Behind the Design: “Happy Day” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Angela Marzuki, who’s based in St. Charles, Ill., shares the vision and creative process behind her bold and modern brushstroke-patterned wedding invitation “Happy Day.”

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I am very inspired by abstract artwork that invites an emotional response and is open to individual interpretation. “Happy Day” was a way to blend these different ideas to create a modern, unconventional wedding invitation that still evoked the joyful nature of a wedding.

Describe your creative process—from initial idea to end result.
I always begin a new design by exploring and brainstorming multiple ideas simultaneously. This step is usually messy and far from glamorous—I sketch ideas, swatch out colors to visualize new combinations, and sometimes simply create a list of words. These steps often lead to a more concrete concept, which I pursue further by sketching a layout to include type and refining the artwork. Next comes scanning or uploading artwork, tweaking colors if needed, and refining the type even more. This is also when I start thinking about the design’s versatility and what any complementary pieces may look like.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I initially thought I would paint the background with acrylics—I usually love seeing the textural brushstrokes. But once I started, it wasn’t matching the vision in my head. I wanted something more flat, with a color palette that remained very matte. I switched over to creating the entire background digitally on my iPad Pro, and that gave me the exact look I had been envisioning.

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
While creating, I imagined a completely white, modern venue—an art gallery or loft space with minimal decoration so that color would really pop. But I think this design would be equally at an outdoor event in, say, Palm Springs. Poolside perhaps!

Angela Marzuki | Happy Day wedding invitation by Minted

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love the trend of not following trends (gasp!). I truly think the best weddings are ones that reflect the couple, that embrace and celebrate their individual style regardless of what is currently considered on trend.

How did you come to design for Minted?
I came across an ad for Minted on a blog back in late 2010 or so. I had studied art for most of my life before pursuing what was perceived to be a more stable and conventional career path in college. Feeling rather unfulfilled, I was looking for a way to get back to my more creative roots. I started entering challenges in 2011 and, after a few months, I realized this is truly what I should have been doing all along. Designing for Minted has really brought me full circle in many ways.


More from Angela Marzuki:
• “Happy Day” wedding invitation
• Angela’s Minted Store
• Angela’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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Shonda Rhimes Reimagines Greeting Cards for Minted

You may have asked yourself at some point, “How does Shonda Rhimes do it all?” As the creator and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder, The Catch, and Untitled Shondaland Project, you could safely say she’s very busy. In 2015, Rhimes expanded her storytelling prowess with her first book, Year of Yes (Simon & Schuster), an instant New York Times bestseller that chronicles her humorous attempts to come out of her shell by saying “yes” to everything that scares her.

Shonda recently added another credential to her résumé: Greeting card writer. She submitted 23 lines of bold, invigorating copy (see her writing below) to the Better Together Minted Greeting Card Challenge, our first competition that shines an extra-bright spotlight on excellence in writing and design. We’ll select greeting cards to sell through major national retailers and boutiques via Minted Wholesale, on minted.com, and in the Minted retail store in San Francisco. In addition to contributing to the Greeting Card Challenge, Shonda will serve as a guest judge in the competition. The first phase of the competition was about writing, and the second phase is now about design. During the first phase, we ushered in writers to produce witty, funny, and heartfelt copy for a variety of occasions and sentiments (think: “birthday wishes,” “happy anniversary,” “congrats on getting married,” “happy holidays,” and more). Minted artists can now use Shonda’s copy or any other copy submitted by writers in greeting card designs for this Challenge. (See the copy submissions in the PDF titled “Part I – Writing Submissions” here in the Challenge Submission Kit.) Hurry! Design submissions close May 5, 2017.

We thought it only made sense to invite Shonda to participate in our Minted 50 campaign, a series of 50 creative projects over 50 consecutive days by 50 artists and creatives. Projects range from drawing to painting, photography to video, to any media an artist’s imagination will lead them. Each day we challenge a different artist to create something unique; on day 34, we asked Shonda to reimagine greeting cards with her own message.

CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO

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9 Tips for Recent Grads Seeking Creative Careers

When we asked Minted artists to share their advice for recent college graduates aiming for a creative or artistic career, we received a range of insights. Here you’ll find common themes and differing opinions alike — in other words, there is no one-size, fits-all approach. 

“Palm Reader” notebook by Baumbirdy

Be open but also tenacious
Carol Fazio of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are so many facets to the design industry, but there are also many candidates vying for the same positions. Be open to possibilities in other areas. I’ve designed everything from trade-show environments to wine labels. Create a good LinkedIn profile, a clean portfolio site that’s easy to navigate, and strong branding for yourself. Join the AIGA or other organizations where you can meet other creatives and find leads — networking is still a great way to find work!

Keep your skill set up to date and make yourself available to freelance for temp agencies that often recruit temp-to-hire designers, which means you have to become a good business person too. Most of all, do not design in a vacuum. Get out to galleries, museums, local First Fridays, or even design-forward boutiques and see what’s on-trend. Subscribe to industry publications like Print, How, Communication Arts, and Ad Age to stay on top of what’s hot in design. The more marketable you are, the more work you will get. And stay positive. There is a lot of feast or famine in this business.

Believe in yourself and your passion
Belia Simm of Fishkill, New York

This is a very competitive and subjective career where you need to showcase your skill set and passion as best as possible. One key step to achieve this is building your portfolio, preferably an online version or website, making sure to pick your best six to 10 pieces. It can include pieces that you’ve produced during internships, school projects, commission work, or personal projects. This will be the base of your career and the door to many opportunities to come.

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The Every Mother Counts Birth Announcements Challenge Special Prize Winners

Announcing the Special Prize winners of The Every Mother Counts Birth Announcements Challenge! New parents come to Minted in search of truly unique and fresh birth announcements to celebrate the arrival of their little one, and this year’s submissions were truly just that! From fun copy, to gorgeous understated typography, to whimsical illustrations, to striking foil, to timeless elegance – we were blown away by the breadth of talent and can’t wait to introduce Minted customers to the new assortment.

For the most design-forward, innovative birth announcement or invitation that you would only find at Minted.
I Got You Babe by Yours Madly

Runners-up: Colorforms by Frooted Design, Parfum by Nazia Hyder, and Letterboard by Lea Delaveris


For the best design featuring multiple photos.
Multi Simple Framed by Petra Kern

Runners-up: Linear by Lehan VeenkerID Bracelet by Michelle Taylor, and Indie by Lauren Chism


For the best classic design that will appeal to more traditional parents.
Stately Monogram by Stacey Meacham

Runners-up: Lyric by Jessica Williams, Formal Introduction by Shirley Lin Schneider, and Modern Welcome by Michelle Poe


For the design that highlights the new little one’s name in an extraordinary way and accommodates a wide variety of names.
Watercolor Script by Olivia Raufman

Runners-up: Bold Name Tag by The Carillos, Hi by Erica Krystek, and Meeting by Up Up Creative


For the most differentiated and unique full-bleed photo design.
Namely by Jessica Williams

Runners-up: Jubilee by Lauren Chism, Market Swirls by Jennifer Wick, and Lucky Stars by Hooray Creative


For the best design announcing twins or multiples.
Addition by Faith Dorn

Runners-up: Extra Blessed by Lea Delaveris, For the Love of Twins by Hooray Creative, and Bonded by Angela Garrick


For the best pregnancy announcement.
Soon to be Three by Ashley Rosenbaum

Runners-up: Bump Ahead by Pink House PressBaby Makes Three by AK Graphics, and Plus One by Bethany Anderson


For the best design for a boy.
Little Caterpillar by Moe and Me

Runners-up: Wood Carving by Jennifer Wick, Spunky by Lauren Chism, and Cars and Balls by Mai Jimenez


For the best simple, modern design.
Editorial Keepsake by Snow and Ivy

Runners-up: Simple Type by Faith Dorn, Small Heart by Jennifer Lew, and Clean and Classy by Dozi


For the card that best leverages clever wording to announce baby’s arrival.
The Snuggle is Real by Up Up Creative

Runners-up: Sup by Jennifer Postorino, Melting Hearts by Frooted Design, and Our Party Animal by Melissa Casey


For the best design that announces an adoption or is uniquely suited for same-sex couples or singles who are celebrating the birth of a child.
Hoped and Waited by Shiny Penny Studio

Runner-up: Homecoming by Lea Delaveris


For the design with elements that truly shine in foil.
Our Story by Lehan Veenker

“Our Story” will also be launching as a non-photo foil-pressed birth announcement design! This is a great option for parents who want to pair a standard printed photo of their newborn with a separate card containing birth stats.

Runners-up: Little Jewel by Carolyn Nicks, A Dream Come True by iamtanya, and Morning + Night by Carrie Oneal


For the best design specifically created for one of the die-cut shapes Minted offers.
Ornate Frame by JeAnna Casper

Runners-up: Floral Curved Frame by Erin Deegan, Formal Introduction by Kasia Labocki, and Precious Petals by Oscar & Emma


For the best design that puts the baby’s name or other customizable text on a curvilinear path.
Baby Train by Baumbirdy

Runners-up: Modern Classic by Shirley Lin Schneider, Flora and Fauna by Lorent and Leif, and Brushy Love by Anchored Paper Co.


For the best design from a designer winning for the first time.
Our Newest Adventure by Aileen Pasion

“Our Newest Adventure” will be launching as a non-photo, foil-pressed birth announcement design. This is a great option for parents who want to pair a standard printed photo of their newborn with a separate card containing birth stats.


For the best design that incorporates an original hand-drawn illustration or hand lettering.
Woodland Forest by Lori Wemple

For the Originality Award we took nominations from our community and picked the winner based on your recommendations. Mariecor Agravante described this design as “elegantly enticing and uplifting.” Debb W. also nominated Lori’s design, noting the “wonderful transparencies, adding depth, and a rich color palette that enlivens her watercolor.” We completely agree!

Congratulations to the winners!

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Lena Barakat balances Minted, freelance design + family with grace

When we asked Lena Barakat how to strike work-life balance (if there is such a thing) for this blog post in February 2016, she said “Learn to say no.” Forty weeks pregnant with her third child at the time, Lena was (and still is) a longtime Minted community member and super mom who also works as a freelance graphic designer. Life is as balanced as it can be now, but when Lena first began freelancing, things were different. During a down economy, she felt the need to take on every opportunity to help grow her business, build experience and her portfolio. As she describes it, her hours were all over the place, from late evenings to weekends. “Over the years, I’ve learned many lessons, one of which is setting boundaries,” the Indiana designer says. “I do my best to not overwhelm myself by taking on more than I can handle, as well as shutting down all aspects of work when I am with my family.”

With experience and success under her belt, Lena says she’s still disciplined when it comes to work, but her children will always come first. In this “Meet a Minted Artist” interview, Lena talks about how she makes quality time for the things that matter most to her, including creative development, finding inspiration, and trusting her gut.

Minted: Would you give the same advice now as you did more than a year ago?
Lena Barakat: My sentiments are definitely the same. In a sense, having children changes your identity, so finding a balance, without losing yourself, is key. My children are still very young, and I think it’s imperative to focus on nurturing my family, while fulfilling and preserving my creative pursuit.

What kind of freelance work do you do?
Logo work, annual reports, branding, advertising. As a freelance designer, you wear multiple hats and need to be able to quickly jump from one project to the next. Every week my schedule changes, but on average I’d say roughly five hours a day on design work and a few hours a day maintaining and managing life at home—errands, doctor appointments, laundry, tons of laundry, groceries, did I mention laundry? All three of my boys love to dig in the dirt. I strive to have everything taken care of, so when my husband, a physician, comes home from a really long day, we can relax and enjoy our time with the kids.

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Nikkol Christiansen simplifies the complicated in design + life

Nikkol Christiansen eagerly awaits the completion of the home she designed in Utah.

Nikkol Christiansen’s minimalist design aesthetic works hand in hand with her approach to life, which centers around the beauty of simplicity. Which isn’t to imply that her life is simple. Nikkol has accomplished a lot during her short time on earth: She’s developed a career as an editorial designer and stylist, while moving around the country several times with her musician husband and raising four children. In addition to her Minted work, she creates backdrops for editorial and brand photo shoots, and designed the home she’s soon to move into. I think the most important thing to remember is that there are many seasons in life and that you can do lots of things, but you can’t do them all at once,” says the Minted artist who lives in Logan, Utah, about 20 minutes south of the Idaho border.

“Metallic Branches” wedding invitation by Nikkol Christiansen

Nikkol describes her artistic style as rooted in the masculine with graceful and feminine details. Both Nikkol’s and her husbands’ ancestors are from Denmark, and she’s always loved the minimal, textural aesthetic of Scandinavian design. She craves clean lines and natural textures, and white space is a must. “Someone once asked me why I leave all the white space in my designs, because it made them feel like something was missing. To me, it’s the exact opposite. I need it,” Nikkol says. “I told them to just breathe it in because it feels amazing.”

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Font Award Roundup: Special Prize Winners

Announcing Font Award special prize winners! This award is for the design that introduces the best font that we purchase and add to the Minted Font List. We’re always looking to the community to help us surface fresh new fonts to add to our Minted Font List. If you have a vision for an amazing design that uses a font that is not listed in our font library, feel free to use it in your submission. You can read more about Minted fonts here. A huge congrats to all the winners!

Suite Love Wedding Invitation Challenge

Head of the Class Quickfire Graduation Challenge

Special Delivery Birth Announcements Challenge

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge

Sweet Celebrations Quickfire Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge

Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge

Nothing But Love Valentine’s Day Quickfire Challenge
 

We update our Minted Font List regularly, and include new fonts in The Palette community newsletter.

You can purchase all of these fonts by using the links below:

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Meet a Minted Artist: Shirley Lin Schneider

Although Minted artist Shirley Lin Schneider was always drawn to the world of art and design, she took a bit of an exploratory detour to study one of her other interests—marine biology—as an undergraduate at UCLA. After graduating in 1999, she took a year off to apply for graduate school. During that year, she took evening classes in graphic design, and the rest is creative history. After getting her degree in design, one thing led to the next, and Shirley built a career designing things you’ve likely seen on TV.

From 2004–2010, Shirley worked in the entertainment industry as an art director and designer for various broadcast networks and design studios, creating style frames for networks ranging from Sundance to AMC. Fast-forwarding to now, Shirley’s current path combines her experience in science with motion graphics and parenting: She’s a self-employed designer for Minted and beyond. Here, the Manhattan Beach, California, artist talks about how she made it happen.

Minted: Why did you originally major in marine biology?
Shirley Lin Schneider: I’ve always loved the biological sciences, especially marine biology, since I was young. It made sense for me to major in a scientific field, and I had amazing opportunities studying in Hawaii and Tahiti (where I met my husband), scuba diving, camping, research boat trips, etc. I believe these experiences have definitely shaped me as a designer. While I enjoyed studying biology and had planned to go to graduate school for marine biology, there was always a part of me drawn to the arts and design. Venturing out beyond the sciences and into the arts was daunting, because I had never been encouraged to pursue design.

After getting your undergrad degree in biology, where did you learn about graphic design?
I studied graphic design at Art Center College of Design. Prior to Art Center, my initial graphic design courses were through UCSB’s Extension Program. I worked as a production designer in the Education Abroad Program at University of California Santa Barbara, designing travel brochures for college students wanting to study abroad. I decided I wanted to pursue design formally and included an application to an art school. I ended up being accepted to Art Center and majored in graphic design with an emphasis on motion graphics design. I chose to focus on motion graphics because I had always loved sequential design—books, magazines, etc. The art of film titles really spoke to me because of the integration of various mediums—film, typography, illustration, animation, photography and sound—all into one piece.

You were drawn to design from an early age; how have your interests changed?
In high school and college, I was really into punk/ska music and the DIY scene. I loved album covers and self-published zines. The whole DIY mentality was very inspiring and motivating. Once I started taking evening design classes as a hobby, I saw the realm of what was possible in design. I’m sure I thought of how cool it would be to design album covers for a living. The funny thing is that my interests shifted over the course of being at art school, and I never pursued that avenue of work once I graduated.

Wildflowers” save the date card by Shirley Lin Schneider

What was your first job out of art school?
My first job was a Jr. Designer at G4, a video game network. I also freelanced for VH1. Through various design studios in Los Angeles, I have worked on projects for Bravo, AMC, FX, TLC, NBC, E!, ABC, CMT, etc. I really enjoyed working on on-air projects like opening show titles and promos for TV networks. I also liked designing for network branding projects, commercials, and film titles/trailers. I made the difficult decision to take some time off after having my first born because the long hours were not conducive to family life.  

Above: Shirley (on the right) with her coworker-producer while working on a shoot for a promo for TLC’s summer lineup. “We were responsible for directing and designing all on-air assets related to the promo as well as the graphics that wrapped around the ice cream truck,” Shirley explains. “The truck drove around that summer promoting TLC shows and gave away free ice cream.”
Shirley Lin Schneider designed these storyboard for Always Sunny in Philadelphia (above) and the Sundance Channel (below.)

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Minted Real Wedding: Laura & Joshua in Cleveland, NC

For their rustic North Carolina nuptials, fashion blogger Laura Leigh Bain and her marketing exec beau Joshua Elliott chose a floral-patterned invitation (“Classic Floral” by Alethea and Ruth) to send to wedding guests. Following an alfresco ceremony, the celebration moved indoors for dinner, dancing, and additional merriment (complete with a s’mores station!).

Minted Real Wedding, The Arbors Events

Bride and groom: Laura Leigh Bain & Joshua Elliott
Occupations: Fashion + lifestyle blogger at Louella Reese (Laura); marketing account executive (Joshua)
Based in: Charlotte, NC
Wedding dateOctober 15, 2016
Venue: The Arbors Events, Cleveland, NC
Number of guests: 135
Minted save-the-date: “Jotted” (foil-pressed) by Ashley Hegarty
Minted wedding invitation:
 “Classic Floral” by Alethea and Ruth
Wedding planner: Paris Prusak
Florist: Lily Greenthumbs
Cake designer: Honey Butter Bakery 
Photographer: Faith Teasley

How did you and Joshua meet?
We met in our marketing classes in college. My roommate actually introduced us and we worked on a group project together.

Tell us about the proposal!
Joshua planned an incredible day from start to finish, taking me to different places where we had very monumental dates. It ended with the proposal in a sweet park near his home that we frequent often, followed by a surprise dinner with all of our family. All of the details can be found on my blog Louella Reese.

Minted Real Wedding | The Arbors Events

How did you find your wedding venue?
I spent hours searching online for rustic venues in the Charlotte area. After a lot of research, we went through my list of venues and chose four we wanted to visit. The Arbors Events was the last one on our list and we knew the search was over the second we pulled in.

Click through for more from Laura and Joshua’s wedding

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Printable St. Patrick’s Day Stickers

Written by Kersey Campbell of  And We Play

Got any St. Patrick’s Day plans? These printable stickers are an easy way to add some flair to your St. Paddy’s day festivities—stick them on treat bags or T-shirts (if you’re not keen on green, these are a great way to avoid getting pinched!), you really can’t go wrong. So let’s make some!

Click through for the download!

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