‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Today we’re very excited to announce the Special Prize winners from the ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge. Our annual holiday challenge is the biggest, most anticipated challenge of the year and this year’s broke all sorts of records! Out of a staggering 3,348 submissions, the designs below stood out to us in the following special categories. Congratulations, winners!

Simply Minimalist Award for the best holiday card that is simple, edited, and clean, with a greater emphasis on photos and less on design elements that can detract from photos

Modern Shimmer” by b.wise papers

Alston proves that less can truly be more. The term “simply minimalist” describes this design exactly. Alston’s chic, structured stripes are perfectly balanced around a large customer photo. Her faux-glitter (also available in real foil here) adds just the right touch of shimmering elegance.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Brushed Gold” by kelli hall | “Frenchie” by Stacey Meacham | “All You Need, Nothing You Don’t” by HUNT GATHER | “The Newlyweds” by Lauren Chism

Silver Bells Award for the most elegant, classic, and timeless holiday card

Classic Stripes and Swashes” by Susan

“Classic Stripes and Swashes” is a wonderful combination of traditional and modern. Susan’s expansive whitespace and minimal text have a certain timeless elegance about them, while her beautiful swooshing type spills over the photo and outside the bounds of the card with a very contemporary abandon.

Runners Up (clockwise from left): “Boundless Joy” by Kristie Kern | “Pine Tree” by SimpleTe Design | “Gilded Letters” by Aspacia Henspetter | “Foxtrot Frame” by Olivia Kanaley

Masculine Award for the design that our customer’s husband will like as much as she does

Merry Brush” by Alex Elko Design

Alex’s “Merry Brush” is sure to appeal to all members of the family. His “Merry” type is friendly, but festive. We love that it commands a certain amount of attention, but is also quite simple and placed in a way that allows it to complement any number of different family photos.

Runners Up (from left): “13 Year” by jackmove | “Retro Merry” by Kristen Smith | “All Cheer” by el Bandel | “Stacked Christmas” by Hooray Creative

Visionary Award for the most unique holiday card in the challenge that still conveys the cheer and spirit of the holiday season

Aquarelle” by j.bartyn

There’s something so romantic and yet so avant-garde about this design. Cambria’s watercolor overlay gives the impression that your photo is hand painted. Her imperfect edges and swashes of color lend a certain personality and casual sophistication to any photo. Clean, minimalist type finishes this design off perfectly.

Runners Up: “Helvetica Holiday” by Chryssi Tsoupanarias | “Jingle Brights” by kelli hall | “Super Happy Scandi” by Rory Philips | “Retro Whimsical Poster” by Gakemi Art+Design

Laughing All the Way Award for the funniest holiday card that just makes you laugh

Who Needs Santa?” by Jennifer Postorino

What a fun, very clever design! Jennifer’s “Who Needs Santa?” is perfect for those fun-loving grandparents who just can’t help but shower their grandkids with holiday love. Jennifer’s sweet holiday icons, like her candy canes and adorable Santa, add to the smile-factor of this design.

Runners Up (clockwise from left): “Yeti or Not” by Genna Cowsert | “Bark!” by Laura Condouris | “Santa Gram” by Lori Wemple | “Perfectly Wonderful” by cadence paige design

Christmas Award for the best design that is specifically ‘Merry Christmas’ or another Christmas-specific greeting

Christmas Collage” by Emily Ranneby

Emily captures the spirit of Christmas with this seasonal collage! Her stylized illustrations have such character and personality. She counts out every detail in such a heartwarming way. This card will surely be tugging on heartstrings this Christmas season.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Foxes Leaps” by Four Wet Feet Design | “The Miracle of Christmas” by Jana Volfova | “Merry Greeting” by Lori Wemple | “Joyful Type” by Sarah Brown

Festive Full-Bleed Award for the best full-bleed holiday photo card

Stringed Noel” by Moglea

Meg never ceases to amaze us! She has a remarkable knack for unique hand-lettering that is at once both whimsical and sophisticated. We love the way her “noel” dances effortlessly across the design.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Make It Merry” by Kelly Nasuta | “Holiday Post” by b.wise papers | “Pine Bows & Berries” by MAEK Paper | “Most Wonderful” by Hooray Creative

Shapes Award for the best use of one of Minted’s die-cut shapes

Seasonal Sprinkle” by Mariel Schmitt

Mariel’s “Seasonal Sprinkle” makes lovely use of our curved frame shape. Her botanical elements are a nice parallel to the organic nature of the shape. We love that she chose to create her elements in all white, making for a very clean and elegant design.

Runners Up: “List Tag” by Snow and Ivy | “Very Married” by carly reed | “Refined Surname” by Oscar & Emma

The Edgy Award for the best unconventional design

holiday geometry” by Up Up Creative

Julie’s unusual use of a triangular photo stands out among all the rest and would certainly make for a memorable card in any mailbox. Every element is well thought out and surprising, from her unconventional pink photo overlay to her subtly mixed type.

Runners Up: “hand painted chevron” by Aspacia Henspetter | “Modern Peace & Joy” by Kelly Nasuta | “Love and Laughter” by Jess Taich

Curvilinear Award for the best design that puts customers’ names or other personalizable details on a curvilinear path

Shining Bright” by Jennifer Wick

Jen takes the cake for our “Curvilinear Award” for using text on a curvilinear path is a very subtle way; it’s so natural in this design that you don’t even focus on it! We love the contrast between the sharp lines of her outer frame and the softness of her swirls and snowflakes.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Merry and Married” by Hooray Creative | “Season of Sparle” by b.wise papers | “Holly in the Round” by Karen Glenn | “Fudge Chip” by chocomocacino

Movable Elements Award for the best design that features clever design elements that can be moved around and arranged on top of a customer’s photo

Family Run” by Peter Loves Jane

This design is so much fun! Nikkol’s moveable elements have such a sweet, hand-drawn feel to them and would surely bring a smile to any recipient’s face. Her design elements are simple, but very effective in adding that extra bit of holiday cheer to any photo.

Runners Up (clockwise from top): “Modern Archive” by Sarah Curry | “Halo & Horns” by two thirteen studio | “Conversation Bubble” by Four Wet Feet Design

Unique Name Award for the design that best uses different colors, fonts, or sizes within the same word

Famille” by Carrie ONeal

There’s a lot to love in Carrie’s “Famille.” From the clean white background to the large photo and the lovely sentiment, the card is nicely balanced and sophisticated. What really makes this unique though is Carrie’s bold type with a fun color twist.

Merry Multi-Photo Award for the best design that incorporates 3 photos or more

Holiday Garden” by Kimberly Morgan

Why pick just one photo to represent the whole year? So many families are looking for multi-photo options and Kim’s “Holiday Garden” is a perfect choice. We love her carefully considered composition, from the large photos to the absolutely beautiful hand-drawn, holiday botanicals.

Runners Up (from left): “Picture Perfect Holiday” by The Social Type | “What a Year” by root beer float | “Complete Love” by fatfatin | “Plain Jane” by Stacey Hill

No Words Award for the minimalist holiday card with no words on that front

Holly Berry Cutout Frame” by guess what?

Lori knocked it out of the park with this design! Her clever cutout frame is absolutely beautiful and gives a sweet peekaboo detail to your photo. It’s a bold move to leave so much whitespace on a design and the result is stunning.

Runners Up (from left): “Holiday Shapes” by Noelle Stolworthy | “Just A” by GeekInk Design | “geometric spirit” by Cheer Up Press | “Painted Pattern Frame” by Pistols

Do You C-MYK What I See Award for the design that best uses bold, non-traditional colors for the holidays

neon mistletoe” by Moglea

We love non-traditional colors for the holidays. Then add some luscious hand-lettering and a cheerful sprig of traditional mistletoe? Amazing! Meg’s neon design makes a bold, yet very seasonally appropriate impression.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Organic Peace” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Pure Love” by Petra Kern | “Be Merry Matchbook” by Alethea and Ruth | “winter berry” by j.bartyn

You Would Even Say it Glows Award for the card that would look best in a magazine advertisement—bold and highly visible

We Are Family” by Oscar & Emma

Karly’s “We Are Family” would absolutely stand out in any advertisement (let alone any mantle!). Bold, bright type, striking diagonal lines, and very merry, but clean colors all make this design truly glow.

Runners Up (from left): “Glittering Joy” by Lehan Veenker | “Stringed Noel” by Moglea | “All Aglow” by Olivia Kanaley

Traditional Tints Award for the design that best uses traditional holiday or Christmas colors such as red & green or blue & white

Bright Cheers” by Kristie Kern

Kristie makes such striking use of traditional colors in “Bright Cheers.” We love her classic bright reds and greens. The best part is that in pairing those colors with blue and white and setting them against a navy, textured background, she creates something wholly modern.

Runners Up (from left): “embrace joy” by Angela Marzuki | “Shapes of the Season” by Kristen Smith | “Festive Frame” by Melanie Severin | “The Highlights” by 2birdstone

Manger Award for the design that best uses a holiday card to announce the birth of a new baby:

Happy Kisses” by fatfatin

Announce the arrival of your little one with holiday cheer! Yen’s modern, colorful boxes are perfect for presenting birth statistics without overshadowing the new arrival, who’s showcased in a fun three-photo layout. Her rainbow type is a great playful touch.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Add Me to Your List” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Silentish Night” by Wondercloud Design | “Baby Bright” by b.wise papers | “An Angel is Born” by Lori Wemple

Customer Favorite Award as rated by Minted customers:

Holiday Revelry” by Design Lotus

It’s easy to see why customers were drawn to Amy’s simple, chic design! Her lettering is elegant with a touch of whimsy, and the tiny stars add just the right dash of festivity. This design is sure to charm your family and friends.

Newbie Award for the best design by a first-time entrant:

New Year’s Dream” by Kimberly Alsheimer

Kimberly hit the ground running in her first Minted challenge ever! Her bold mix of typefaces, adorned with holiday flourishes, is offset by a graceful frame. The white type is striking against the wood background.

  1. Anita Brown

    Love them all! Congrats!

  2. Amanda

    Congrats to all!!

  3. Congratulations to all the special award winners!

  4. Yolanda

    Congratulations to all!

  5. Kim Dietrich Elam

    Congrats to all the special award winners and runners up – awesome work!!!

  6. Amazing designs, congrats everyone!!!

  7. Kerry

    Congrats, everyone!

  8. Thank you for picking my design!!!! I feel so honored and can’t wait to work on another challenge!

  9. fatfatin

    congrats! congrats!

  10. lori

    Huge congrats, everyone!! So humbled + stoked to be among these awesome picks!! Thanks, Minted!! 🙂

  11. alston

    What an honor — thank you! Big congrats to all the other winners as well!!