Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 1st Place Winner

By Mariam Naficy

At Minted, we celebrate independent creatives. They are the heart and soul of what we do as a company. We know that creativity comes from unexpected places, and we cherish the serendipity and surprise that result from this. We strive to create a marketplace for independent creatives—a marketplace that rewards them for the quality of their work and provides customers with a direct connection to find art and design that expresses their unique style.

Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge is the biggest stationery design event of the year. This year artists submitted a total of 4,661 designs. We have a very diverse group of winners who truly embody independence of thought.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first-place winner of the 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge is Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma for her design “Embellished.” The Columbus, Ohio, artist has won $9,000 and a forthcoming VIP trip to San Francisco along with second-place winner Phrosné Ras of Cape Town, South Africa, and third-place winner Kristie Kern of Akron, Ohio. All winners also earn commission on the sales of their winning designs. See Karly’s winning design and a video of me surprising her below.

Having known Karly as a dedicated Minted community member since the very first year Minted launched (in 2008), I’m thrilled for Karly and her holiday win. A self-taught designer, Karly has embodied the Minted community spirit from the beginning, repeatedly giving advice and help to new designers along the way.

Embellished” is a refreshing new take on a full-bleed design. I love the delicate, elegant, circular lockup, which still lets a customer’s photo shine. What I’ve always admired about Karly is that she studies her work so carefully and that her typography is so carefully considered. Karly revealed to us that she edited “Embellished” nearly 20 times to achieve perfection. The use of holly and the color red convey holiday festivity without compromising the card’s elegance and simplicity.

The Depew Family from left: Karly’s husband Judd, Ollie, Maeve, Parker, and Karly.
Photo by Christa Kimble

Karly’s design was a favorite among both consumers and our community of independent artists—a very difficult feat. Congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment, Karly. We couldn’t be happier for you!

Each year we surprise the first-place winner, and each time we aim to get a little sneakier. I traveled this year to Columbus to surprise Karly, and even enlisted the help of a special accomplice and fellow Minted artist, Carrie O’Neal, who created a cover story and drove all the way from Cincinnati to help get Karly to the right cafe at the right time. I emerged from a broom closet at the cafe, trying to cover my face with giant red balloons. Watch the video to see how it all went down.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 2nd Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Elegant gold branches adorned with delicate dots and leaves come together to perfectly frame the photo in Phrosne’s stunning design. Her artistry is on full display in this card. The thin clean stroke of her line brings a lightness while the use of gold adds just enough luxe to make this holiday card truly shine.


More Winning Designs from our 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge:
3rd Place Winner
• 4th Place Winner
• 5th & 6th Place Winners
• 7th & 8th Place Winners
• 9th & 10th Place Winners
• Top 11–15 Winners
• Top 16-20 Winners
• Top 21–30 Winners
• Top 31–40 Winners
• Top 41-50 Winners 

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 5th & 6th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

In this elegant design, Jen artfully crafts a silhouetted botanical that adds just enough dimensionality while the pops of red bring a festive touch. The striking use of white space adds a sense of wintry calm while the design as a whole still imbues the warm feeling of the holidays. Fabulous job!

The hand-lettering in this design is a stunning display of Lynn’s talent and skill. We love all the movement, the mix of type styles and the delicate use of flourishes that help bring everything together. The gold texture against the rich black background adds an elegant quality to this stunning design.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 7th & 8th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

What makes Rachel’s hand-lettered greeting so spectacular is the incredible attention to detail. Each letter is unique and the intentional moments of imperfection are what we love most. The horizontal ombre effect feels like a fresh take on the ombre trend (which is hard to accomplish!), and elevates a simple card into a work of art. Bravo!

Stunningly hand-lettered, “A Beautiful and Wonderful Life” looks as though it were freshly penned by the artist herself. The letters have a fanciful flourish and effortless flow that is as uplifting as the phrase itself. We love how the olive green holly complements the red letters and the white berries provide a tiny pop. All in all a card that is as artistic as it is chic – well done!

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 9th & 10th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Laura continues to perfectly execute bold and stunning designs. The striking gold typeface and glyph swirls evokes a sense of fluidity. The intricate detail and dark blue hue is reminiscent of a starry holiday night.  Well done, Laura!

Paper Dhalia has a knack for modern and uncluttered design. Gilded Flurries has a striking balance of boldness and whimsy. We particularly love the offset upward and downward spin of her beautiful polka dot composition. This is the kind of minimalist risk taking we adore.  Fantastic job, Kerry!

 

 

 

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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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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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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:

  • The artist community submitted a total of 4,661 designs
  • 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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