2018 Religious Photo Card Challenge: Top 11-20 Winners

Written by Kelly Hird and Olivia Goree

It’s finally time! We’re thrilled to announce the 11-20th place winners of the Good Tidings Religious Photo Card Challenge. In this challenge, we looked for fresh, unique designs showcasing words of faith and spirituality. From traditional motifs to modern and minimalist interpretations, artists dazzled us with a stunning array of innovative designs. We’re delighted to present the first winning holiday designs of the season!

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Fashion. Bass Playing. World Travel. Kelly Schmidt Weaves an Adventurous Path to Career Independence.

Written by Jenny Griffin

When Minted artist Kelly Schmidt was a kid, she painted murals on all four walls of her bedroom. One year she painted another big mural in the kitchen for her mom for Mother’s Day, inspired by artwork she’d seen in a design magazine. All this creativity was highly encouraged by her Canadian parents who even gave artistic license to Kelly’s and her sister Karen’s friends. While most of her friends lived in homes with white walls, Kelly’s house had a special wall where not only she, but all of her friends were welcome to draw freely. Talk about setting the stage for a life in design.

Kelly would grow up to become a graphic designer at both an animation studio and a special effects studio; a creative director at a renowned fashion, makeup, and esthetics school; an aspiring potter; and an amateur bass player in a band with the Attorney General of British Columbia. Along the way she married a museum educator who curates exhibits for the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia and for the expanding Canadian coffee and tea cafe, Kafka’s. When she’s not busy making art, looking at art, or talking about art, she and husband Michael Schwartz are out exploring the scenic wilderness surrounding Vancouver. Whew!

Oh, and as of March 2018, she’s struck out on her own as an independent graphic artist, thanks in large part to what she discovered was possible with Minted. She’s having a good run and just recently won the Best File Prep Award at Camp Minted in Las Vegas.

We talked to Kelly about her work, her endless interest in trying new things, and the influences along the way.

“Clean and Modern” wedding invitation by Kelly Schmidt

Minted: You had some really influential teachers in high school. How did they help you?
Kelly Schmidt: I was planning to study interior design after high school, but my art teacher gave me some key direction. He had looked through my art projects and had discussed them with the graphic design and photography teacher. What they noticed was that a lot of my collage work revolved around communicating a message. They encouraged me to pursue graphic design instead. That meant dropping the drafting class I’d signed up for and switching directions to graphic design and photography. I loved it. If I could have dropped all my other courses and spent all my time in the photography studio or on the school’s ancient Apple computer, I would have been so happy. I didn’t even know graphic design existed until it was introduced to me.

After high school I got a scholarship to attend the Graphics and Visual Design program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In college, I fell in love with typography and the marriage between communication and design, the way color and letterforms can shape the feel and mood of a pieceThe program switched from a three-year to a four-year granting program after I completed my third year. I could have returned, but instead traveled for a year in Australia. I’ve always been very driven and goal-oriented, and this was the first time in my life where I was cut loose of all schedules and plans and could really be in the moment. It was incredibly valuable.

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Minted’s 10th Anniversary Community Awards recognize artist leadership

On Camp Minted 2018’s culminating evening in Las Vegas, we hosted an awards ceremony to recognize exceptional artists for embodying important community values and pushing the boundaries of art and design.

Thank you so much to everyone who cast their votes and nominations for fellow Minted artists’ embodying important community values.

 

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Minted Artists in the Press August 2018

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured in The Knot, HGTV Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Buzzfeed.com, and Eva Chen’s InstagramJoin the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

The Knot Magazine (Fall 2018), “Style & Planning: Forest Green” featuring the “Painted Canvas” menu by Robin Ott


Seventeen magazine (September 2018), “Back To School Awards” featuring “Nice Work” art print by Heather Francisco


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Art and design run through Minted artist Christine Taylor’s veins

Written by Jenny Griffin

Christine Taylor reads a story to her daughter, Isla, at home in Hagerstown, Indiana.

Minted artist Christine Taylor grew up in small town Indiana surrounded by artistic people. “As a kid, I remember my mom was always doing something creative,” says Christine. Her mother delighted in arts and crafts and calligraphy, always ready to help Christine and her younger sister Jessie make homemade Valentine cards, personalized greeting cards, and clever Halloween costumes. That early exposure to the pleasures of design stuck. Both Christine and her sister would grow up to become graphic designers.

The creative impulse spilled down and across generations with an array of artists on both sides of Christine’s family. A maternal great grandmother and great aunt shared their love of painting and the arts with Christine’s mother and her sisters. Various family members are engaged in music, writing, architecture, photography, and filmmaking. Art and creativity flow freely through this big family.

“Oh Baby!” baby shower invitation and “Let’s Party” by Christine Taylor

As a child, Christine loved holding and thumbing through the pages of picture books, novels, and magazines. She still does. “I loved to touch the pages, and to admire the colors, typography and layouts.” She relished the comforting smell of the paper, the residual scent of the ink, and the tangible sense of promise contained within. In high school, Christine scored a job working at her local public library. “I loved dealing with all the books, especially when new shipments would come in and I could flip through the books and delight in the cover designs and illustrations before they hit the shelves.”

Those early influences fueled a slowly developing desire to learn her craft. Years spent paging through publications (always wondering why things were placed where they were), admiring book and album covers, and scanning store aisles for just the right greeting card made her recognize design could be something even more. “I realized I wanted to create and package things that would communicate to other people,” Christine explains.

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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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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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Festive Holiday Fabric & Wrap Quickfire Challenge : Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners of our Festive Holiday Fabric & Wrap Quickfire Challenge! For this challenge, we were looking for winter, holiday, and Christmas themed patterns and placed images that could be used on a variety of products. We were so excited to see your fresh and festive designs. Congratulations winners!

 

Visionary Award
For the design that feels truly differentiated and new

Multi-Cultural Santas by Melanie Mikecz


Runners-up: 
Main Street by Julie Murray and Bonney Woods by Cindy Willingham



Santa’s Little Helper Award
For the best fun and festive pattern or placed image design that appeals to children

Gumdrop Buttons by Jackie Crawford

Runners-up: Nutcracker Suite by Peetie Design and Stacked Arctic Animals by Jennifer Wick

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