Ruffled’s ‘Getting Hitched’ Save the Date Judge’s pick.

Oh, Ruffled, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. I adore all of your insanely creative DIY ideas. Your ‘Real Weddings’ always have a hint of old world glamour. You have a wonderful green marketplace for ‘recycling your wedding’ = pure genius. But most of all I love Amanda Nistor’s voice and aesthetic and how it is carried throughout the site. So without further ado, I am very pleased to bring you Amanda’s top five picks from the ‘Getting Hitched’ Save the Date challenge, including her Judge’s pick.
Says Amanda of the challenge: “I am overwhelmed with the creativity and talent of all designers who participated in the Design Challenge. So, so so many gorgeous designs!”

floriculture by Moglea

“Love the fresh colors of this design. It can be used for virtually any wedding style – from a beach bohemian wedding to a modern loft city wedding, you have plenty of wiggle room to change your mind about your wedding vision.”

palm by Palm Papers

“This save-the-date sets the tone for an uber chic wedding. I imagine a glamorous Miami or Beverly Hills wedding or an intimate Destination wedding just by swooning over this design.”

flowchart by Paper + Parcel

“The flowchart has just the right amount of quirkiness! My hubby would picked this one for sure – it’s a bride & groom winner all around.”

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Meet a Mintie: Waui Design

This Christmas eve I bring you the gift of a wonderful interview with the very talented Robert True. Not only is Robert a prodigious member of the Minted team, but he is also an active member of our design community. You likely know his work by the name Waui Design and its signature character illustrations and clean type-face. I know you will enjoying getting to know Robert as much as I did.

Robert is a family man at heart and says that his work is inspired by his three-year-old son Jayce and his loving girlfriend Animae.

At age nine, you wanted to be?
I wanted to be an illustrator for Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy. I think that was around the time when I really started to be more structured creatively with anything I drew. I didn’t read much as a kid or have an attention span for anything but for some reason that magazine hit the nail on the head for me. That and Gumby. I drew a lot of Gumby’s back in the day too.

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Big pink ribbon cards.

Breast cancer affects way too many people, including many beloved by Minted employees, so we wanted to do a little something to give back.  Minted will be donating 15% of proceeds of these inspiring blank stationery cards to Big Pink Ribbon.
The story behind these inspirational cards is both novel and star-studded: 120 women draped themselves in pink SHEEX (a new high-performance line of bed sheets) and laid down on Krissy Field to get this shot last fall. The women included Pattie Sellers (chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit), Eva Sage-Gavin (EVP of Gap, Inc.), as well as our CEO & founder Mariam Naficy and CTO Niniane Wang.

This project was conceived by Asa Mathat, a renowned photographer who has shot everyone from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Desmond Tutu to the Dalai Lama. He was moved to help people affected by breast cancer see the beauty in themselves as they go through this life event/transition and conceived of the Big Pink Ribbon. The project’s aim is to unite the global community of breast cancer survivors and those who love them through large shoots that boost awareness and individual photographs of women that capture their stories.

Asa took the photograph from a crane with a “man basket.” The use of the crane was donated by Jim McPherson.

The idea for the Krissy Field shoot was born when Asa and a bunch of incredibly talented women met over dinner in New York last summer. The women included: Pattie Sellers, Joanne Bradford (Chief Revenue Officer, Demand Media), Desire Gruber (Producer, Project Runway), Christine Beauchamp (President, Ann Taylor Stores) and SHEEX founders and co-CEO’s Michelle Marciniak and Susan Walvius and Kathi Lutton (Global Head of Litigation for Fish & Richardson). Well done Asa and ladies! Your vision was certainly realized.

These cards would be an excellent gift for anyone, but especially for breast cancer survivors. They would also be great for writing holiday thank yous or could even work as a truly heart-felt Valentine. Show your support for this inspiring project today!

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Peace Love Joy.

Sometimes you stage an elaborate shoot for your holiday card photo and sometimes they just happen serendipitously, as was the case here.

Lisa’s daughter Megan posted pictures on Flickr after hiking above Florence on her first day abroad and she loved one of them so much she chose it for their holiday card.  Megan is a junior at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and she’ll be home just before Christmas, making Waui Design’s Three Words design extra special for her. Lisa was also the winner of our giveaway with the cool, new magazine Anthology.

Perhaps you have a photo that you haven’t thought of on Flickr or Facebook that would make for a great New Year’s card as well?

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Minibooks!

We know it’s been a little while… things got a little crazy with the wedding challenge and the general insanity that is the holiday around here, but we wanted to take a minute to stop and acknowledge how awesome our Minibook challenge was. This was the first time we’ve opened up this incredible and exclusive to designers and they certainly didn’t disappoint! We loved how they used the unique format, for example, all of the details they created on the tabbed pages and the unique monograms that overlapped two pages.
Unfortunately do to the major holiday crunch, we were only able to launch a couple of the Minibooks in time for this year’s holiday, but not to worry the rest will absolutely be up for next year. And all of the wedding designs will be launching this winter when we launch our 2011 wedding collection.
We were delighted when Anne agreed to guest judge. Anne is a force to be reckoned with; she is the founder of City Sage as well as the brand new and incredibly fabulous new magazine Rue. If you haven’t checked it out yet — head over to their second issue now.
I would be remiss not to point out how incredible Marabou‘s Visage performed in this challenge. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen such a sweep before! It was the First Place winner, the top wedding design, as well as…. wait for it… our guest judge Anne Sage’s Judge’s selection. Anne chose
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The Wedding Channel’s Judge’s Pick

It’s fair to say we’ve never had a guest judge in this much agony over having to chose just one design to receive their prize, but we can’t say we’re all that surprised given how many incredible entries we received in this challenge. Since Amy had such a hard time picking, she asked us to list her top five. Of course, only her number one will receive a prize, and all of her other favorites have already been awarded judge’s prizes.

Amy loves that her first choice is a square shape. She found it to be both hip and elegant at the same time. She also really likes that it is a softer design, but stops just short of being feminine. We were really honored to have Amy and the Wedding Channel as guest judges in this challenge and we thank Amy very much for her time and great insight. You can follow Amy and all of her creative ideas regularly on her blog My DIY Wedding Day–she just did a fabulous post about book inspired centerpieces!

Her judge’s prize goes to Cherry Blossom Bliss by Jenifer Martino.

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Planes Lions & Dinos inspired Baby Shower.

We really love how inspiring all of Minted’s designs are… our invitations can really set the tone for an event, as well as provide lots of fun jumping-off points for party themes and decor. This was certainly the case with this Details Details Assistant Baby Shower, inspired by Planes Dinos & Lions by Christie White. All of the photography is by Sebastian Ho.

Check out all of the fun ways they incorporated this shower into a super fun day!

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Billboard Calendar in Martha Stewart.

We were beyond thrilled when Martha Stewart chose Emily Potts’s incredible Billboard Calendar to feature in her first ever holiday gift guide.

We loved so many things in the gift guide by the way…

Doesn’t her calendar look fantastic on the page?

You just cannot believe the labor of love this is! Check out the incredible hand drawn details on every page.

And not just the cover! You can go to the theater… Or take the subway!

Or how about a ball game?

And why not cozy up in a ski lodge at the end of the year?!

Emily this is truly a masterpiece… as soon as our team saw the first page we literally lost our minds! All of the little hand drawn details are just incredible. They bring us back to a bygone era and are an incredible way to showcase your family’s photos. Congratulations on the “Martha Seal of Approval” — a giant accomplishment.

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Wedding Invites in Elle Sposa.

Our wedding invitations made it across the globe and alll the way into Italian Elle!

Of the samples we sent over to their editor, she selected Block Print Waves by Bumble Ink…

… and Destination Wedding Invitations by Unless Someone Like You.

But we’re not all that surprised… the Italians have a record of good taste in stationery that’s centuries long!

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Family Photo Tips from Two Ellie.

Could this card be any lovelier? I think not! Here at Minted we think a great card begins with great design and ends with a sharp photo. Chica Design’s Be Merry design is so fresh! I love seeing a little bit of orange and blueberry in a holiday card. Paula, of Two Ellie, and Kellen, of Kellen Jacob Photography, are clearly two very hip parents with absolutely stunning children. I love how Dad is looking at son and Mom is looking at us like, ‘yep, this is my crazy gang!!’

Blogger extrordinaire Paula shared some tips from their family shoot on how to take a great family photo.

1) Dress in what you are comfortable in. You can wear complementing outfits without being too matchy matchy.
2) Keep it simple…especially when using a self timer like we did for the first image. If you try too hard it will show, and not necessarily in a good way.
3) Be yourself. Again this goes back to dressing in what you would normally wear and stay away from too many trends unless that is who you really are. People want to see the real you.
4) Have fun!!! So many people put too much pressure on having to get that perfect shot, but in the long run you will see the stress of it all on your faces. The in between moments are always our favorites anyways.
5) Using a self timer can be hard even for a photographer like my Mr. so asking a friend to help can be a life saver. It also gave us the chance to do something that comes completely natural to us…walking as a family.

Apparently, Paula and Kellen had such a hard time picking a card they chose to do two! (This is so something I would do.) Their other choice was Love, Peace & Joy by 175DesignStudio.

To add to Paula’s tips… I have a few of my own, just from looking at these great pics!

1) Accessories count! In a big way. Don’t you think the Panama hat and pom-pom scarf Mom and Dad are sporting add a lot of interest? And have you ever seen cuter little girl boots!?!

2) Contrary to what you may remember from your childhood family portraits in matching white button-downs and khakis, a little pattern is a good thing! The striped shirt really pops!

3) Action shots, like walking above, are not the enemy. They can work wonders in loosening everyone up and making the photo appear more natural.

4) Even if you’re at the boardwalk, you probably don’t want to include the ferris wheel in the shot, i.e. the simplest backgrounds… a grove of trees or a cement wall… are usually the best.

5) Finally, don’t crop too closely as you take the picture and you don’t have to center the shot–especially with the full-bleed cards featured above, you’ll actually want to leave some room for text to one side.

If you haven’t already, make sure to get out there and take your family picture this weekend! We have a friend in from out of town that I have already drafted to take ours.

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