Font Award Roundup: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners for our Font Awards! This award is for the design that introduces the best font that we purchase and add to the Minted Font List. We’re always looking to the community to help us surface fresh new fonts to add to our Minted Font List. If you have a vision for an amazing design that uses a font not in our font library, feel free to use it in your submission. You can read more about Minted fonts here. A huge congrats to all the winners and runners-up!

Winter Wonderland Non-Photo Holiday Card Challenge
The Most Wonderful Type Award


 The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge
Fa La La La Font Award

Runners-up: Unleash the Joy by Sandra Picco Design | Sweet Merriest by Melanie Severin


Fall & Winter Digital Invitations Challenge
 Top Type Award


All You Need is Love Valentine’s Day Challenge
 Font Award


 Everlasting Love Save the Date Challenge
 Font Award

Runner-up: Hepburn by toast & laurel


Font Awards will be announced as a roundup three times a year. We also update our Minted Font List regularly, and include new fonts in our Community Newsletter.

You can purchase all of these fonts by using the links below:

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Font Award Roundup: Special Prize Winners

DIY: Petal-Envelope Cookie Favors

This simple DIY involves three of my favorite things: pretty paper, party favors, and cookies. The end product works well for a sweet takeaway for any type of party, just swap out the paper for a different pattern that coordinates with the theme.

gift wrapping ideas
how to make a petal envelope

Click through for the easy DIY

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 1  COMMENT

DIY: Oversize Diaper Pins for a Baby Shower

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I love browsing through vintage paper goods—some of the designs and patterns are so striking! Today’s DIY project was inspired by retro baby-shower wrapping paper I recently found. Since most of the baby shower decorations available at party stores are either very baby pink or baby blue, I thought it would be more interesting to use a coral instead to match these “Modern Momma” baby shower invitations by Lauren Chism. Hang a pair of giant diaper pins on the front door of the baby shower venue, or make a few as decoration for the party. You could even use real safety pins and glue them to the backs of invitation envelopes!

DIY: Baby Shower Decor DIY: Baby Shower Decor

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on DIY: Oversize Diaper Pins for a Baby Shower

DIY: Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Our favorite color palette this spring? Turquoise blues paired with coral hues—there’s something so serene about the colors of the sky paired with soft coral tones seen in so many blooming spring flowers. Today we’re sharing a hand-stamped napkin DIY in this color palette that incorporates a pretty unusual and unexpected stamp—celery! We love the clean, modern lines a celery stalk creates when stamped onto a crisp white napkin. Keep reading for the instructions.

DIY Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins | alice & lois for minted
DIY Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions…

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 1  COMMENT

Printable: Bunny Bag Toppers

Take your Easter basket up a notch with these adorable bunny treat-bag toppers. They’re a cinch to whip up (not to mention they’re a great way to obscure some of the unavoidable not-so-cute Easter candy packaging out there). Keep reading for the free printable.

easter favors
bunny bag toppers

Grab the free download below…

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 1  COMMENT

Minted Artists Pay It Forward

It takes a community to thrive as an independent artist.

To celebrate Minted’s extraordinary community spirit, we bring you Pay It Forward, our campaign to help Minted artists connect, collaborate, and succeed during the 2016 Holiday Stationery Design Challenge season. Because artists tell us that peer critique is one of the most valuable aspects of the Minted community, we’ve compiled these resources to help you give and receive quality feedback, stay inspired, and get the most out of the Minted challenge process. Stay tuned for updates.

Julep Features

Critiquing Advice
7 Ways to Master Art and Design Critiques (insights from Parsons School of Design faculty)
15 Questions to Inspire Quality Art Critiques
10 Tips for Critiquing Minted Art and Designs (insights from the community)

Thrive During the Holiday Challenge Season
5 Ways to Connect With the Minted Artist Community
6 Tips for Success in Minted Challenges
4 Mantras for Being Boss in Work and Life
How to Thrive During Minted’s Holiday Challenge Season

Creative Inspiration
7 Podcasts for Inspiring Your Creativity
Minted’s 20 First-Place Challenge Winners of 2015


Critique Awards

Chance to win a Minted feedback session

To recognize constructive feedback, we award critiquers in every Minted Design challenge.

Give fifteen or more constructive comments in the New Year’s Challenge by the time voting opens and you’ll be automatically entered in a random drawing to win a one-on-one feedback session with a Minted merchant of your choice! Remember, this is not a numbers game — quality feedback is much more valuable than quantity of feedback. Make sure to use the “Mark as Constructive” button to reward great feedback when you see it.This will be based on the Feedback leaderboard for each challenge, and we will combine results from the foil and non-foil version of each challenge.


Community Connections

Join our Facebook group
The Minted Community Facebook Group is open to all Minted artists who have submitted to at least one design challenge. Connect, share resources, and ask questions in this active global group. Learn how to join here.

Call in, meet up, get involved
The Minted team hosts weekly office hours, quarterly calls, meetups, and other community events. View and subscribe to our events calendar here. Are you interested in hosting a Minted meetup in your area? Fill out this form.

Join the Buddy Program
The Minted Buddy Program is an opportunity for you to make a deeper connection with one to two other artists. We pair people based on personality, experience, and category (art, stationery, etc.). Learn more here.


How the Minted Artist Community
Pays It Forward

Jennifer Postorino
Eight-time Minted Critique Award winner

“Taking time to critique designers is important to me, not only for their growth, but for mine as well. It keeps my current skills in check and allows me to continue learning as a designer. I’ve learned so much from so many designers. I honestly can’t believe where I am at today. Not only do I feel like I have gained some real friendships simply by reaching out to people, but my design skills have gotten so much better.”

Christian Bennin
from in “Ever Thought About Your Creative Turnoffs?” on Julep

“I get over creative blocks faster as I get critiques from other designers, and the creative briefs for each project really help me focus my thoughts. The story of my first Minted design challenge illustrates my point perfectly. The first competition I entered was the grad challenge. I was a bit over-eager and posted a quickly created design that hadn’t been thought through very well. Once I submitted my design, I saw how the critique process worked and got really inspired by it. I decided to sit down and really do this. I sketched and designed two versions of a new design and used the community polling feature to narrow down to the option that eventually won me my first award! It was a great eye-opener to me and example of how the process can work.”

Julie Green of Up Up Creative
from “Meet a Minted Artist” on Julep

“I once left a comment on one of Jen Wick’s designs with a few minor-detail suggestions about sizing this up, rotating that, and moving it all over or something like that, and she commented back to me privately that I’d make a good art director. Ever since her comment, I think I approach my work very differently. Having a designer who I like and admire point out this strength just changed me. It has added a whole new layer to my interaction with my own work, and it has helped me better understand what I like and don’t like about stuff out in the world. I think the work I’ve produced in the time since Jen’s comment is more confident, more purposeful, more polished, and more wholly mine.”

Susan Brown

“When I was a newbie and saw Karly Depew‘s save the date design ‘Timeless’ in the Jan 2012 challenge, I went to her page and asked her advice. She sent me an email where she presented my design in three different type styles and explained the importance of typography. So special.”


Published March 24, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Minted Artists Pay It Forward

7 Podcasts For Inspiring Your Creativity

What inspires your best creative work—audio stimulation or the sound of silence? Some artists need absolute quiet; others, not so much. Jennifer Wick, a prolific artist with 283 Minted Design Challenge wins to her name, says she is unable to work in silence, so she fills the void with good music and talks. “I remember getting my first walkman in sixth grade and raiding my older sister’s mixed tapes, finding a whole new world of music that put me in such an inspired mood,” the Pennsylvania artist says. “From then on, I’ve always worked with music or the news in the background.”

Especially during Minted’s busy holiday stationery design challenge season each spring, Jennifer’s working ritual includes several podcasts per week, in addition to Pandora, HGTV, and the Food Network. If you’re looking for recommendations for podcasts to help stimulate creativity, you’ve come to the right place. With so, so many great podcasts to choose from, we’re limiting our list to seven, but we’d love to hear your ideas—share them in Comments below.

Podcasts About Art, Design, and Creativity

The Jealous Curator: Art for Your Ear

Danielle Krysa is the blogger behind The Jealous Curator, the author of Creative Block, and the host of Art for Your Ear, the podcast featuring “inside-scoop stories from the artsiest people” she knows. Minted artist Kelly Schmidt likes Art for Your Ear for its tips and tricks about artists’ technical aspects, creative process, and materials. “Danielle talks to artists about challenges they face and how they found success,” Kelly says. “There are common themes about artists who are parents, as well as comments about insecurities as artists, which I’m guessing many of us relate to.”

Kelly suggests listening to the episode featuring fellow Minted artist Jaime Derringer (“Design Milk by Day & Sketchbooks by Night”), and to inspire holiday spirit, Kelly likes “The Best Gift Ever,” in which 12 artists talk about the best gift they’ve ever received. She also loves: Xochi Solis: “Paper Nerds Unite“; Kiana Mosley “Late One Night“; and Maryann Moodie: “Textiles Treasures, and a New Tribe.”


The work of textile artist Maryanne Moodie

Design Matters

Design Matters is the world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, artists, curators, musicians, and other leaders of contemporary thought. Host Debbie Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, and Seth Godin.

Creative Commoners

Creative Commoners explores a particular topic about the creative process, with each host bringing their own flavor and experience to the mix, and plenty of witty and tangential banter to keep things fun. Jennifer Wick recommends “Episode 140: How the Creative Mind Works” (skip to 15:35), in which the speakers talk about their creative processes and the mind exercises they do to help get ideas flowing. “For me, I’ll do whatever it takes to put myself in the holiday mindset,” Jennifer says.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on 7 Podcasts For Inspiring Your Creativity

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: artist and designer Derek Overfield, who is currently based in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Derek Overfield studied fine arts and graphic design at Fairmont State University alongside his wife and fellow painter (and Minted artist!) Lauren Adams. Working with charcoal and pastel on paper, as well as latex and acrylic paint on canvas, his bold pieces focus on the human figure. Here, Derek discusses life as a working artist, including overcoming artist’s block and challenging himself to create at least one drawing a day.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Making and studying figurative art has always been a big part of my life. As a child I studied very closely the dynamic figures of comic book art, learning what I feel is the unique and expressive language of the body. That study of the figure continued into college where I was introduced to so many amazing examples of the human form in art history. This is also when I began to work from life models and from my own image. I set a goal as a student to complete a large-scale figure drawing every day, which I have stuck to as closely as possible since. I continue to be amazed at the potential of the figure in art.

Did you study art formally in school?
Yes, I have a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Fairmont State, where I studied with acclaimed painter Lynn Boggess and met my future wife (and also a Minted artist), Lauren Adams.

Where do you currently reside?
I live in a small town in West Virginia and have always been proud to call this state my home. It has remarkable beauty and my family’s roots here go back to the 1700s.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
I work on at least one drawing a day. On top of that, I usually work on canvases or do the not-so-fun stuff of  building our stretchers, stretching and priming canvas, etc. There’s always other work like photographing pieces, answering customer’s emails, updating my website, and social media.

What are some of your own “rules” for living and working?
I feel that art should come from a place of love. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel the artist should be moved by the subject matter first, before they can ever hope to move their audience.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Expressive, simple and bold, classic and modern.

What painting techniques have you been working with lately?
My works on paper could be characterized as a sustained gestural technique. They take elements from both classical drawing and expressive work. My works on canvas have a similar approach, and I’ve developed a technique of painting that feels very much like drawing.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Please tell us about your studio space.
We have converted part of our 1935 two-story house into a studio space. We’ve renovated two rooms into one studio space, large enough to accommodate both of our needs!

When did you begin painting?
I began painting in college, watercolor landscapes on location.

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
On paper, charcoal and/or pastel. On canvas, latex and/or acrylic paint.

What is your creative process like?
I use my works on paper as a way of preparing for and experimenting with themes for my larger canvas works.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

What are your favorite subject matters?
The human figure, usually in reference to a heroic or tragic theme.

Your work primarily focuses on the human form, almost always with the male figure. How did you arrive at this?
I’ve done figurative work of both genders, but the stylistic approach I’m currently employing has a very masculine feel to it. I feel it works best with the male figure at the moment.

Is there a movement in art history that speaks to you?
That’s a great question. So many movements have embraced figurative art, so they usually always speak to me. I would say that the most essential would be the late classical period of Greece/Rome and the High Renaissance of Italy, with their humanistic focus on the figure as the epitome of artistic expression. I respond to non-figurative work as well, and really admire the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Their embrace of the artist’s personal touch and view of art-making as an event, very much influences my approach to art.

If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Couldn’t pass up the chance to witness Michelangelo at work, or anywhere, really. I don’t think I’d have the guts to speak to him though!

Click through to read more about Minted artist Derek Overfield and his work

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

How to Photograph Your 2-D Art

Written by Marlo Miyashiro

You’ve spent hours, days, weeks—perhaps even months—on your latest masterpiece, and now it’s ready for its close-up. We’re here with tips to help you take high-quality photographs of your 2-D artwork in preparation for digital production. Before we begin, we want to emphasize that it’s always best and worth the expense to work with a professional photographer to capture images of your work for fine art prints and other applications. However, if hiring a pro is out of reach or you want to learn a new skill, we encourage you to give these tips a try.

Choose Your Background

The ideal background is a flat-white or neutral color wall with minimal texture. If you don’t have a naked wall, designate an area that you can clear of furniture and other items that might reflect unwanted colors into your photos.

Set Up Your Artwork

The best way to set up your artwork is to hang it on the wall at eye level or vertically on an easel. This will allow you to take accurate distance measurements from the floor to the center of your piece and match that distance to your camera lens in order to make your photo as distortion-free as possible. If you can’t hang art from a wall, you can prop your work up against the wall, taking note of the angle of the face of your piece so you can match that as well.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on How to Photograph Your 2-D Art

Baby Shower Idea: Tropical Jungle

Coming up with a fun and fresh baby-shower theme can be a bit of a challenge, but as soon as I saw Rebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric, I knew it’d be perfect. The cheerful, illustrated pattern is just the right mix of playfulness and whimsy, and just begs to be the star of the show at the party. So, shower the mama-to-be with a jungle-themed celebration with darling decorations, freshly cut palm leaves, and plenty of tropical touches. Keep reading for our party-throwing tips…

jungle baby shower for minted by kelli hallrebecca turner jungle fun print table linen for jungle baby showerRebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric inspired the whole shower vibe.

jungle baby shower for minted styled by kelli hall

1. Set the tone with a bold print.
This table is deceptively simple to pull together: All you need are simple dishware paired with fresh-cut palms. This lets the tablecloth be the real star, acting as a focal point and infusing the tabletop with playful energy. I especially love how this print feels like a storybook narrative is unfolding across the table. And the beauty of using a strong statement print as the focal point on the table is it becomes a jumping-off point for all other party elements.

wildflower journal j.bartyn for minted

In addition to the table linen, I used details like this custom baby journal (above) to incorporate other patterns with a similar jungle vibe, like the winding vines and green palm prints on the cover.

hibiscus fizz cocktail jungle baby shower by kelli hall for minted

2. Serve tropical-themed nibbles.
The party menu doesn’t have to be complicated; simple tropical-inspired flavors will create the right vibe. Think: coconut-lime chicken salad, tropical fruit skewers, or prosciutto crostini. For drinks, I served up this recipe for hibiscus soda (with a couple of minor tweaks—I went lighter on the hibiscus tea and swapped the raspberries for hibiscus flowers).

jungle baby shower for mintedI love how the linear pattern on the baby shower invitation feels like a stylized palm illustration.

baby tiger stationery by rebecca turner for minted

3. Get creative with gifts.
What’s a baby shower without a few presents for the mom-to-be? One of my favorite ideas: Gifting the guest of honor with coordinating stationery that she can use once the little one arrives (made extra-special by printing the new baby’s name up top!). Another idea: A custom baby book for her to record special events from baby’s first year.

gold jungle animal place card holdersGold elephants and tigers make the perfect place card holders.

jungle print baby shower for mintedThese “Sprinkled Love” place cards complement the linen’s navy-blue snake illustrations.

Click through for more tips on throwing a jungle-themed baby shower

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 1  COMMENT