Minted Real Wedding: Samantha & Mitchell in Montara, CA

After a romantic marriage proposal at her family’s lake house, Samantha Starkey and Mitchell Milner decided to plan a destination wedding in Northern California. The couple, who met during a documentary filmmaking course in India, scoured home-rental sites, hoping to find a private property that would accommodate a wedding. As chance would have it, a listing for Villa Montara—an architectural, rustic-modern home located 20 miles south of San Francisco—popped up and the couple jumped on the opportunity. And on a breezy, blue-sky afternoon in October, the couple exchanged vows in front of their 90 guests on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific.

minted-wedding-invitation-beach-wedding

Bride and groom: Samantha Starkey and Mitchell Milner
Occupations: Wedding videographer (Samantha) and account manager (Mitchell)
Based in: Carlsbad, Calif.
Wedding date: October 7, 2017
Venue: Villa Montara, Montara, Calif.
Number of guests: 90
Minted wedding invitation: “Oceans” (foil-pressed) by Wildfield Paper Co.
Wedding details card: “Elegant Angles” by Peony Papeterie
Wedding response card: “Mountain Sky” by Summer Winkelman (hand-cut by the bride)
Wedding planner: Katie Linter at First Comes Loves Events & Design
Florist: Meg Catherine Flowers
Caterer & cake: Salt & Honey Catering
Cinematographer: Canvas & Lightedited by SJ Videography
Photographer: Betsy Blue Photography

How did you and Mitchell meet?
Mitch and I met during a documentary filmmaking course traveling through India.

Tell us about the proposal!
My family has a lake house I grew up going to in Indiana and that we still visit every summer. This particular summer Mitch was unable to go (or so I thought). I arrived at the lake house, and was immediately sent on a scavenger hunt around town. At the time, I was thinking Mitch was just sorry that he couldn’t make it and set up this fun gift for me. At the end of the scavenger hunt I found him in the middle of the lake on a floating platform decorated in lights and flowers!

Since you’re in the wedding industry yourself (Samantha is a wedding videographer), what were your main priorities in planning your own nuptials?
I didn’t want to get caught up in the details, or to overdo it. I know how easy it can be to be upsold on so many things during the wedding planning process, and then suddenly realize you’ve lost the original vision. With that said, my priorities were keeping it beautiful and as simple as possible!

Did you encounter any hiccups along the way?
My only advice is to not wait to the last minute for the smaller details. For example, I did my programs about a month before the wedding and the blue I picked wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I didn’t give myself time to customize it further.

Minted real wedding, Montara, CA

How did you find your wedding venue?
I originally found it on VRBO. It’s a rental house, unfortunately the owners just sold it though!

Who made your wedding dress?
It was by Flora and was the second dress I tried on. 

What did Mitch wear?
A navy suit from Nordstrom.

What did your wedding party wear?
Bridesmaids wore mixed dresses from Show Me Your Mumu and the guys rented suits from The Black Tux.

Click through for more from Samantha and Mitchell’s wedding

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Top 10 Tips for Preparing a Design for Minted Foiling

Written by Emily Heaton, Olivia Goree, and Jocelyn Mock

Foil-pressing has been a specialty printing method for years, but is gaining in popularity. The traditional techniques haven’t changed much since the development of this printing method in the late 1800s. Heat, pressure, metal dies, and foil film are used to stamp an impression on paper after the digital elements are printed. Though the stamping process is slightly more automated than it used to be, operators still make manual adjustments to the press to create an even impression for every design. Depending on the size of the foil area, the pressure and temperature of the metal dies may vary across designs; however, a single pressure and temperature need to be applied to each individual design.

This foil-pressed Holiday Card, “Wonderfully Merry” by Annie Mertlich of Wildfield Paper Co. is a great example of a foil-pressed design that prints well. The lettering provides a solid area for foil adhesion while maintaining a hand-drawn feel.

In order to optimize your design for the unique process of foiling, here are the top 10 insider tips to keep in mind while designing foil-pressed designs for Minted:

1. Keep in mind that foil elements may shift up to 1/32’’ (or 0.03125”) in any direction due to the nature of the foil-pressing process.

2. Thin / small foil elements should have a stroke of at least 0.25 pt stroke to ensure proper foil adhesion to the paper.

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15 questions to prompt stationery design critiques on Minted

When asking for constructive criticism from Minted artists, there are varying schools of thought. Some artists prefer to ask broad questions, while other artists prefer to drill down to a specific point.

Longtime Minted artist Phrosné Ras shared her advice on generating critiques. “If you feel something is not working in your design, you should have some idea where the problem is,” says the artist known for hand-drawn elements. Same goes for providing feedback to others—aim to be the opposite of ambiguous. Thoughtful observations and pointed suggestions for improvement are more helpful than saying, “I don’t love it.”

This is an example of how Minted artist Melissa Casey asked for feedback on her submission to the What a Bright Time Foil-Pressed Holiday Photo Card Quickfire Challenge in April 2018. She created a poll to share several versions of the design and asked the question, “My thought with this one was to make it more of an art piece and not so much of a card. I therefore blended the text into the design. Do you think it works or should I make the text more obvious?” Her approach generated a significant number of critiques from fellow Minted artists.

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Special Prize Winners: Bundle of Joy Birth Announcement Challenge

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Bundle of Joy Birth Announcement Challenge! New parents come to Minted to help share the most special and exciting of news with friends and family – the birth of their little one. We looked to you, our talented Minted community of artists to create designs as unique and special as this precious milestone. Congratulations winners!

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Font Award Roundup: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the Special Prize winners for our Font Awards! These awards are for designs that introduce new fonts and use them in a visually interesting and differentiated way. 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’s not 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!

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From This Day Forward Letterpress Invitation Challenge Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our From This Day Forward Letterpress Invitation Challenge! Minted’s letterpress invitations combine the unmistakable luxury of letterpress with innovative design that cannot be found anywhere else. We challenged you, our talented artist community, to show us your freshest take on this premium format. Congratulations winners!

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In the thick of a global journey, Minted artist Shari Margolin feels braver, inspired, and slightly homesick

Minted artist Shari Margolin floats in the geothermal mineral water of the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by Josh Meister)

“We have no clue where we’re going next or how long we’ll be in Colombia—we’re flying by the seat of our pants,” says Shari Margolin, a Minted artist who’s on a stopover in Los Angeles for a few days before embarking on the final leg of a global trek culminating in Latin America. The graphic designer and her husband, photographer Josh Meister, have concrete plans to meet up with Shari’s sister and brother-in-law in Nicaragua in a few weeks, but the rest is sort of up in the air.

After spending eight months trotting around Europe and Asia as part of a “year-long experiment,” the couple’s not too concerned about the unknowns of Latin America. Which isn’t to imply that they embarked on this journey with a completely laissez-faire attitude. They began “loosely planning” and daydreaming five years before they set sail in June 2017 from their home base in Atlanta, Georgia. Shari and Josh saved money, minimized their stuff, found tenants to rent their home, researched the heck out of everywhere they wanted to go, and launched SocietyofEverywhere to document the trip. The impetus? “We’re both slightly obsessed with travel and, technically, we can work from anywhere in the world,” says Shari. She’s a self-employed graphic designer, and Josh is a photographer.

With three months left to go, here’s the story of what they’ve seen, how they’re feeling, and what they’ve eaten so far.

Skógafoss, a waterfall in Iceland that Josh Meister shot at midnight. “We had light almost 24 hours a day when we were there during the summer of 2017,” Shari says. (Photo by Josh Meister)

Minted: You just spent about four months in Europe, four months in Asia, and now you’re about to explore Latin America for the next four months. If you could do it again, would you do anything differently?
Shari Margolin: I’m glad we started with Europe because it eased us in to full-time travel—a lot of people spoke English, and it felt comfortable because we’ve traveled there before. But it was the most expensive region, and if we were to plan the trip again, I’d spend a little less time there and also visit more of Eastern Europe, for the cost savings and to get off the beaten path a bit more.

I’ve heard super good things about Sri Lanka and am bummed we didn’t make it there. A year seems like a crazy long time to travel, but somehow it’s just not long enough, and inevitably, we’re going to miss some good places.

A view from above of a section of falls at the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. (Photo by Josh Meister)

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Fabric Frenzy Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Fabric Frenzy Challenge! We were looking for a wide range of fresh, unique designs  that could be used on everything from furniture and throw pillows to children’s home decor and apparel. Our community of talented artists submitted truly inspirational designs. Congratulations winners!

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What’s it like to be a Minted artist for 10 years vs. 10 months?

Minted has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings in 2008. What started as a bud of an idea—and Founder Mariam Naficy’s quest to unearth hidden creative talent everywhere—has blossomed into a marketplace that now surfaces the world’s best emerging artists.

We invited two Minted artists with similar—and yet, distinctly different—paths to interview one another.

First up is Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus, a pioneering Minted artist who joined the community 10 years ago during the dawn of the company’s crowdsourced design competitions. The Colorado artist ignited her freelance design business with fellow stay-at-home mom and best friend Tina Furjanic.

The second artist is Stacey McCarney, a newer community member who entered her first Minted design competition only 10 months ago. Stacey is an Irish designer, mom (who’s seven months pregnant with her second child), and lifestyle blogger. She worked in business for years before becoming inspired in a fabric store to teach herself design.

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The Minted Guide to Creating Original Work

Written by Kelly Hird

With a growing number of Minted Design Challenges, now’s a great time to think about fresh ways to find inspiration and create work that showcases your personal strengths. Consistently generating innovative ideas can be difficult, especially if you’re designing for multiple product categories. To help provide tips for creating new work and defining your style as an artist, we turned to the experts: Minted’s talented artist community.“Create” art print by Jennifer Morehead

Set Your Creative Direction
With a flurry of excitement with the opening of each new Minted Challenge, here are some of the ways that Minted artists have embarked on their creative processes.

  • Study the Special Prizes section of the Challenge PDF
    The Special Prizes section in each Challenge PDF provides insight into what types of designs our Merchandising team want to add to the assortment. Use the list of Special Prizes to brainstorm the types of designs that are likely to be successful in a challenge.
  • Consider your audience
    Minted artist Karly Depew of Oscar and Emma makes a list of all the design styles that she wants to submit to a challenge. “I think about the consumer and what would appeal to them. For example, I always try to submit something classic, something modern, something bold, and something vintage.” 
  • Inspiration is everywhere—go find it
    Every artist’s background and experiences give them a unique perspective. Understanding what inspires you on a personal level can help you create work that’s truly authentic. Artist Naomi Ernest finds inspiration by creating work that honors her family history and environment. “A passion for my local environment is always evident—the lakes, landscapes, and resources of my home state of Michigan provide constant connection and inspiration for colors, textures, and themes in my work,” she says. 

    Aspacia Kusulas collects objects, pieces of paper, and photos from inspiring places she’s visited to remind her of inspiring experiences. “My creativity is fueled by memories, travel, and everyday life,” says the Greek artist who lives in L.A., by way of Mexico.Some artists swear by creating a collection of ideas ahead of time, and drawing from them when the appropriate Minted challenge launches.Andi Pahl consults her journals for creative inspiration. “There’s always a surprising idea that I wrote down at some earlier point.”

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