Coming of Age: No. 9

We are in for a very sweet surprise today with Jana Volfova’s Tweet Sixteen.

Now I love Twitter as much as the next gal, so it’s no surprise that this little riff is a phrase after my own heart! The cheery colors is what really makes this design stand out to me–magenta and orange are so perfect together. And surprisingly, we have had two designs with cross hatched background in a row, which is kind of fun. I especially love how you can see the striped pattern behind the letters in ‘sixteen.’ Jana joined the community six months ago and although she is on the newer side of things, she is already producing incredible work! We can’t wait to see what else she will come up with!! Congratweetations!


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 2

This breezy design, Fantastic Birthday, by b.wise papers takes home the 2nd Place prize of $500 on the Happy, Happy Birthday Challenge countdown. Congratulations Alston!

Alston channels retro inspiration and makes it feel fresh again. Let’s start with the “fan.”  It looks structurally accurate, yet it carries a sense of whimsy and lightness that makes it feel downright perky. The personalized banner of the cupcake flutters delicately in the fan’s breeze, and the graphic stripes of the cupcake wrapper gives this stand-by treat a decidedly modern and sophisticated upgrade. And then there is the color palette, which pairs mint green and coral in a way that feels easy and relevant. It takes a skilled and confident designer to pair these colors for such an unexpectedly refreshing effect, and this win is an affirmation that b.wise papers is a designer to watch.


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 3

Celebrate an ultra-special day with an Ultra Official design by J.Bartyn Design, the 3rd Place winner of $250 on the Happy, Happy Birthday Card Countdown. Congratulations Cambria!

Look closely at any J. Bartyn-design and your eyes will slowly uncover the many layers of details and touches that Cambria builds into her designs. A delicate hatching of the “Please” to catch your gaze and hold it; a delicate, orange grid that offsets the type and adds a soft, modern elegance; a clever interior panel composed entirely of fonts. Cambria consistently submits designs that are deliberately conceived and flawlessly executed, and she shows us that perfection is really in the details.

Cambria has been a fantastic contributor to the design community since her first design challenge, the Breakout Wedding Challenge, and we are thrilled to congratulate her on yet another win.


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 4

As I write this, I am imagining the many items squashed-stuffed-and-stashed in my too small closet that would fit perfectly in today’s winning design. Without naming names, I will confess to having received an Extra, Extra, Extra Large fleece with a corporate logo, a wonderfully soft but hard-to-match maroon boa, and several pairs of super-thick, furry, argyle socks with fake crystals glued onto the ankles (please keep in mind that I reside in SF, a decidedly socks-optional kind of place). We all have received one or many of these kinds of presents, which makes Many Happy Returns, the 4th Place winner of $100, totally amazing. Congratulations to Leslie of Unless Someone Like You! You know EXACTLY how we feel.

An Unless Someone Like You design can be spotted from a mile away. Leslie has a knack for creating light-hearted, cheeky, and slightly retro-feeling illustrations that are as evocative as they are fun (check out her stationery design Elliott! or her wedding invitation Destination for example). Her latest winner, Many Happy Returns, is no exception. It strikes a tone of familiarity and adds a sassy twist to make you laugh. Rather than roll your eyes at the gifts and the givers, this design is so good because it joins the giver and recipient in a joke with a wink and a smile.


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 5

Is there anything as elegantly handsome, nostalgic and quirky as a well-tied bow tie? If you think no, definitely not, then you’ll love the 5th Place winner of $100. Congratulations to Ashley of Fine Day Press for her winning design, Tie One On!

Ashley originally hails from Savannah, Georgia and is now based in Brooklyn. It’s highly probably that a combination of the two locations have inspired the design’s spirited, patterned bow ties and whimsical color palette. This design manages to feel both distinguished and celebratory and would be a wonderful addition to a variety of special occasions — a birthday, anniversary, or even a graduation. So go ahead, tie one on.


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 6

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce today’s 6th place winner of $100 — Birthday Suit Dance Party by Melissa and AJ of We Hold Hands.

This is Melissa and AJ’s very first Minted design challenge (adding yet another newbie to the top 10!), and I already can’t get enough of their textures, typography, and cheeky spirit. A quick scan of their 4 design submissions reveals an illustrative style that is whimsical, tactile, and incredibly fun, and we are expecting to see big things come out of this Philadelphia-based design duo. Congrats guys, and welcome to Minted!


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 7

The designer who created the No. 7 design on the Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge Countdown is quickly becoming a familiar name. Since entering in her first design challenge in February 2010, Ann Gardner has established a reputation as a versatile and talented illustrator with a penchant for creating handsome designs that encompass a broad range of styles – from bold and typographic to illustrative. Her design, The Manly Type, takes home the 7th Place prize of $100.

Ann referenced vintage cigar labels in the layout and typography of this design.  Keeping her potential customer in mind, Ann prominently incorporated the name of the recipient to make customization simple. The design’s discreet flourishes and message to “have some cake” add humor and whimsy, meanwhile maintaining the elegance of the overall design. Congrats Ann!


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 8

Fresh off her win as the Best New Designer from the 2010 Holiday Spectacular, Robin Ott has made waves again with her 8th place win of $100 for “Love Story.”

This design taps into the retro romance of typewritten notes and feels understated and handsome, but still celebratory. Plus, this design is effortlessly versatile. It could be reworked in a variety of color ways, for a variety of recipients. Congratulations Robin!


Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 9

Mandy Gordon is one of those designers who has been with Minted since the beginning, and her illustrations always leave an impression. As her 9th Place win of $100 for “Bloom” shows, voters have also taken notice of her illustrative prowess and have awarded her a spot in the top 10.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for illustrative type, but her floral type just takes my breath away. The blossoms have so much personality and substance, while still feeling very delicate. Laid out against a rich cocoa background, the bright type sets this design apart and leaves us begging for more. Mandy’s made quite the splash with her imaginative and personable illustrations, such as this adorable clown from the recent  Make A Wish Children’s Birthday Party Challenge. “Bloom” is no exception, and we are thrilled to congratulate Mandy on a well-deserved win.


2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 1

Wow, I’m actually sorta nervous while writing this (and shielding my computer so others at Minted don’t see this), but we’ve finally come to the last episode of the Minted 2010 Holiday Design Challenge.  In the toughest competitive field we’ve ever had, over 1370 holiday card design entries, we are pleased to announce that our #1 winner as selected by the community, is…..(drumroll)

…. Annie Clark’s “Bright”, a design that perfectly captures the spirit, hope, and warmth of the holiday season. In case you don’t know Annie, she started entering design challenges as a Minted back in 2008, and after giving me an earful regarding how I should improve the design challenges, we got to know each other and she joined Minted in 2009.  Annie is highly regarded among her fellow Minties for her strong command of typography, incredible use of color, and for always remembering the idea behind the product.  We congratulate her on her never-ending quest for perfection, and her ability to prevail in a completely community-led decision.

Now, as many of our community know, Minted employees can earn glory and can win a place in our assortment, but are not eligible for cash prizes.  We do this in order to promote trust within our community.  Which means that by tradition, our $5,000 top prize award will now be awarded to the 2nd place winner, Sydney Newsom.  Our 2nd prize of $1,000 will be awarded to our 3rd place winner, Oscar + Emma, and our 3rd prize award of $500 will be awarded to our 4th place winner, Stacey Day.  Congratulations to all! You can view these designers and the others who made it into the top 10 on our winners page.

We have been blown away by your creativity in this challenge, and we excitedly look forward to offering all your beautiful designs this holiday season.  Editor’s Picks from the 2010 Holiday Challenge will be announced at the end of August.