Non-Photo Holiday Card Challenge: Special Prize Winners

The Non-Photo Holiday Card Challenge is a favorite at the Minted office because it allows our designers’ talents to really shine, whether they’re in typography, illustration, or graphic design. We looked to the Minted Community to wow us with unique designs that would appeal to all kinds of customers, from classic and traditional to fun and modern, and the results blew us away. The winners below each stood out in one of our special prize categories. Congrats, winners!

Innovation Award for the most innovative non-photo holiday card that best exemplifies design risk-taking, while still conveying the cheer and spirit of the holiday season: “Merry Medley” by Angela Marzuki

Hats off to Angela for this thoroughly modern design! Her varying textures, off-kilter lines, and soft pastels are completely unexpected. Still, there’s something about her hand-lettered “joy” and bursts of red and green that keep this out-of-the-box design feeling very in-season.

Runners Up: “Festive Patchwork” by Cheer Up Press | “Holiday Splashes” by Four Wet Feet Design | “Emperor’s Holiday” by Lily Hanna

Laughing All the Way Award for the funniest card that just makes you laugh: “The Night Before” by Ann Gardner

Ann’s incredible talent for type and a her sense of humor play beautifully together in “The Night Before.” You can’t help but smile at this card! We love the whimsical twist on the classic poem that probably accurately describes the real night before Christmas for so many families.

Runners Up: “Love Lights” by Chryssi Tsoupanarias | “snow time like the holidays” by guess what?

Simplicity Award for the best clean, simple design: “joyous, happiness, peace” by aticnomar

Ramoncita manages to capture the spirit of the holiday season so well with just a few words, an organic touch, and a whole lot of negative space. Her minimal color palette and clean type are just lovely.

Runners Up: “Holly Joy” by Erika Firm | “cardinal on branch” by Erin Niehenke | “Ever Green” by Peter Loves Jane | “festive trees” by R studio

All Ye Faithful Award for the best religious Christmas card: “Oh Holy Night Sky” by Alethea and Ruth

Rachel’s holy night sky is absolutely beautiful. There’s something so soothing and peaceful about her deep blue watercolor sky and bright white stars. Her gold, hand-lettered lyrics perfectly convey the Christmas spirit.

Runners Up:  “Glory to God” by Alethea and Ruth | “Starry Night Blessings” by Isabel Davis | “Adoration” by Jennifer Wick

Shape Award for the design that best uses one of Minted’s die-cut shapes: “Winter Bouquet” by Ana Sharpe

The spiraling foliage in “Winter Bouquet” is a truly striking use of our scalloped circle die-cut shape. Ana skillfully layered white, deep purple, and pops of bright red on an icy blue background – such a fresh, but still distinctly wintery, palette! The scattered snow if the perfect finishing touch.

Runners Up:  “Washed Out Joy” by Cheer Up Press | “Joy Flourished” by Laura Hankins | “Decorated festive circle” by Lucrecia | “City Lights Christmas” by Shiny Penny Studio

Text with a Twist Award for the best design that puts the customer’s name on a curvilinear path: “Bold Ornament” by Oma N. Ramkhelawan

This design is sure to stand out on any mantel. Oma’s bold, retro color palette and bright starbursts are wonderfully striking. We love that the curvature of the die-cut shape mimics, but doesn’t match the shape of her ornament – it gives the design so much life and personality!

Runners Up:  “Peace and Pine” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Joyful and Triumphant” by Four Wet Feet Design | “Full Of Wonder” by GeekInk Design

Modern Elegance Award for the most elegant design that appeals to more traditional customers while still being fresh: “Grand New Year” by Kimberly FitzSimons

Kimberly has absolutely mastered effortless elegance. The interplay between bold, black numbers and delicate script strikes a beautiful balance between classic and modern. Stacked type in an expanse of white space proves less can be more.

Runners Up: “Elegant Wreath” by Hooray Creative | “Joy To All” by Kimberly FitzSimons | “Shine” by Petra Kern | “Swirly Joy” by roxy

New Year Cheer Award for the best New Year’s design: “Pop Pop Poppers” by Carmi Cioni

This design wins our New Year Cheer Award with a bang! Carmi’s designs are always so fun and playful and this is no exception. Her retro popper illustrations and minimal, but bright colors just make us happy!

Runners Up: “Life of the Party” by Betta | “Pop the Cork” by Laura Bolter Design | “Best Year Yet” by Maison Yellow

Typographic Wonderland Award for the best typographic design: “Colorful Merry” by Magdalena Earnest

“Colorful Merry”  is ultra-modern without sacrificing a festive feel. The varied sizes and placement of the letters make the design so dynamic, and the color blocking is so fresh! Magdalena smartly kept the rest of the design minimal, keeping the focus on her eye-catching type treatment.

Runners Up:  “Fancy Type” by Grace Kreinbrink | “Christmas Wish” by Hatch and Mingle | “Vintage Logo” by Kristie Kern | “Merry Sign” by Leah Shannon

New Home for the Holidays Award for the best holiday card that also announces a recent move: “Nestled In for the New Year” by Sam Dubeau

It’s hard to believe that this was Sam’s very first Minted Challenge! We love the clever copy and retro feel of this sweet moving announcement/New Year’s card combo in an on-trend mint and gold palette. The playful, swirling ornaments around the type add the perfect hint of whimsy.

Runners Up: “Yule Haul” by Keen Peachy | “home sweet home” by Pad and Paper

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Award for the best design showcasing a Christmas-specific greeting and traditional Christmas colors: “Merry Little Christmas Tree” by Stevie Dutson

Like Sam, Stevie blew us away with her first Minted submission! The sweet hand-lettering in “Merry Little Christmas Tree” has such a warm, personal feel. Stevie makes the lettering flow so naturally into the tree shape with beautiful swashes. And we can’t get enough of that charming star at the top!

Runners Up: “Snowscape” by Griffinbell Paper Co. | “Christmas Whimsy” by Laura Bolter Design | “Winter Floral Type” by natalie nakai

New Hue Award for the design that best uses fresh, non-traditional colors to celebrate the holidays: “hip be merry” by Little Bit Heart

“Hip Be Merry” is just so cool and, well, hip! Jenna and Elizabeth’s fun palette of navy, blush pink, lime, goldenrod, and aqua (not to mention the die-cut shape!) will really make this card stand out from the stack. The playful holiday illustrations and hand-lettering are just so happy!

Runners Up: “Merry Wishes” by Angela Marzuki | “Modern Confetti” by Lehan Veenker | “About Town” by Rebecca Turner | “Painted Pines” by sue prue

Copywriter Award for the card that uses clever wording to reinvent typical holiday greetings: “everlasting cheer” by Aspacia Kusulas

The joyful, flowing quality of the brushed hand-lettering perfectly matches the sentiment of “Everlasting Cheer!” Popping off a backdrop of Aspacia’s gorgeously illustrated foliage, this wonderful twist on holiday cheer is sure to brighten anyone’s day when they open up their mail. We love how the words fit together, with the descender on the “g” filling the space on the second line.

Runners Up: “Merry Letters” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Happy Days” by Laura Hankins | “Someone Dear” by Pad and Paper | “so wonder full” by Precious Bugarin Design

Newbie Award for the best design by a first-time entrant: “Starry Night Blessings” by Isabel Davis

We love the whimsical feel of “Starry Night Blessings”! Isabel’s hand lettering has so much personality, from the swashes to the combination of script and printing. The beautiful winter foliage illustrations and stars, in the perfect shade of silvery grey, really set this card apart. Great job, Isabel!

Runner Up: “Contemporary Classic” by Cynthia Oswald

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  3. Leanne

    I’m trying to figured out which holiday card is my favorite for the Emily Ley giveaway…. and I just LOVE them all so much! If I had to choose, the Joy card would have to be my favorite. They are all so beautiful!