A Few Holiday Card Design Challenge Winners…

We know that the Minted design community probably wants to know the winners of the “Sending Good Cheer” holiday challenge – NOW.  We thought we would surprise you with a sneak preview of winners in three special award categories, the  “Advertising,” “Trailblazer,” and “Whimsy” categories.  Enjoy!

Advertising Award

Our Minted holiday card advertisement in Real Simple Family has hit the newsstands, and it features the first of the new Minted community designs to be featured this year in a national Minted print ad!  Congratulations to Cecile Kotsch of Cecile Paper Lounge on her beautiful “Fleurs de Noel”, a combination birth announcement-holiday card that we thought would be perfect to showcase in this family magazine.  Here is the advertisement:

We love how the beautifully illustrated floral garland frames the image, and the hand-drawn style script is the perfect complement to Cecile’s illustrations.  This delicate design is perfect for a birth announcement any time of the year, but the addition of the rich reds, greens, and pinks in the garland added just enough holiday cheer. Congratulations to Cecile on being named in our advertisement and her $250 award.


Our 2011 Holiday Top Model Contest

The weather outside might not be frightful, but at Minted, we are always delightfully in the holiday spirit. All 365 days a year. We just launched our Annual Holiday Design Challenge and boy is this going to be the best challenge to date! We are going to have holiday card designs like you’ve never seen before this year and now we want to see your photographs.

Sometimes you come across a photo-card that makes you literally stop in your tracks. A gorgeous photograph paired with a stunning card design produces one result – perfection.

Minted is inviting customers and fans to submit their photos for a chance to be showcased in our brand new holiday collection on minted.com. Families, children, couples, grandparents, pets – all are welcome. A variety of photographs will be selected, and if yours is chosen, you will receive a $200 credit for Minted flat or fold-over Holiday Cards, plus a generous Friends and Family discount so that you can share the love with your closest friends. In addition, we will also be picking the top photographer and featuring them on the Minted blog. Submission has been extended to Monday, May 16, 2011 at NOON PST.


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?

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Peace Love Joy.

Holiday Inspiration Boards

Holiday inspiration comes in all sorts of forms and fancies, and today, they are coming your way in the form of holiday-themed inspiration boards. We asked designers in our 2010 holiday collection to create boards showing off some of the elements that helped them get into the holiday spirit and inspired the creation of their designs. Take a look at a few below and see many more here.

Winter Chic by Kelli Hall

YUM. Leave it to Kelli Hall to channel the dark, smooth, sophistication of cocoa and pine cones



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

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.


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.


Holiday card and calendar photo shoot.

We were so lucky to get to work with two very talented ladies on our holiday ad photo shoot: Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, a blog about parties and pretty things, and Suzanne Shade, the creative force behind The Beholder, a cool marketplace for artists. I think you’ll agree that the results were absolutely fabulous.

Our CEO & Founder Mariam Naficy, who also manages Minted’s overall brand positioning, was thrilled to bring on Suzanne Shade as the lead stylist for the entire campaign. “It was important to me that the holiday ad campaign communicate both our beautiful designs and that we source them from a community,” says Naficy. “I interviewed several talented creative directors in San Francisco and chose Suzanne Shade, as she intuitively understood my vision for the Minted brand like no one else.”

Mariam was also extremely excited to focus our whole new ad campaign around the ‘inspiration board’ trend. “What I love about Suzanne’s concept,” says Mariam, “is that practically every woman in the US now not only understands the inspiration board, but probably has one of her own–or if she doesn’t have a physical board, she has one running in her head!”


And the winner of the Facebook Joy Photo Contest is….

Finalist C -- "Joy is wondering what they are thinking about."

As Amy said in the comments, “That expression on her face is priceless”. We couldn’t agree more!

Congratulations, Christy, on your win, and thanks for sharing such a beautiful photo with us.

We’re also excited to reveal our guest judge’s favorite photo. Joy the Baker blogs about delicious treats such as this:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

And this:

Dutch Baby with Orange Sugar

So, it’s no surprise that she picked this:

"Joy is eating cookie dough."

Danielle, thanks for sending in this photo! We can all relate.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted photos and left comments. Wishing you all a most joyful holiday season!!! And also a very joyful weekend ahead.