‘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.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... No comments

For Minted artist and former gymnast Jennifer Postorino, a PTSD anxiety attack led her back to a healthier path

Talk about fearless. As a former professional gymnast, Jennifer Postorino is strong and determined. And as a largely self-taught designer, Jen has continually pushed herself to improve her craft, combining hand-drawn sketches with design technology. But perhaps the most fearless thing she’s done is to help herself overcome the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and resulting anxiety she didn’t realize she suffered from for years.

And talk about passionate. Jen’s on a mission to design with her whole heart, wide-eyed excitement, and clear purpose. “I have adopted the philosophy of laying things out on the table — the good, the bad, and the ugly,” she says. “If you put your whole heart into whatever you’re doing, regardless of the outcome, you will come away with a sense of accomplishment. You will be able to take something away from that experience and apply it to whatever lies ahead. I try to be grateful for my failures and my successes, because you can’t have one without the other.”

Jennifer Postorino stumbled upon Minted by accident in 2008 after having her first child. At the time, her husband was a new college basketball coach at Clemson University and was gone most of the time. With no family close by, she was looking for a creative outlet while staying at home with her son. She entered her first Minted Challenge, and the rest is history. Although, she says, she got off to a clunky start. “It took me forever to figure out how to submit. After failing to upload my first file submission numerous times, I worked up the courage to call the Minted office and asked if someone could walk me through the process! Yep, I was that girl,” she says. “Someone emailed me step-by-step instructions and eventually I figured it out.” (Photo by Ashley Mauro Photography)

In this interview, the Ohio graphic designer and parent of two talks about about building her career as an artist, her incredible work ethic, and surviving the scariest day of her life that ultimately led to a new chapter.

MINTED: Did you go to school for graphic design or art?
JENNIFER POSTORINO: I went to school for graphic design at Ball State University, but had no clue what I wanted to do. I was a student-athlete, and after I received my degree, I had to make a decision. Either move home to Dayton, Ohio, where I had an offer to be a head gymnastics coach at a private club, or train with Cirque De Soleil with the hopes of maybe making it into one of their shows. My body was incredibly beat up from years of intense training — I’ve had 12 orthopedic surgeries due to gymnastics. Though the decision was hard, it made more sense to take time off to let my body heal and accept the coaching position. I figured it was a good way to be part of the sport I loved since age 4, and I could always find a “day job” doing something related to design.

Minted artist Jennifer Postorino’s former career as a gymnast soared as an undergrad at Ball State University. During her junior year, she was ranked second in the United States for floor gymnastics. In high school, she was also offered athletic scholarships to Auburn, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Ohio State University, and LSU.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... No comments

Minted Design Trade Program Promotes Minted Art to Interior Design Industry Pros

“Hmmm…this doesn’t look like commercial art,” said Jan, an interior designer who approached the Minted Art exhibit at Chicago’s NeoCon in June. “This—this is great.” Jan’s sentiment mirrored a number of fellow designers and industry folks who attended the 50th edition of one of the most respected commercial tradeshows in the interior design industry. Jan went on to describe what she views as typical in the commercial art industry: “mass-produced, ugly florals, generic.” In other words, the opposite of Minted Art, which is precisely what we’re going for.

A dramatic gallery wall featuring Minted Art at High Point Market 2018

Minted Art above: MA Allen Interiors, an interior design firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina, curated this scene in Minted’s booth at the fall 2018 edition of High Point Market, the world’s largest furnishings industry trade show. Read Architectural Digest’s preview story highlighting Minted.
LEFT SECTION FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Top photograph: “Pool Illumination” by Georgia Tankard; “Sandworm 1” by Jaime Derringer; “Sunset” by Jen Chen; “Last Tuesday” by Jennifer Daily; “Zebraba Tile” by 2birdstone; “Free” by Kristi Kohut; and “Geometric Tides” by King Richard IX.
CENTER SECTION FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: “Edges” by Bethania Lima; “Shes Blooming” by Theresa Bear; and “Jane Gallagher” by Amy Carroll.
RIGHT SECTION FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: “Paris Street Shop 3” by Phrosné Ras; “Abstract Orchids” by Michelle S; “Amour” by Morgan Kendall; “History Repeats” by Jennifer Daily; “Pink Foliage” by Fernanda Martinez; and “Pansy Painting – Mirrored” by Oana Prints.

NeoCon is one of the many events that Minted exhibits at to promote the Minted Design Trade Program and feature the work of Minted’s community of fine artists. Tradeshow exposure is well worth the many hours on their feet, and, thankfully, for Minted Design Trade Program Manager Sarah Greenwood, it’s one of her favorite aspects of the job. “We’ll often hear from interior designers who say, ‘I love looking at Minted Art on your site, but seeing it in person is a whole different experience,’” Sarah says. “Designers appreciate the tactile experience of seeing art at trade shows.” Sarah formerly worked for One Kings Lane and Guildery, a company Minted acquired in 2015.


A Minted art wall at High Point Market in North Carolina, featuring (left) “Lyrical” wall art print by Sarah McInroe and “Abstract Seascape Pt Reyes California” by Caryn Owen.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 2   COMMENTS

Minted’s Top 9 Design Tips for Creating Irresistible Greeting Cards

Now that Minted Greeting Cards are gracing the shelves of our national retail partners, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a design stand out. Because every card needs to pull its own weight, we keep a close eye on sales of every Minted design and have identified common characteristics among top-sellers. From broad appeal to content positioning, we’re excited to share some of our top learnings and merchandising tips with you.

1. Use eye-catching colors and design elements.

Bold color palettes, striking fonts, and visually appealing design elements definitely help a card stand out. Keeping in mind that much of our advice stems from putting yourself in the card-buyers’ shoes, we do encourage a bit of experimentation. For example, some designers might assume that all cards given to men should employ darker, masculine colors, but that’s not always the case. We welcome thinking outside the “color standards” box.

“Wild Prairie Rose” Minted Greeting Card by Holly Whitcomb is an example of a bold, bright design.

Minted Greeting Card Display photo by Erin Wilson

2. Think carefully about the top third of the card.

The top one-third portion of a greeting card is valuable real estate because it’s the most visible area of cards when they’re placed on displays with overlapping rows. For that reason, we recommend taking advantage of the entire front of a greeting card. Even if a design element is only partially visible at the top of the card, it still helps improve sales potential. Please take this advice with a grain of salt—we’re not necessarily saying “don’t be minimalist” or “you must fill every pica of space,” but we are saying that small visual elements tend to go unnoticed.

In the above example of a Minted Greeting Card, we increased the size of and shifted up the artwork to hit the top one-third of the card titled “Lucky Us” by Carrie O’Neal.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... No comments

Meet 2 Writers Behind Minted Greeting Cards

Minted has become known for its renowned international community of designers and fine artists, and we’re happy to welcome a new group of creatives to the mix: writers. Read on to learn about two of the many talented writers who initially joined the community in 2017 during the Better Together Minted Greeting Card Challenge.

Elke Mermis of Kansas City, Missouri

Elke Mermis is a full-time advertising agency writer producing lines of copy for big-name brands, but she’d never tried her hand at greeting card writing. Then, after ordering her wedding invitations from Minted, she discovered the Better Together Greeting Card Challenge. “I thought it would be a fun, creative exercise—and a good way to procrastinate during wedding planning!” she says.

Good thing she took her sweet time—her “Ugly Cry” card is a big hit. What was it like for Elke to see her card at a Target store in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri? Holding a real-life, tangible copy of something I helped create is always an amazing feeling,” she says. “Especially when you can tell your friends to go buy it, too!”

Minted “Ugly Cry” greeting card copy by Elke Mermis; design by Christie Kelly

MINTED: What’s your story in a nutshell?
ELKE MERMIS: I was born and raised in Kansas and left to go to school at Vassar College in upstate New York. Eventually I moved back to Kansas City, where I live in a century-old house with my husband and a very spoiled cat and dog.

How did you become a writer?
I’ve been writing ever since I was a little kid; and I made it “official” in college when I started reviewing concerts for music journalism outlets. Eventually I was hired as a Music Editor and parlayed that writing and editing experience into a career in advertising.

What’s your top tip for writing compelling greeting card copy?
Talk like real people talk. No one wants to give a card that doesn’t sound anything like what they’d say in real life!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... No comments

Minted’s Top 7 Tips for Writing Compelling Greeting Cards

The art attracts and the verse sells. That saying in the greeting cards biz definitely rings true—shoppers are initially hooked by compelling design, but it’s oftentimes the copywriting that seals the deal. By combining high-quality writing with Minted’s signature design-forward aesthetic, we believe sky’s the limit for innovating the greeting card market.

Keeping in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to successful copywriting, here are seven of Minted’s top tips for crafting fresh, original copy.

1. Keep it brief

Save the lengthy novels for, well, your novel. In today’s attention-deficit world, many people appreciate cards that quickly get to the point. In fact, we recommend a max word count of 30 for greeting cards.

2. Pack a punchline

Humor appeals to a large segment of shoppers. I mean, who doesn’t like to laugh? Funny copy is just about always popular, and interior punchlines can help win over the customer. Don’t be afraid to use humor in unexpected places — even on a sympathy card.

“Again and Again” Minted x Target Greeting Card copy by Hannah Wilson; design by Up Up Creative

“Birthday Tacos” copy and design by Olivia Herrick

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... No comments

Minted artist Bethany Anderson shares top tips for success after reaching 100th win milestone

Minted artist Bethany Anderson says that when it comes to design, less is more. “But it took getting involved in Minted to learn this,” she says.

You know what they say about goals: If you write it down, it’s more likely to happen. Such was the case for Minted artist Bethany Anderson, who recently celebrated her 100th Minted Challenge win. Every January, the West Virginia graphic designer sets specific design goals, and “make it to 100” was at the top of her 2018 list. “I was so excited to not only find out I hit that mark, but that one of my Children’s Birthday invitations placed 8th in the Blow Out the Candles Kids’ Birthday Party Challenge,” she says. “The kids’ birthday challenge has always been my favorite, as well as the first I ever entered, so it was bittersweet.”

Bethany Anderson’s “Gone Fishin’” won 8th place in Minted’s 2018 Blow Out the Candles Kids’ Birthday Party Challenge.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 3   COMMENTS

8 Top Takeaways from Camp Minted 2018

With more than two dozen workshops and panels on topics ranging from personal branding to watercolor florals, Camp Minted 2018 was a flurry of all things creative. Though it’s hard to capture every a-ha! moment and key takeaway, here are eight that stand out in the minds of Minted artists who attended the three-day conference in Las Vegas.

Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and Hiroki Asai at Camp Minted 2018

1. “Do you.” — Jesi Haack of Slaack Productions

During the Defining and Developing Your Unique Personal Brand panel, speaker Jesi Haack of SLAACK Productions summarized her top advice in two words: “Do you.”

We totally get that sometimes it’s hard to figure out what your one-of-a-kind style is, but for a number of Camp Minted attendees, the message clicked. Minted artist Janelle Wourms said one of her top takeaways was in rethinking trends. “Find your own unique perspective if you’re going to follow a trend,” she said.

Before Camp Minted, Minted artist Linda Poole said she focused on getting picks in Minted Design Challenges. “In actuality, I just love design. In the future, I plan on developing my individual style rather than trying to unlock the Minted pick code,” she said.

During the Small Brands That Get It Right session with Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and Hiroki Asai, Former VP of Global Marketing Communications and Executive Creative Director at Apple, Mariam encouraged artists to let passion drive creativity. She tied that sentiment into the fact that many Minted customers shop with us because they’re seeking uniqueness. “Knowing this makes me feel like sharing my truth is easier—it’s wanted,” said Minted fine artist Mary Gaspar. “I feel more secure following my design instincts. In other words, be your weird self and own it. Learn as much as you can and always be curious.”

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on 8 Top Takeaways from Camp Minted 2018

Nearly 200 artists lit a ‘collective fire’ at Camp Minted

Photos by Stephanie Rapp (Kelly Hird and Easter Kim contributed to this story)

Minted artists from Buenos Aires to Paris were abuzz with excitement, inspired energy, and hugs galore as they arrived at Camp Minted in Las Vegas for three days of rejuvenation, creative inspiration, community connections—and even a bit of relaxation.

As the largest gathering for Minted artists to date, nearly 200 Minted artists traveled from around the world to attend the retreat at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa, August 6–8. With a series of art and design workshops, insightful panels, a community awards ceremony—including a gleefully tearful surprise—many attendees viewed Camp Minted as an action-packed way to celebrate Minted’s 10-year anniversary.

For many Minted artists who have developed tight-knit relationships with fellow community members via Minted’s online platform, Camp Minted was the first time they met in person. “The energy was palpable upon arrival—so many faces from around the globe, some familiar but most new, all vibrant,” says Minted artist Marcia Biasiello. “Sitting in sessions and sharing meals with so many focused and inspiring creatives lit a collective fire.”

Chicago Minted artist Mary Gaspar echoed a similar sentiment, saying that meeting artists who have the same hopes, dreams, and fears as her makes her feel “not so alone.” “It feels like we’re part of this niche time in history where being an artist is no longer defined as ‘struggling’ or ‘isolating,’ but rather, ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘connecting’,” she says.

Lauren Rogoff, a New York painter known for her pet portraits in Minted’s Commissioned Original Art program, experienced an a-ha! moment that helped her realize that Minted values everyone in the community. While talking with another artist, she mentioned that she felt like “a bit of a fraud” attending the retreat, because she’d won just a handful of Minted Challenges. “I have no experience with graphic design, and only do fine art,” Lauren continued to explain. “Then, the other artist mentioned that she also felt like a fraud, because she only did graphic design, and another artist piped in that she felt the same because her focus was lettering! As artists, we’re alone with our doubts so often that being surrounded by genuine support really boosted my confidence and made me feel like I belonged.” 

Shortly after Camp Minted, attendees began reflecting on and posting their feedback on the Community Facebook Group and Instagram (hashtag #campminted2018). One such artist is Eric Beckett of GeekInk Design, longtime community leader from Redlands, California. My fellow Minties… I have been trying to write something that could adequately describe the way I feel. But nothing has ever sounded like enough. And I think it’s because nothing has existed that’s quite as unique as this community. A community where our biggest competitors are also our best friends. How CAN you thank a community and a company for completely changing your life? How do you tell a person you’ve never met in real life that a comment they left you 7 years ago made you the designer you are today? How do you thank a CEO for creating a company that has become your family? What words could possibly describe the love you feel when a friend wins Designer of the Year? Or how happy you are for someone who was so terrified to teach a class, but ended up teaching the best class. There will never be enough words that could possibly express the love I have in my heart for each and every one of you. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of this community, and these past 3 days I will forever hold in my heart.”

While we’re still coming down from the creative high of Camp Minted, we hope you’ll enjoy a handful of the highlights …

Day 1: August 6, 2018

Row 1 from top left: The Camp Minted mainstage; the Minted Artist Relations team (from left: Emily Heaton, Kelly Hird, and Amy Schroeder) welcome Minted artist Nam Bourassa of Coco and Ellie to the conference. Row 2 from left: Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy, SVP of Artists and Partnerships Brady Wood, and Director of Artist Relations Easter Kim welcome attendees during lunch; Alaina Cherup of Cheerup Press plays the Minted Artist Scavenger Hunt; Row 3 from left: Maria Murphy of Lulaloo and Jackie Mangiolino have a good laugh; Erin Wilson and Jackie Crawford.

Top photo: Minted artist Amy Carroll takes a snap of Dana Beckwith, Lisa Samartino, and Shelby Johnson  of Saltwater Designs. Bottom row from left: Susan Asbill, Stacey Meacham, Karidy Walker, and Heather Francisco; Mariam Naficy kicks off Camp Minted sessions by introducing keynote speaker Hiroki Asai.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 4   COMMENTS

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.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Melissa Egan finds design success by diving in, asking questions, and learning by doing