Minted artist Eric Clegg navigates the changing landscape of graphic design

Written by Jenny Griffin

Really good music, chocolate, and a Coke. That magic combo gets the creative juices flowing for Minted artist Eric Clegg. Current Spotify favorites: The National, Natalie Prass, Washed Out, and Yumi Zuma. The Smiths are always in the mix. Eric clearly has a soft spot for independent artists. No surprise there.

Eric works at night at home after he’s put in a full day as an art director, managing the in-house creative team for the Utah-based company Chalk Couture. His limited time availability concentrates his focus. At the moment his work space is neat and spare, but it wasn’t always that way; it’s evolved as his family has. “I’ve shared the space with my wife’s and kids’ crafting supplies, and it’s doubled as a storage room at times,” Eric laughs. “We’ll see how long the grown-up look lasts before one of the kids comes home and asks if they can store a few boxes in my office for ‘a while.’”

Eric’s first exposure to graphic design came in high school. “I had the opportunity to take a commercial art class at a vocational center. “It was the first time I’d heard the term graphic designer. When I learned you could actually get a job being one, I knew that was what I wanted to do.”

That impulse drew the SoCal native to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he had the good fortune to meet his wife Elissa. Eric graduated with an BFA in graphic design and was ready to hit the pavement. Or the beach as it turned out. Right out of school, Eric landed a sweet job working for the graphic design firm Clarence Lee Design in Honolulu, Hawaii. “My wife and I had the best 6-year honeymoon there!” Eric enthuses.

The birth of their son Palmer and the desire to be closer to their families drew them back the mainland. The trio returned to Utah, settling in Pleasant Grove near Salt Lake City. “The Wasatch Front has been an awesome place to raise our kids,” Eric says. “We can be up in the mountains within 15 minutes from our home with skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking in the summer. It’s an all-around great outdoor environment.”

We asked Eric some questions about his creative approach, his influences, and his experience working within the Minted artist community.

“Aspen Ridge” wedding invitation by Eric Clegg

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Minted Artists in the Press July 2018

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Graphic Design USA, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple’s Instagram, and The Knot. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine (Summer 2018)
“True Colors” featuring “Circlet” wedding invitation and “Circlet” directions card by Kelli Hall


Graphic Design USA (June 2018)
“Fresh” featuring “Missed Connections” wall mural and “Abstract Forms” art print by Ilana Greenberg

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It Takes a Village Baby Shower Invitations Challenge : Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners of our It Takes a Village Baby Shower Invitations Challenge! Family and friends of expectant parents come to Minted seeking a baby shower invitation that not only sets the stage for this event, but is also special enough to serve as a cherished keepsake for the parents-to-be. Congratulations to the winners!

Out of the Box Award
For the most design-forward, innovative baby shower invitation that you would only find at Minted.

Baby shower cut outs by Eleanor Mayrhofer

Runners-up: Aloha Baby Pineapple by Alethea and RuthFarmers Market by Karidy Walker, and Caterpillar and Butterfly by Morgan Ramberg


Couples Shower Award
For the best design that celebrates both parents-to-be.

Over the Crescent Moon by Lisa McLean

Runners-up: Baby Shower BBQ by Robert and StellaAloe, Baby! by Erica Krystek, and Modern Block by roxy

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Melissa Egan finds design success by diving in, asking questions, and learning by doing

Portraits by Ashley Poskin

When I met Melissa Egan of Pistols in 2016 at a Minted artist paint-and-sip meetup in Chicago, I immediately sensed her creativity, down-to-earth spirit, and ability to laugh off the small stuff. She had recently relocated to the Windy City from Portland, and was settling into a pretty packed life that included a full-time job as an art director, freelance design work, and a burgeoning body of work on Minted.

Fast-forward to now to 2018, and Melissa has recently added another piece to the the brimming pot of life: her first child, Henry, whom she can’t wait to see every night after work. “One smile from him, and I’m dead,” she says, attributing much of the hustle and bustle to the support of her husband, John, her son’s primary caretaker. “I’m trying my hardest to enjoy Henry while he’s so little, and not worry too much if I’m not able to do it all,” she says.

When we dug into how Melissa learned her craft, she described landing on design after dabbling in a few other fields (Maybe business? Why not try enironmentalism?). Her try-and-see career approach also extends to her view of the design discipline. “In my opinion, there really isn’t a ‘right’ way to do design,” she says. “I try to design around an idea, rather than a particular style. My designs are most successful when they come from a concept I’m really excited about.” She loves illustration and most enjoys creating characters with personalities, like “Cakeasaurus Dinosaur” or her award-winning “Party Sloth.”

In this interview, Melissa talks about her experiments in environmental activism, creating Anthropologie store displays, and how cool dads don’t get the credit they deserve.

In 2017, Melissa Egan won a prestigious Louie Award for her “Party Sloth” children’s birthday party invitation. Melissa’s stationery designs are fun, attention-grabbing, often including winks of humor and whimsy.

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Time-Saving Tips for Faster File Prep

By Olivia Goree 

While a Minted challenge win is exciting and exhilarating, the file prep that follows can be, well, not so fun. Formatting text boxes, building out colorways, and getting that foil sheen placed just right can be time-consuming and exhausting. We get it! Illustrator is an extremely powerful and complex program that can be overwhelming at times, but there are tons of tools and shortcuts to help you work in the program more efficiently. We’ve gathered our favorite “time-saving tips” to help speed up your file prep and make the process a little less painful.

 

1. Eyedropper Tool

The Eyedropper is a handy tool that allows you to pull styling from one element and apply it to another. Use this to match the color between two design elements (or even text settings from one text box to another) to ensure consistency.

2. Paste in Place

A simple but commonly used feature, Paste in Place allows you to copy one element and paste in the exact same spot it was copied from. This feature comes in handy when you need to either copy something from one artboard and paste in the same spot on another artboard, or if you are copying elements from one colorway file to another. You can find this feature by going to Edit > Paste in Place, or by using the shortcut Shift + Command + V on a Mac (or Control + V on a PC).

3. Shortcuts!

Keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator are by far the most helpful feature in speeding up your file prep process. Although they can take a while to set up and get used to, they are life-changing within Illustrator once you become comfortable with them. While some shortcuts are automatically programmed into Illustrator, others are open for you to set up on your own. These are the Minted Production team’s favorite shortcuts; you can set up these same ones or set up your own by going to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

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