Special Prize Winners: Holiday Party Invites + New Year’s Cards

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Today we have one last holiday hurrah for you to start off 2013 with a bang. Announcing the special prize winners for both our “Celebrate” Holiday Party Invitations and “Happy 2013” New Year’s Card Challenges! In both challenges, we asked designers to liven up the holidays with fresh, modern designs that just can’t be found anywhere else. Needless to say, the Minted Design Community did not disappoint. So sit back and enjoy one last burst of holiday cheer by congratulating the special prizes winners in the following categories:

Celebrate! Party Invitations Challenge

Christmas Spirit Award for the best Christmas party invitation

Cheer Season” by Alethea and Ruth

Rachel exudes lots of Christmas cheer with this design! Her festive berry sprigs and hand-drawn banner are simple, but sweet. It’s the big, bold “Cheer” that truly makes this design stand out. We love her unusual turquoise background and neatly placed type.

Runner Ups: “Annual Cookie Party” by Pink Hippo Prints | “Special Guest” by Carrie ONeal | “Holly Jolly” by Lena Barakat

Warm Winter Award for the best general holiday/winter party invitation

Oh, Hot Toddy!” by jenincmyk

Oh boy, do we love this design! Jen’s “Oh, Hot Toddy” is so much fun. Her illustrated hot toddy is so whimsical; from the cinnamon stick to the curling steam and cheerful snowflakes, this invite is sure to delight. Her clean text creates a nice baseline for the design without detracting from her illustrations.

Runner Ups: “Cocoa & Cookies” by Wondercloud Design | “Holiday Snowflakes” by Four Wet Feet Design

Thankful Award for the best Thanksgiving party invitation

Abundance” by Monica Schafer

Monica’s “Abundance” is elegant, with a bit of a modern twist. Her text is minimalist and simply placed, while her beautiful and unusual laurel falls perfectly within the design. The modern, stylized leaves are sleek and clean, but still convey a classic Thanksgiving feeling.

Runner Ups: “Give Thanks” by Snow and Ivy | “Let’s Eat!” by root beer float

What a Treat Award for the best Halloween party invitation

Chilling Chalk” by Sarah Brown

Sarah’s “Chilling Chalk” takes the cake with this playful design that shows that terrific type can go a long way. Her varying fonts fit together effortlessly, guiding your eye down the design. We love the textured feel of this invitation.

Runner Ups: “Swanky Shaken and Stirred” by Three Kisses Studio | “Mr. Monster” by j.bartyn

New Year’s Award for the best New Year’s party invitation

Let’s Ring in the New Year” by Amanda Larsen Design

We love the idea of starting off the New Year with this very retro design! Amanda cleverly combines relatively muted colors with dynamic type choices and placement to create an overall festive feel.

Runner Ups: “Party on the Eve” by GeekInk Design | “Cheers to You” by Sarah Curry

Down to Business Award for the best invitation for a corporate/business holiday party

Earthy Corporate Shindig” by double n design

Layered text and neatly placed banners and motifs combine to create a lovely, cohesive design. Marilynn’s use of taupe, grey, and berry red evoke holiday feel without explicitly tying the design to any one holiday in particular – perfect for an office event.

Runner Ups: “Festive Type” by Hooray Creative | “Glitter Eve” by Aspacia Henspetter

Sweet Simplicity Award for the best simple/chic party invitation

Light Up the Night” by Rebecca Bowen

This design isn’t just sweet and simple; it’s wonderfully calming and evocative. Rebecca’s modern, muted Hanukkah candles subtly grab your attention, even behind her beautifully drawn “Light Up the Night.” Rebecca proves that less can be more!

Runner Ups: “Cocktail Party” Kim Dietrich Elam | “Snowflake Soiree” by guess what?

Whimsy Award for the best whimsical/offbeat party invitation

Skull and Crossware” by Kim Dietrich Elam

Who doesn’t love a good pun? Kim has us smiling (albeit with a bit of a shiver) at her playful text: “We’d like to have you for dinner.” Her clean white text against a bold black background is perfectly simple; this design needs no more. Her eerie, smiling skull and clever “crossware” add that defining touch.

Runner Ups: “Boogie Shoes” by Pistols | “BOO!” by Paper Dahlia

Over the Top Pretty Award for the prettiest party invitation

Modern Quilt” by Aspacia Henspetter

This design was inspired by floral quilts, but we think it takes on a whole new life of its own! Pasty’s illustrated Thanksgiving florals are bright, bold, and beautiful. They organically spill out of their square frame, suggesting the abundance and life that we associate with Thanksgiving.

Runner Ups: “Thankful by the Forkful” by Caroline Ruse | “Time to Break out the Eggnog” by CRAFTEdesign

Make Me Laugh Award for the funniest party invitation

Three Sheets to the Wind” by Tanya Pedersen

Tanya’s “Three Sheets to the Wind” is cheerful and a bit cheeky at the same time. We can’t get enough of her smiling, ghostly sheets, all neatly hung on a line between two wonderfully creepy trees. Nobody could resist the chance to attend what’s sure to be a fun party!

Runner Ups: “Secret Agent” by Ellis | “Toasted” by Sarah Curry

Happy 2013! New Year’s Card Challenge

Big Picture Award for the best design using a full-bleed photo

Colorful Angles” by Ben and Kelsey Clanton

Ben and Kelsey strike that fine line between incorporating unique design elements and letting a customer photo stand out. The bold, vertical banner and geometric shapes cast a modern, edgy feel. No matter which photo you pick, any family is sure to look contemporary and fun in this design.

Runner Ups: “Clearly Happy” by Susan | “Linear New Year” by Dogear Press | “New Joys” by Jessie Steury

Can’t Pick Just One Award for the best multi-photo design (using at least 3 photos)

Another Great Year” by Carolyn MacLaren

This card has it all—bold type, cheerful design motifs, a classically clean layout, and of course room for lots of customer photos. Incorporating multiple photos into a card is no easy feat, but Carolyn’s “Another Great Year” makes it seem so simple. The minimalist color palette and “just-enough” design elements provide the perfect stage for large photos.

Runner Ups: “Color Blocks” by Luckybug Designs | “Classic Frames” by Katherine Moynagh | “Retro Cheer” by Gakemi Art + Design

Out of the Box Award for a card that you wouldn’t see on other online stationery sites

Tectonic” by 2birdstone

With “Tectonic,” Ashley creates a very out of the box New Year’s card, while still keeping it clean and minimalist. The bold slash between photo spaces makes for an almost architectural layout like we’ve never quite seen before. Her simple, tailored text makes the design so modern.

Runner Ups: “Big Year” by Betta | “Dog Years” by Up Up Creative | “Paint Strokes” by Stacey Meacham

Typographic Award for the best bold way of displaying the numbers “2013”

BIG 2013” by Petite Papier

Erin’s “2013” is absolutely big and bold, even if it is barely-there! We love how Erin uses negative space to create her “2013,” allowing the customer’s photo to fill it out so nicely. Paired with a basic banner and clean best wishes, this design both shows off the year in a big way and allows the customer’s photo to take center stage.

Runner Ups (clockwise from left): “Vintage Beginnings” by GeekInk Design | “Boldly Numeric” by lehan paper design | “Colorful” by Palm Papers | “I Think So” by Moe and Me

Celebration Award for the best festive design (thin fun colors, festive typographic treatments, or other ways to convey the festive spirit of New Year’s)

Bursting Glitter” by Aspacia Henspetter

A little glitter can go a very long way! Pasty provides just the right amount of celebration and cheer with this design. Her bright, glittery bursts jump out against the clean aspects of the design—square photo, white background, black text. This simple design just screams celebration!

Runner Ups: “Twenty-Thirteen” by Maison Yellow | “Bold Plaid” by Monica Schafer | “Festive New Year” by Pistols

Congratulations, winners! Stay tuned for more special prize winners coming soon.