Meet a Mintie: Sandra Pons

Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not joking when I say that you’re going to really love getting to know Mintie Sandra Pons. She has been a long-time contributor to our community (since September of 2008) and is just so sweet. Enjoy!

Let’s start with names! Do you prefer to go by Sandy or Sandra? I feel like you like to switch it up!
I sign my checks as Sandra but I think of myself as Sandy.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I was a crafty kid. I loved drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Loved hanging out at the playground in the summer where there was a big wooden box filled with craft supplies and I would make lanyards, potholders and tiled ashtrays (doubt that kids are making these anymore).

My parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and it was important for them that I go. One day when swimming in a neighbor’s pool, I overheard another guest say that she was an art major in college. I didn’t even know that was possible but I knew that’s what I would do too. Even to this day I think, what would I do otherwise?

Do you have any formal design training?

I have a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Connecticut.

How would you describe your style?
A work in progress. I hope clean, but always experimenting and evolving.

What is your normal workflow or process like?
When I am first presented with a project, I panic a little and then I gather up my favorite design books, annuals and sketchbook, sit in my favorite chair and brainstorm a list of words related to the subject. I keep a library of images on my computer of everything that inspires me. It’s a great resource.

What tools, techniques, and mindsets do you find absolutely essential?
My favorite tool is my Mac computer. I’m on my 5th one. I am an impulsive person and I have to set my mind on slowing down and enjoying the process. I also know that I have to have some direction/idea before I start otherwise I just spin my wheels.

All of your designs are quite different… How do you make sure you’re always making something so fresh?
I consider Minted my adult playground, a place to grow as a designer by exploring new techniques and ideas that I wouldn’t otherwise get with corporate work.

Besides designing, what are your other hobbies?
I sing in an amazing choir. I love yoga & reading. For the past 11 years I have been painting Byzantine Icons in the traditional technique of egg tempera and gold leaf. This is a way for me to combine my faith and my art.

Did you send out a family Christmas card? If so, what was it like?
Yes, I chose Minted’s Snowflake Window by the very talented Stacey Day. I was so busy during the holidays I didn’t get a chance to design ours. Several months later I am still getting comments from friends and family and in particular from the elderly. I thought my kids were too old to keep sending photos but the Minted community convinced me otherwise.

Tell us about one of your favorite cards offered for sale on Minted and how you came up with the design.
My favorite design chosen by Minted is Year in Rearview. I think the MiniBook format really lends itself to a story. I kept thinking over and over “year in review”. A few days later “year in rearview” popped into my head. This was the visual I was looking for. Once I had the rearview mirror, the rest of the ideas started flowing.

I love all of the layers in your Under My Umbrella suite, but my favorite part is the upside down heart. How did that design come together?

Thank you! I was inspired by this beautiful pattern called Farmer’s Market by Dan Funderburgh and wondered what it would look like to layer the patterns with the typographic details of an invite.

I started with the design element of the raindrop and experimented with various ways I could combine them to make different shapes.

How did you get involved with MATH and congratulations on being included in the LogoLounge project. That’s wonderful! How is designing a logo different than a card?

MATH sponsors medical missions to Haiti and a Haitian-staffed mobile medical clinic that operates in and around Port-au-Prince.When this group decided to become a charitable organization, they asked for my help. Such a worthwhile cause and 100% of the profits go directly to Haiti. Logo design and card design are very similar in that they strive to be memorable, and communicate succinctly. LogoLounge books are one of my “go to” resources for not only logo design but for my card designs as well.

You are such an encouraging member of our community… We really appreciate all of your nice comments and insights that you so freely share with other designers. What are the guiding principles in how you reach out to others in the community?
Thank you, this means so much to me. There have been so many in the Minted community that have encouraged me. I have to admit that I had some discouraging days early on and if it wasn’t for that encouragement, I think I would have stopped submitting. I have come to know that with kind critique, encouragement and practice we can all grow. If I look at the collective body of work submitted in Minted’s early challenges compared to now, I’m blown away by the evolution.

What are your favorite online design sites and blogs?
Here are just a few of the many I follow. Design Dust, Graphic-Exchange, Under Consideration, Share Some Candy, Design Work Life, Oh So Beautiful Paper, Print & Pattern,

What designers do you really admire?
I am in awe of designers who brilliantly execute identity systems. A few of my favorites include Jordan Gray CreativeStudio MPLS and Mucca Design.

Thanks so much Sandy! We look forward to seeing what you come up with next…

Find more of Natasha on her blog.

  1. Jessica Y

    Awesome interview. Your designs are always so clever and unique – thanks for sharing!

  2. Carrie O'Neal

    Sandy…so good to get a little more glimpse into your world. Your Byzantine Icons paintings are gorgeous!…as is your family!

  3. Yolanda

    Sandy your work is always fresh and unique… your Byzantine paintings are brilliant!

  4. Karen Glenn

    Love that I was able to meet you last year, Sandy–and now learn a little more about you. You are a very lovely lady and you do lovely work! Under my umbrella is one of my all-time favs 🙂

  5. Meg G.

    You are so so talented. (and creative!) Quite a lovely interview, Sandy!

  6. Angela

    really enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better.

  7. Jana Volfova

    Sandy I really enjoyed reading your interview and I love your Byzantine paintings. I’m going to check out your favorite Blogs – thanks for sharing!

  8. Hailey M

    Sandy!! It was so lovely to ‘meet’ you – I also adore your Byzantine paintings – incredible.