Writing 101 for Minted Artists

Written by Mimi Werdegar

At Minted, we value writing just as much as design. This short and sweet guide is here to help you with writing for Minted. You can reference our How to Write Your Minted Product Description page for more advice on writing product descriptions. 

Use complete sentences.

Complete English sentences have three primary components: subject, verb, and complete thought. Subjects are often nouns or pronouns. Complete sentences must begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark. Here is an example:

“This wedding invitation is foil-pressed.”

“This wedding invitation” is the subject, “is” is the verb, and “foil-pressed” completes the thought. You can compare this to the incomplete sentence, “Foil-pressed wedding invitation,” which lacks a verb because “foil-pressed” is an adjective in this context.

Choose strong adjectives. 

How can you describe your design to make it stand out? Use adjectives that are packed with a punch to highlight the unique qualities of your design. 

While some adjectives might pop into your head quickly, such as “wonderful,” “dazzling,” “cute,” or “awesome,” adjectives of this nature don’t offer a vivid description. Think about it: what does something look like if it is “awesome”?

On the other hand, powerful adjectives can deepen someone’s understanding of your artistic intentions. For instance, consider this example product description: “This wedding invitation is understated and minimalist, with only a border of hand-drawn, organic lines.” You’ve never seen this invitation, since it doesn’t exist. However, chances are you can picture in detail what it might look like. 

Write in third person.

Third person writing essentially entails writing from an outsider’s perspective. It does not use the pronouns “I” and “me” as first person does. We ask you to write product descriptions in third person because it comes across as more professional and more objective. Here are two product descriptions, one written in third person and one in first person.

Third person: “This is a festival holiday card bordered by hand-painted holly.” 

First person: “I hand-painted a holly border on this festive holiday card.”

Hear the difference?

Be concise.

Concise writing can help your product description grab attention. One way to do this is to eliminate redundant words. 

For example, you probably don’t need to describe your design as “pretty, beautiful, and lovely.” You can just say “beautiful,” as the other adjectives don’t add extra meaning. 

Another way to write concisely is to take out qualifiers, since they also don’t drastically change meaning. For instance, instead of saying “extremely elegant,” just say “elegant.”

Avoid these common mistakes.

There are three mistakes we see most frequently in product descriptions. 

  1. The first is the misuse of “a” and “an.” Determining whether to use “a” or “an” depends on the first sound of the subsequent word. Words that begin with vowel sounds (in American English), not vowels, take “an.” Similarly, words that begin with consonant sounds, not consonants, take “a.” This is why different words beginning with the letter “H” for example can take either “a” or “an.” The word “hour” is pronounced like “our,” beginning with an “O” sound, so you would say “an hour.” However, the word “horse” clearly begins with an “H” sound, so you’d say “a horse.”
  2. Another one of the most common mistakes is the misuse or absence of hyphens. Most regularly, a mistake is made on terms such as “hand-drawn” or “hand-painted.” When using a compound modifier in your writing (a fancy way of saying “two words that act as one adjective”), a hyphen is required. That’s why the example terms are incorrect without the hyphen. In product descriptions, if you say something like “hand-drawn botanicals…” “hand-drawn” acts as one adjective to describe the botanicals in your design. 
  3. Additionally, the most frequent mistakes we see in product descriptions are spelling and grammatical mistakes. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell you how to fix these problems. That being said, one strategy you can utilize is to write your description in a Word Doc or Google Doc, and see if anything is underlined in red. We kindly recommend that you double and triple check your product descriptions for spelling and grammatical errors before submission. 

Do a quick check of your product description for these mistakes, and you are well on your way to a great, attention grabbing product description.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mimi Werdegar was a Marketing and Artist Relations intern at Minted. As an English major, avid writer, and advocate for Humanities, she’s passionate about working with artist and writer communities. In her free time, she listens to podcasts about Shakespeare and bakes desserts. 

Published March 16, 2020

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