Meet a Mintie: Coco Paperie

I know everyone is probably either exhausted from the holiday challenge or needs a break from voting for all of the amazing designs, but luckily we have Deb from Coco Paperie to take you back from December to June! Read on for amazing Pinterest boards, straight-forward advice on how to design, a suitcase inspired by a holiday card, and “incredibly sexy” typefaces!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
Ever since I was kid I gravitated toward art: watercolors, clay, macrame, painting, you name it. I didn’t have label for what I loved until high school. There was a teacher at Pittsford Mendon H.S. who really encouraged me to follow my dreams. Back then it was called “commercial art”. Does that date me? LOL.

I would spend hours redecorating my room: rearranging furniture, painting the walls… I spent a lot of time expressing my creativity with my clothing. My poor mother put up with crazy combinations from the ’80s and ‘90s.

Really though, the icing on the cupcake was a trip to NYC to visit my cousin Helen while she was in school at Parsons. She took me around to her classes and allowed me to tag along while she finished a catalog design. I was hooked. Check out one of her gorgeous bridal shower invitations available on sale at Minted!

Deco Lights Bridal Shower Invitations by Coco Paperie

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Special Awards from the International Celebration Challenge

Dear Readers,

I am writing this post from the Gansevoort Hotel, where a few of us are staying as we attend the National Stationery Show in New York.  The Gansevoort’s location in the Meatpacking District, by the way, is spectacular – right across from Pastis, where I plan to have breakfast every morning, and around the corner from too-tempting shops like Scoop.  I have yet to try the rooftop club at the Gansevoort, but I hear good things from the Minties who have scouted the place out and several us are planning on hitting that tonight to celebrate a successful trip (join us if you are in town!).

Alright, now down to business on the International Celebration Challenge.  I was really moved by this challenge, and here is why:  The Minted design community threw themselves into learning about other cultures with dedication, and they were willing to take risk in submitting designs around holidays that they were not necessarily familiar with.  Designers like Lena Barakat and Sheila Sunaryo, and many others tried to help other designers out with language and cultural expertise.  I am continually astounded and thrilled by how helpful this community is to each other.

Here are the winners of the Special Awards, and Runners Up:

Customer Favorite and Best Rosh Hashanah Design: The Matisse by Jess Taich

Jess Taich’s “The Matisse” was the favorite design as voted by customers in this challenge and Minted Editors wholeheartedly agree!

Customer Favorite and Best Rosh Hashanah Design - The Matisse by Jess Taich

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Thrilled to be partnering with Chronicle!

We are beyond excited about our just announced partnership with Chronicle Books. If you don’t immediately think of highly curated, beautifully composed books, gift and stationery when you hear the word Chronicle, you undoubtedly have seen their great products and just not realized they were the work of this design leader and independent book publisher.

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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.

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The ‘Best of the Best’ awards.

It has been 3 years since Minted launched, and our community has grown and evolved tremendously. All of us at Minted feel very privileged to have been given the gift of working with a highly talented design community. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is how supportive the designers in our community are of one other.

For the first time this year, we have launched an annual ‘Best of the Best’ award where we recognize the top designs of the entire past year. Before you peek at the results, please believe us in saying that it is a true honor to have made the top 200 list to begin with. Minted’s competitions have become known industry-wide for being very tough, and to achieve a top-20 ranking in the past 10 challenges is no small feat. We are thrilled to recognize these designs and designers as the top 10 Best of the Best of the past 12 months:

No. 1: no job too small by Ann Gardner

This clever design is an example of what so often makes a minted design successful: the genius idea behind the design. Our designers are always thinking outside the box and certainly adding a ruler to the back of a business card for a handyman seems like such a natural idea, but yet only Ann was brilliant enough to think of it!

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The $1,000 Blogger Program Challenge.

I don’t know if you heard the big news… around here we feel like shouting it from the mountaintops, but we just launched wedding programs! What makes our DIY wedding programs special is that although they coordinate perfectly with the rest of your wedding stationery, they still leave a little room for creativity to make them your own. (Check out our step by step DIY guide on creating your DIY wedding program and download our wedding program templates.) They also let you leave (always, no matter how far ahead you plan) program details to the last minute (like, say, those hard-to-choose readings or which family will be included in the procession), while having a beautiful end product. So to celebrate this launch we’re having a challenge to see what creative things people can do to construct–or rather bind together–and embellish our programs. The grand prize is $1,000 cash. Two runner-ups will be awarded $500 minted gift certificates. In addition to these prizes, you will also receive a blog post here on the Minted blog, as well as permanent placement of your creation here on the minted site, with a link to your blog, which is linked off of EVERY program detail on the site–a sure way to permanently drive lots of traffic back to you!

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Special Editor’s Picks from The +3 Holiday Challenge

Never have we had so much fun looking through all the design submissions for The +3 Holiday Design Challenge. The Halloween cards sent chills down our spine. The Easter cards were simply “egg-cellent”! The Thanksgiving cards made us grateful for the amazing talent in Minted’s design community. Here are the Special Editor’s Picks and the Runners up in each design category – brought to you by Mariam (Minted’s Founder & CEO) and the Minted Design Staff.

P.S. Some of our Easter Card Picks are already available for sale, just in time for the Easter holiday season!

Customer  Favorite:

Candytarian by Campbell and Co.  Minted customers all have a sweet tooth for this design! It just goes to show that Halloween can be sweet and doesn’t have to be all that scary.

Customer Favorite - Candytarian by Campbell and Co.

Runners up for Customer Favorite

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Meet a Mintie: Carrie O’Neal

Today we get to meet Mintie Carrie O’Neal. She’s a real perky gal with a lot of talent and I know you’ll enjoy every word from her!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I didn’t realize that design was an actual career path until high school, but I have great parents that fostered my creativity growing up. And lots of loving aunts who taught me how to paint, sew, quilt, crochet and knit.

Do you have any formal design training?
I have a Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University, with a major in Industrial Design and a minor in Visual Communications.

How would you describe your style?
I don’t think I have a specific style (at least yet)… I love good typography, balance and simplicity.

All of your designs are quite different… How do you make sure you’re always making something so fresh?
It sounds so cheesy…but I try to stay true to my heart. These are BIG LIFE MOMENTS that we are designing for…babies, birthdays, weddings, holidays. BIG STUFF! I try to always remember that and keep my focus on the event taking place, rather than letting the design overpower the piece.

Favorite pen?

It’s sad to say…but I can’t live without my black, Paper Mate Flair pens! They are everywhere—my desk, my nightstand, my purse, car, and normally behind one of my ears.

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Meet a Mintie: Sandra Pons

Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not joking when I say that you’re going to really love getting to know Mintie Sandra Pons. She has been a long-time contributor to our community (since September of 2008) and is just so sweet. Enjoy!

Let’s start with names! Do you prefer to go by Sandy or Sandra? I feel like you like to switch it up!
I sign my checks as Sandra but I think of myself as Sandy.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I was a crafty kid. I loved drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Loved hanging out at the playground in the summer where there was a big wooden box filled with craft supplies and I would make lanyards, potholders and tiled ashtrays (doubt that kids are making these anymore).

My parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and it was important for them that I go. One day when swimming in a neighbor’s pool, I overheard another guest say that she was an art major in college. I didn’t even know that was possible but I knew that’s what I would do too. Even to this day I think, what would I do otherwise?

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