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 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.

Runner Ups: (top row) “Snowfall Christmas” by Gakemi Art+Design | “Handlettered Merry Christmas” by Linda and Harriett | (bottom row) “Falalalala la la la la” by Design Lotus | “A Merry Banner” by Unless Someone Like You | “Snow Flurry” by Palm Papers

The Less is More Award for the best simple, minimalist holiday photo card

Mini Circle” by Precious Bugarin Design

We love how this design eschews typical holiday trends and is edited down to two simple elements – photo and circle – but still captures the joy of the holiday season. Precious’ minimal and graphic composition demonstrate that in many cases, less is more.  This card is the type of card Minted prides itself on offering to consumers. We hope our friend Hiroki at Apple is reading this post, as we have a feeling he would approve of this design!

Runner Ups (top row): “Statement Wreath” by Kelli Hall | “Striped Joy” by Kelly Nasuta | (bottom row) “Minima” by Sydney Newsom | “Etched” by jackmove

The Lorem Ipsum Award for the best message or holiday greeting

peace everywhere” by campbell and co.

With this award, we were looking for creative copy.  With a modern mashup of peace and everywhere, the four sisters behind Campbell and Co. have created a fresh new holiday greeting. The sentiment feels simple and powerful and is perfect for the season. The casual lettering gives the design a light and modern feeling.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top): “Vintage Typography Message” by Andres Montano | “All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. | “Frosty Paws” by Alex Elko

Advertising Award

Stacked Gifts” by Emily Ranneby

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a stack of presents under a tree and Emily’s design instantly conjures up the excitement of Christmas morning. The simple and geometric design feels modern while still referencing mid-century modern illustrations.

Runner Ups (from left): “All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. | “Merry Ribbon” by b.wise papers | “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design

The Best Type-Driven Design

The Peaceful Type” by Sydney Newsom

It’s no easy task to weave together a variety of typefaces together into one cohesive design but Sydney manages to make it feel effortless. The tone on tone color palette stands in perfect contrast to the bold type collage.

Runner Ups: (top row) “Glad Tidings” by j.bartyn design | “Snowman Type” by Sarah Brown | “Simply Joy” by GeekInk | (middle row) “Merry and Bright Garland” by Katie Wahn | “All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. | “Send it with Slab Serif” by Angel B. Lee | “Christmas Café” by 2birdstone | (bottom) “Big and Merry” by Carrie ONeal

The Best Hand-Illustrated/Lettered Design

Wintry Pine” by Jennifer Wick

I love sitting and gazing at this design, as it is so beautiful and warm. We are all in serious awe of the pines and florals that Jen so flawlessly created for “Wintry Pine.” Her illustrations perfectly frame the photo and holiday greeting while being complementary to the hand striped neutral background.

Runner Ups: (top row) “Quirky Happy Holidays” by ERAY | “Simply Noel” by Alex Elko | “Kraft Ribbon” by Alethea and Ruth | (second row) “All Ye Faithful” by 2BSquared Designs | “Handlettered Merry Merry” by Linda and Harriett | “Painted Christmas Floral” by mae | “Magie de Noel” by Cecile Paper Lounge | (third row) “Fleurs de Noel” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Merry Ribbon” by b.wise papers | “Antique Noel” by Unless Someone Like You | (bottom row) “Believe Always” by Ana Gonzalez | “Block Printed” by Katherine Watson

The Best Classic with a Twist Design

Twisted Peppermint” by Carrie ONeal

“Twisted Peppermint” is a big hit at the Minted office. We adore Carrie’s pairing of festive colors and a clean layout.

Runner Ups: (top row) “Stacked Gifts” by Emily Ranneby | “Fresh Flurries” by Kynsie and Cole | “Christmas Wreath” by Tanya Quinlan | (bottom row) “Stardust Noel” by j.bartyn design | “Painted Frame” by Annie Clark | “All Aboard!” by Andres Montano

The Best Retro or Vintage Design

Illuminated Manuscript” by chocomocacino

“Noel” glows in the most gorgeous antique, hand-illustrated text while the textured background with its subtle corner vignettes creates the look of illuminated manuscripts from the Renaissance period. “Illuminated Manuscript” is such a detailed and thoughtful design. Gerrie of chocomocacino is based in Jakarta, Indonesia!

Runner Ups: (top row) “Swanky Holiday” by Paper Dahlia | “Swiss Alps 1978” by Toast & Laurel | “Christmas Café” by 2BirdStone | (bottom row) “All Aboard!” by Andres Montano | “Vintage Striped Christmas” by dashdot design | “Noel Vintage Label” by Cecile Paper Lounge

The Best Elegant but Simple Design

Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design

From the soft background to the stripes and white borders, we are wild about the clean design elements that frame the sparkly “Noel” greeting and family photo. Cambria brings everything together to create a magnificently elegant holiday photo card.

Runner Ups: (top row) “Falalalala la la la la” by Design Lotus | “Seal and Banner” by Hello Hailey | “Tranquility” by Amanda Larsen | (bottom row) “Holly + Alphabet Baby” by Emily Ranneby | “Notch” by Toast & Laurel

The Best Original Pattern

Sketchbook Foliage” by Alethea and Ruth

Rachel of Alethea and Ruth has proven a master of incredible floral patterns.  We love the warmth and cheer her design creates, and we are sure customers will too.

Runner Ups: “Holiday Play” by Erin Gerrity | “Hugs Kisses Wishes” by ERAY


The Best Use of Texture

Common Thread of Peace” by Sandy Pons

We were blown away by Sandy’s creativity; she hand embroidered this design and then scanned it in.  It’s inspiring to see a Mintie thinking well outside the box to create a beautifully handcrafted design. The cloth texture and gently fraying tag on the right accent the photo impeccably.

Runner Ups: (top row)“Rustic Joy” by Laura Hankins | “Retro Christmas” by GeekInk | (bottom row) “Glacial” by Sydney Newsom | “Block Printed” by Katherine Watson


The Best Use of the Color Red

beaming” by nocciola design

Bright colors and neutral accents aren’t all the rage in just clothing; they also make for stellar holiday card designs. Jessica’s “Beaming” jumps out with its bold reds, pinks and oranges while the neutral color block below the cut out greeting ties everything together in the most superb way.

Runner Ups (from left): “Fruit Stripe” by Kelli Hall | “Red Tape” by Kelli Hall | “Memento” by Jody Wody


The Best Christmas with Religious Elements

Isaiah 9:6” by Smudge Design

Our customers are asking for more Christmas cards with religious references.  They will be ecstatic to see how well Reneé delivered with this adorable illustration of Jesus’s welcome. We love the soft color palette and blend of different typefaces throughout the design.

Runner Ups: (top row) “All Ye Faithful” by 2BSquared Designs | “Rejoice” by Palm Papers | “Joy to the World” by Jennifer Wick | (middle row) “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design | “Christmas Cut-Out” by Jess Taich | “Anges de Noel” by Cecile Paper Lounge | (bottom) “Antique Noel” by Unless Someone Like You

The Best Cross Category for the best use of a holiday card to announce a move, birth, or recent marriage

A New Stocking” by b.wise papers

“A New Stocking” gracefully combines a holiday photo card and birth announcement. Alston’s tiny stocking is a divinely clever, sweet way to introduce a new baby and the illustration is supremely well executed.

Runner Ups: (top row) “All I Want for Christmas” by Ann Gardner | “Home Sweet Home” by Jana Volfova | “M is for Married” by Leslie Ann Jones | (bottom row) “Luxe Flourish” by Coco Paperie | “This & That” by Jody Wody

The Customer Favorite

Classic Merry” by b.wise papers

“Classic Merry” was not only a huge hit amongst our Community of designers, our customers loved it too. We agree that Alston’s adorable holiday card is well deserving of this prize.

The Newbie Award for the best first-time entrant

Joyful Modern Wreath” by Carolyn MacLaren

What an aptly named design. We love Carolyn’s modern take on the classic wreath. The fonts used throughout the design are so cheerful and fun. From the bold stylized wreath to the delicate berries and  soft gray background, “Joyful Modern Wreath” feels so fresh and new, while still sending the holiday spirit.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top): “Hugs Kisses Wishes” by ERAY | “Block Printed” by Katherine Watson | “Happiest Homestyle” by Max and Bunny | “Colorful Frames” by Wendy Fessler

(PS – We’re saving the judge’s pick from Jenna Lyons of J. Crew for an announcement around mid-October.)

  1. Sydney Newsom

    Oh, wow! I love looking over this collection of cards . . . over and over. Crazy-beautiful designs!!

  2. Hailey

    Awesome picks – so many of favorites in this line up. Big congrats to all of the winners!!

  3. Kim Dietrich Elam

    Great picks! Congrats to all the winners and runners-up!!!

  4. gerrie@chocomocacino

    OMGGG!!! I am so excited to see the judges’s pick and can’t believe my eyes when i saw mine up there!!! Thanks a lottt!! Certainly made my day.. and great pick! Congrats everyone!

  5. Cecile

    They are all awesome and beautiful! A huge congrat to everyone, magnifique!!

  6. Jen Wick

    I’m overwhelmed the the amount of phenomenal designs! And special congrats to Palm Papers, B.Wise, J.Bartyn and Toast & Laurel for your collection awards!!!

  7. Melanie Severin

    These picks are all just stunning – congrats everyone and congrats to the Collection Award winners!

  8. Susie

    Congratulations to all the special award winners and to the Collection Award Winners! All these cards are just *so* beautiful, and the variety is really exciting!

  9. Beautiful cards, there is a wide variety of designs and styles, great work. Cheers!

  10. Jessica Y

    Congrats. to the collection winners too and to all! Such lovely designs 🙂 And thank you Minted!!

  11. lori

    Awesome job everyone! Such BEAUTIFUL designs!! 🙂

  12. alston

    oh my goodness gracious!! thank you. a big, huge congrats to all the winners!!

  13. Megan (toast & laurel)

    So, I completely assumed that none of my designs had been chosen for any awards when you all didn’t mention anything at lunch on Friday and was absolutely floored when I read the blog post! Thank you so much!! Congrats to to every single award winner . . . each design is incredible. What an amazing holiday card assortment!

  14. oh my gosh! I am so excited. congrats to the special prize winners. I feel so excited to be among the most beautiful designs!

  15. Yolanda

    Such creative and gorgeous designs… congratulations to all 😀

  16. Congrats to all the winners!! I’m honored to be in the company of such talented designers. Thank you!

  17. mayda

    Love all the designs. So creative and inspiring. It is amazing how minted has allowed for this creativity to flow. Awesome!

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