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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Special Winners of the Happily Ever After Wedding Challenge

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again. The submissions to the Happily Ever After wedding challenge gave us a tough challenge ourselves – it was incredibly difficult to pick the winners of our special awards.  Hence, we decided to show you not only the winner, but the runners up for each award.  Each winner will receive a $300 cash award, plus 5% commission on all net sales…

Best Whimsical Design

Stache + Kiss” by Penelope Poppy pays homage to the quirky chivalry of mustaches and a pouty lip – perfect for a couple who takes fun very seriously. We’ve seen the moustache trend invoked in a variety of ways, but this particular design struck us as particularly playful and well-composed.

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Minted Selects Final Wedding Collection Winners

Dear Designers,

As you know, the designs we received in the “Happily Ever After” wedding challenge were spectacular.  What a body of work to congratulate the entire Minted community on!  The designs were romantic and touching, and made many of us dream of marrying or re-living our wedding day just to use your designs!  So many designs conjured up gorgeous wedding styling thoughts in our heads.

We agonized as a company for days and have had a terribly difficult time choosing the Editor’s Pick wedding collection winners and special award winners.  There were about 10 other designers who were very close to being chosen, and each will be receiving a separate, special communication from us by Monday.

Having said that, we are thrilled to announce the winners, who will be invited to join Laura Hankins in launching wedding collections

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Laura Hankins wins big

Hawaii-based designer Laura Hankins has been racking up design challenge wins in recent months, and as of today, she has one more huge prize to add to her awards case.

Thanks to three designs that were voted into the top 20 of the recent Happily Ever After Wedding Challenge with Wedding Channel.com, Laura has won the coveted

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Coming of Age: No. 1

The moment we’ve all be waiting for… so sorry for the unexpected delay… the first prize in our first ever Coming of Age design challenge goes to: 16 in the City by The Social Type.
What teen wouldn’t love a fresh and even sweet take on the beloved TV series? There is something just so enchanting about a city skyline! Aren’t the little antennas on several of their buildings adorable? And I love the little stars in the sky, which coordinate so well with the little stars on either side of  ‘sixteen.’ The Social Type has taken the idea of a badge and blown it up and then overlaid it over an illustration… the party details support above and below for a very nice combined look. I also really love the chevron in the ribbon banner and the triple edging in the badge’s rick-racked edge–they’re traditionally girlie details with a modern edge! The Social Type has packed a ton of little details into this design, but manged to pull it all together very elegantly. Very impressive work ladies–channeling your inner sixteen-year-old is not easy! And congratulations on your gold medal!!!

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Coming of Age: No. 2

And the silver medal goes to… Ann Gardner for C’est Mangnifique!

It’s lovely. It’s imaginative. It’s inspired. It’s foreign. It’s slightly mysterious. It really is magnifique! The font choice is spot on and the outline of the city is fabulous, as is the heart and arrow. Thank you for the enlightened start to the week Ann!

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Coming of Age: No. 3

Miss Jody is up twice in a row with Modern Tradition.

This watercolor-like cloudscape is simply breathtaking!

Quoting from Waui Design‘s comments, because I simply couldn’t say it any better myself:

“wow jody… i’m speechless. this must’ve been how ken felt when he met barbie. it just takes my breath away. i loooove that background! it’s so soft and relaxing. the type, colors, and layout are a perfect match to go with it. this design would work great for almost every other category as well. can you say repurpose?”

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Coming of Age: Judge’s picks

We were thrilled to have three blockbuster guest judges in our Coming of Age Challenge.

Mary Kate Steinmiller is the Fashion Market Editor for Teen Vogue magazine. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she has contributed to Teen Vogue for 6 years.

Mary Kate picked Lovely Play Bill by Epitome by Renner Design for her $200 judge’s prize.

Mary Kate says:

“I love the retro poster feel of this design. Girls today are obsessed with celebrity culture…and judging from shows like MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”, they want to feel like celebrities too. I think this invitation resembles the genuine NYC fashion/music event invites I receive on a daily basis. I think it will make girls feel like its a VIP party, a REAL event. The mix of fonts is super cool and I think teens will be drawn to the fact that it also resembles old school music posters. Its a fantastic design, and I’d love it for one of my parties. I think parents will accept that it has the feel of a real party invite, but also that retro groove. It doesn’t look like some club event, but still has that “real” party allure. I also like that it includes a website for the party…very cool and elevates the event.”

Marcy Blum is a conceptualist, event planner, entertaining expert and author. Marcy crafts every event with her own distinctive brand of unpretentious elegance, and an almost-preternatural ability to visualize space. And she has planned many young adult parties in her long career. Marcy’s impressive portfolio includes the weddings of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi, Billy Joel and Katie Lee, and Samantha Bryant and Colin Hanks.

Marcy chose Bright Rays by Angela Vivona.

Marcy says:

“Bright Rays is whimsical and the ice cream colors and hip design are used with a light touch so the whole invitation looks on trend, but not obnoxiously so. My clients would love that this invitation is tasteful and while not super simple is not obnoxiously extravagant for the occasion.”

Lisa Gaché is the foremost etiquette, manners and life skills expert for children from a parenting perspective. The Los Angeles Times named her company, Beverly Hills Manners, the etiquette school to “teach kids to be polite.” This educational and entertainment company, founded in 2006, is recognized for its new school approach to etiquette and manners.

Lisa chose Tweet Sixteen by Jana Volfova for her top honors.

Lisa says:

“Social media is extremely popular with this demographic and I feel the teens would respond favorably to this type of fun invitation that uses a play on words with something totally relatable.  The design is simple.  The color scheme with the background in orange is very hip and fun.  I like how the majority of the invitation is filled with a color with only a slight border of white as background.”

Our lovely judges also picked a few runner ups–they really struggled to pick just one from all our great entries!

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