  The J.Crew visit was one of the most fascinating corporate office visits I have ever had.

We’re thankful to J.Crew and to Jenna herself for taking the time to help bring the work of our great designers to homes around the world this holiday season! You can read more about the collaboration here. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to getting my J.Crew catalog – to see Jack’s design, but also to do some shopping for droolworthy gifts!

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The Twilight Wedding: Bella & Edward’s invites.

For those of us who are Twilight fans, the wait is finally over: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I hits theaters this week. A few of us at Minted (OK, perhaps just me) are anticipating the wedding scene, where Bella and Edward promise themselves to each other forever.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Will Bella’s mom realize that Edward is a vampire? Will Jasper be able to hold himself back from snacking on the human wedding guests? What song will their first dance be to – Edward’s favorite, Debussy? Many questions will be answered. In honor of Twilight, we asked Minted design community members to have some fun submitting Twi-themed wedding invitations in our latest wedding invitation design challenge. Here are a few of the designs they came up with – you can vote to tell Minted to sell these designs by clicking here:

Would it be the elegant geometrical for time and all eternity by j. bartyn design?

Or perhaps after sunset by Kristen Smith? Dark, classic, yet with a touch of grunge?

Jody Wody’s Luna captures the night setting in a highly romantic way.  The inky blue somehow conjures an era gone by:

I could also see dark romance by Heather W. being a likely possibility. Aren’t those polka dots against the spooky streaked sky an awesome combination?

Love immortal by Erin Pescetto seems just about right in so many ways… a love immortal, set in a castle, dancing in the dark. The square design works well here, too.

And then there’s Sink Your Teeth Into It by Kristin D, which is anything but subtle!

Again, not so subtle, but this is not your normal wedding! Blood Thirsty by Angela Chih.

Old Parchment by Elaine Stephenson really captures the show’s historic vibe.

Era gone by Pixelpackinmama Design also has a historic vibe, but is a lot more mainstream.

Solstice by Alex Elko really nails dark yet feminine.

I love how Elaine Stephenson has bound for eternity set at twilight in a cemetery.

Also in the black, white and red vein, Jacqueline Dziadosz’s True Love.

The font in delightfully dark by Moe and Me is just that–delightfully dark!

Shari Margolin’s love eternal is a much different take. It does seem like red, black, and white is the color palette most people think Bella will be working with!

Roses are a nice addition in Krista Eitsert’s Twilight Nuptials.

And some spiderwebs from Katherine Jakubowski in vampire bat wedding!

And we’ll conclude with Paper Dahlia’s use of black, white and great typography in her eternal love.

I loved seeing all of your creativity on the Twilight front! A big personal thank you to all of our talented designers who participated.  Now I am off to buy my tickets for Friday night…

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Our Real Simple Ad Hits the Stands

Our November Real Simple Magazine ad hit the stands late last month and we’re thrilled to be able to share the final ad and a few behind the scenes photos. We shot on location in San Francisco at the beautiful home of Victoria Smith, the creative tour de force behind the ever inspiring design and lifestyle blog sfgirlbybay.

“All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. and “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design.

It was a great feat to decide on just two cards to shoot for the ad. This year’s holiday assortment provided us with so many incredible choices. In the end, we went with “All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. and “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design. We love the contrast between the two styles and the pop of red so nicely complemented by Victoria’s mostly black and white home.

Annie Clark and me having fun with holiday cards on location.

Suzanne Shade, Minted’s Creative Director, art directed this ad and our holiday ads from last year. She has the innate ability to pull ideas out of my head without my needing to say a thing. It’s really wonderful to be in absolute agreement when it comes to how we see the Minted brand. While last year’s ads captured the lightness of Minted, this year we wanted the feel to be elegant and sophisticated, like a chic dinner party.

Suzanne, hard at work in Victoria’s kitchen during the shoot.

Suzanne had this to say about the process, “My inspiration for the ad was my friend Victoria’s house and a shot she put up on her blog, sfgirlbybay. To me, the most fun was bringing that to life, and giving Minted the same relaxed elegance and wit that so many of her fans adore (including me!) We shot this with natural light and very little retouching. Our photographer, Annabelle Breakey, was joking during our scout: ‘This spot is so beautiful… all you need me to do is push the shutter.’ We had a ton of fun that day.”

Victoria’s Mantle. The backdrop for the Real Simple ad.

Victoria’s home is incredibly beautiful. We had a great time chatting with her about her decorating choices and eclectic style. What strikes you the most when you walk in her door is the contrast between her white furnishings and black chalkboard walls. Victoria said that she loved the dramatic difference between the two colors and the way the chalkboard walls look when you write and erase. The gorgeous mantle in Victoria’s home was the perfect backdrop for the ad. We were shocked to learn that the mantle was a recent addition to her home. She calls it her “DIY Fireplace” as she found it at Mega Salvage in Berkeley, brought it home and painted it herself. We’re so inspired.

Finding just the right accents for the cards was a lot of fun. Victoria picked up this sweet little reindeer at the Alameda Flea Market. The Alameda Flea Market is the destination for Bay Area antique enthusiasts.

We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes. We thank the Minted Design Community so much for their amazing contributions to an already wonderful holiday season. Check out their beautiful Minted holiday cards here.

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Your Cards On Us: Five Minted $200 Holiday Card Giveaways

Help us share this video with your friends… tweet a link to this blog post and leave a comment below to tell us that you tweeted, by 11:59pm Pacific Time on Saturday night, October 29, 2011.  We’ll select 5 winners to win $200 holiday card giveaways, and we’ll notify you by 6am Pacific on Sunday, October 30, in time to do your shopping for holiday cards this weekend!

What truly original holiday cards do, when no one’s looking…

(Update on 10/30 – Hi everyone, Thank you so much for your very kind comments about Minted.  We just couldn’t pick 5 so we picked 7 winners!  Congrats to the winners, who have been notified: @alinecate, Amie, @moglea_studio, MollyT, @NatCalAtkinson, @bornboutique, @sparkledawne.  Winners will be receiving their individual codes on Monday morning by email.  Stay tuned for more holiday fun on the Minted blog!)

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The Dance of the Minted Holiday Cards

This holiday season has been full of interesting creative projects at Minted. One that I have enjoyed most is our new stop motion video, “Dance of the Minted Holiday Cards.”

I have wanted for a while to make a video that captures the creativity and spirit of Minted’s employees and design community, and was interested in exploring stop-motion video.  Plus, I have a strong passion for music and want to explore how to integrate it into our brand.  My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Shade describes how the video’s concept evolved:

“We wanted a few videos for the holidays and talked about different ways to show off Minted. This video originally started off as a stop motion ‘description’ of the card formats and suites. After seeing some early roughs, we realized that our filmmakers, Matt and Julie from Tiger in a Jar, could bring more of their talents to the piece. We asked them to make it something they’d do for themselves, and the result was this fun story about the secret lives of the cards on Christmas Eve. I think the fun part was seeing how collaborating could bring a new twist on the spirit of Minted.”

Hope you enjoy this, and let me know what you think!  All of the holiday cards featured in the video are buyable here.  Our 10% off promotion ends on Monday, so be sure to take advantage of this before it ends.

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Sending Good Cheer Special Award Winners

I hope you’re all as thrilled as I am about yesterday’s announcement of the top 20 winning holiday card designs. The Minted team has now recovered from its collective all-nighter in the office. (We had a wonderful visit today from Megan of Toast & Laurel, who was in town from Houston with her husband Greg. We took them out to lunch nearby, and now I’m back to finish this post!)

In addition to the community voted winners, the Minted design team and I have chosen an additional 19 Special Prize winners for designs that met one of our specific categories. We’ve already announced the Trailblazer Award for Kelli Hall’s “Grande Noel,” the Whimsy Award for Alex Elko’s “Frosty Paws,” and one of the Advertising Awards for Cecile Paper Lounge’s “Fleurs de Noel.” Today I’m excited to congratulate the remaining 16 winners and the Collection Award winners:

The Collection Award winners

In addition to our special prizes, we decided to award four designers the chance to launch a collection of 7 holiday cards on Minted.com. The two designers with the most designs in the top 100 designs and two additional designers chosen by Minted’s editors will receive the Collection Awards. Palm Papers and b. wise are the two designers who have the most designs in the top 100.  Minted has selected another two designers to receive the collection award – j. bartyn and Toast & Laurel.  We chose these two designers because they tied for having the 3rd largest number of designs in the top 100. Congratulations to these four designers for their massive accomplishment in such a talented field of competition.

The Big Picture Award for the best full-bleed holiday photo card design

Simply Noel” by Alex Elko Design

Alex’s beautifully crafted script is simple and powerful, and we love the contrast with the minimalist type used above for the family name. The swashes are bold and delicate while the uneven and textured edges give the design a handcrafted, rustic feel.

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The Top 10 Sending Good Cheer Winners

For four years, Minted has sourced holiday cards in an open-submission call to the best designers in the world. In 2008, we received 110 entries; in 2009 637 entries, in 2010 1341 entries, and this year we received 2251 entries. This year, we were awed by the quality and quantity of design submissions. We saw beauty in so many designs that it became an almost impossible task to pick just a few.

Thankfully, we use the votes of the Minted community (consumers and designers) to help determine our assortment.  We are careful to remove ‘bad’ voting behavior that we feel is trying to swing the vote unnaturally.  One thing we have noticed is that the Minted community are tough graders; the top placing design in this challenge achieved a score of 3.51 out of 5.  While there has been a lot of debate in the Minted community about why great designs receive scores of “1″ at all, I believe these are legitimate scores because there is true difference of opinion regarding design.  If anything, the Internet has enabled greater fragmentation of taste.  Individuality of style and self-expression are encouraged within the community at Minted; we should celebrate the “1s” as well as the “5s” as these scores are a reflection of the diversity of taste in the community.

OK, so at this point I will stop blathering on about voting because I know that this is not what you are interested in reading about.  It is 2:47am here at the office and we are here listening to Lady Gaga and other dance music.  We’re excited to launch these designs, and we’re even more excited for our customers to have access to them.

Among thousands, here are the 10 top voted designs from our Sending Good Cheer Holiday Challenge. I couldn’t be more thrilled to say congratulations to you all.

1st place: “Kraft Ribbon” by Alethea & Ruth

We are very excited that “Kraft Ribbon” by Alethea and Ruth was voted number one, winning the grand prize of $5,000.  This card was distinguished by its popularity among consumers and designers alike, and it was a personal favorite among many at Minted.  I happen to be flying down to Southern California shortly and will be delivering a $5,000 check to Rachel Simonsen of Alethea and Ruth myself.

This card is the very definition of beautiful. Rachel of Alethea & Ruth weaves together a crisp kraft paper background, soft colors, and a gorgeous hand-illustrated greeting. We’ve just celebrated one year of having Alethea & Ruth as part of the community and look forward to many more awe inspiring designs.

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