Minted’s First-Place Challenge Winners of 2018

It’s hard to believe 2018 is already at its end, with a brand-new year on the horizon. This past year was a remarkable one for the Minted artist community, a group of designers and artists who continue to raise the bar with creative and compelling designs, for everything from stationary to textiles.

The Challenge-winning designs of 2018 played with color, texture, and pattern in truly unique and special ways, showing us that there’s no need to settle for standard. Let’s take a look at the winners throughout the year.

Minted’s 2018 First Place Challenge Winners

Striking Year

Adventure Awaits Graduation Challenge
Striking Year” by Jessica Williams
Announced January 25, 2018


Thrive by Jess Franks

Fabric Frenzy Challenge
Thrive” by Jess Franks
Announced February 01, 2018


Punchy Peonies

From This Day Forward Letterpress Invitation Challenge
Punchy Peonies” by Alethea and Ruth
Announced March 05, 2018

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How Designer Julia Hall Turns “Inspiration Block” Into Her Secret Weapon

Written by Daryl Lindsey 

Minted Designer Julia Hall at her home studio in Queens, New York. Studio portraits by Stefan Klapko.

Most artists and designers know the pain of feeling “blocked,” when creativity and inspiration feel like they’re clear on the other side of a big, brick wall. For Minted Artist Julia Hall, that feeling is just as common as it is for the rest of us — but Hall has managed to take her “blocked” moments and turn them into opportunities for growth, both as an artist and an entrepreneur.

“Artist block” is even what helped her reach her current career path as a stationery designer. “I went to college for painting, but it never felt like a perfect fit,” Hall explained, recounting feeling stressed and blocked while trying to carve out a path for herself. “Finding stationery, where I can do different styles for different designs, and incorporate hand drawing, painting, digital work, and photography has been very freeing.”

Thinking outside the box while feeling creatively blocked helped her design the invitation suite she would use for her own wedding — and led her to a major career success. Hall created her most popular design, “Holiday Frame,” in a last-minute, down-to-the-wire Minted Challenge submission for their 2016 holiday contest.

Hall is based in Queens, New York and works full-time as a digital designer in Jersey City, New Jersey while running her successful Minted business on the side. We spoke with Hall about how she finds inspiration (even when it’s hard) and what it means to be a stationery designer in 2018.

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‘Tis the season for Minted at Target: Artists celebrate rollout of Minted holiday cards and gift packaging

Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy posted this photo at a Target store in Minneapolis with Brady Wood, SVP of Artists and Partnerships, on her Instagram.

The 2018 holiday season will go down in history as yet another major Minted milestone. We’ve expanded our Target partnership by rolling out 49 holiday products in phases, beginning in November with 16 sets of boxed holiday cards, followed by single greeting cards and holiday gift packaging items. And with Minted-branded endcaps in nearly all Target locations, it’ll be difficult for guests to not take notice.

The launch marks the debut of Minted wrapping paper rolls, paper gift bags, stickers, and gift tags with ribbons—an exciting moment for the company, says Deborah Baltodano Tilson, Minted’s Director of Business Development. “We had so much fun working on this project and love showcasing an array of artists’ designs. The community should be proud—Target is a big deal,” Deborah says.

Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy led the creative direction of the Minted Holiday collection for Target. “Mariam wanted to showcase the products and brand in the best way possible, and she put a lot of thought into every detail, from the manufacturing to the packaging, displays, and product placement,” Deborah says.

Minted artist Carrie O’Neal posted this shot on her Instagram showing herself (wearing the “TOUCHDOWN shirt”) and friends holding rolls of Carrie’s “Little LaLa” wrapping paper in Cincinnati, Ohio.

What’s it like for Minted artists to see their designs for sale in their local Target stores? For Joyce Pinheiro of Travel and Tart, it was a bit surreal—in the best possible sense. “I always dreamed of seeing my designs in big retail,” she says of seeing her “Presents” design on a gift bag and stickers in a San Bruno, California, store. “The best part was seeing a Target guest walk up to the display and gush about how beautiful the Minted products are. It makes me proud to be part of an amazing community with such talented designers.”

Minted artist Kim Morgan took this photo of Minted wrapping paper rolls at a Target store in Gilbert, Arizona. Featured from left: “Multicultural Santas” by Melanie Mikecz; “Plum Flowers” by Katharine Watson; “Little LaLa” by Carrie O’Neal; “Indigo Wave” by Yaling Hou Suzuki; “A Merry Little Christmas” by Sandy Gervais; and “Bohemian Border” by Susanne Kasielke.

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Minted Artists In The Press December 2018

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured on Draper James’s Instagram, The View, Forbes Online, The Knot, and Jillian Harris’ InstagramJoin the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

Draper James Instagram (December 4, 2018), featuring “A Very Plaid Christmas” by Erika Firm


The View (November 30, 2018), “1st Birthday Giveaway” featuring “Pastel Palace” Playtent including fabric from “The City Fabric” by Jeanna Casper and “Diamond Black” by Olive and Me Studios, “Friyay” by Jackie Crawford, “Baby Animal Llama” by Cass Loh, and “Cheeky” by Angela Garrick.


The Knot (November 2018) “35 Elegant Invitations for a Winter Wonderland Wedding” Featuring “Poinsettia Garden” wedding invitations by Oma N. Ramkhelawan, “Frosted Branches” foil-pressed wedding invitations by AK Graphics, “Winter Dream” wedding invitations by Karidy Walker, “Holiday Wedding” all-in-one wedding invitations by Nazia Hyder, “Frosty Chic” all-in-one wedding invitations by Creo Study, “Aspen” foil-pressed wedding invitations by Kristie Kern, “Winter Berry” and “Winter Wreath” foil-pressed wedding invitations by Kelly Nasuta, “Gilded Branches” foil-pressed wedding invitations by Laura Hankins, “Feather Flurry” all-in-one wedding invitations by AK Graphics, “On the Slopes” all-in-one wedding invitations by Mere Paper, and “Winter Birch” wedding invitations by Kelly Schmidt.

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Pencil It In Quickfire Photo Calendar Challenge: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners from our Pencil it In Quickfire Photo Calendar Challenge ! Customers come to Minted for beautifully-styled photo products, and they love that our 12-month multi-page calendars can start at any month and allow their beautiful photographs to stand out. We looked to you, our talented community of artists, to create fresh and unique designs that Minted customers will be proud to hang on their walls all year round. We are so excited we were able to refresh our photo calendar assortment with this challenge too– this was our first photo calendar challenge in 5 years!

A huge round of applause to all of our winners!


Originality Award
For the design that incorporates the best original drawing, illustration, or lettering that has been made specifically for this Challenge and not used before.

Ink Detailing Frame by Shiny Penny Studio


Runners-up:
 Simple Floral Month by Alethea and Ruth, Foliage month by Summer Winkelman, and Delicate Frames by Paper Raven Co.


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

Aztec frame by Baumbirdy


Runners-up:
Monochrome by Jessie Steury and Checked by Angela Garrick


Fully Booked Award
For the best design incorporating a full bleed photo on the front cover.

Jotted by Erin L. Wilson

Runners-up: Thin Line by Kacey Kendrick Wagner and Simplify by Guess What Design Studio


Colorful Plans Award
For the best design featuring colorful design elements and/or a pop of color in a unique way.

Colorful Minimalist by Playground Prints

Runners-up: Organic Shapes by Kann Orasie, Tides by Erin Deegan, and
Harmony by Shirley Lin Schneider


Simply Minimal Award
For the best understated minimal design.

Slick by Up Up Creative

Runners-up: Bright by Lori Wemple, Minimalisme by Ashley DeMeyere, and Wonder by
Sara Hicks Malone


Completely Classic Award
For the best classic/traditional design.

Didot Latté by Kate Ross

Runner-up: Sidelined by Erin L. Wilson


Modern Man Award
For the design best suited for a man.

Modern simplicity by Susanne Kasielke

Runners-up: Cutout by Kacey Kendrick Wagner, Wonder by Sara Hicks Malone, and
New Adventures by Playground Prints


Curvilinear Award
For the best design that puts customizable text on a curvilinear path.

Fancy Frame by Kristen Smith

Runner-up: Ethereal Wreath by Jackie Crawford


Newbie Award
For the best design from a designer winning for the first time.

Memo Block by Kimberley Henze


Critique Award
For providing helpful critique to other artists in the challenge.

Congratulations, Bekah Beckman!


Published December 11, 2018

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