2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 19

Let’s lighten up for the weekend, but without resorting to cheese, with No. 19: Emily Ranneby‘s Joyeux Noel + st. nicholas.

First of all, I love the entire series Ranneby did like this. I think what makes it so great is that it’s actually quite rare that you see minimalism and humor together. I love how the beard is shaped like a doily and I love that she chose to add stripes to it on a diagonal. Also, despite the fact that there really are no eyes on this Santa–you don’t even miss them–maybe they’re hiding behind ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ which is Santa’s long hair? The point is  that Ranneby does lots of things I would never think of doing, but makes it look like that is just how it’s supposed to be! She also really nailed the color palette. The gray is both warm and yet still cool like you expect from the color gray. The shade of pink is not really pink it’s some sort of shade of beige with pinkish tones. And the reversed out effect = pure sophistication. Finally, the writer in me always loves when the copy matches the design and Ranneby also executes on that perfectly. Have a lovely and amusing weekend ahead!


2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 20

Are you ready for a hand drawn masterpiece? Sydney Newsom‘s Love and Peace Eternal is just that. And it’s also No. 20!

So clearly Sydney has some real talent–I just love all of the hand drawn elements. It’s truly a beauty. Let’s just take a minute now and unravel her design genius piece by piece. Isn’t the ‘a’ in peace awesome? And isn’t it helpful how white, red, green, and blue are evenly spread throughout the entire composition? The globe is simply fabulous. Ditto re: the pictogram of the heart. I love the little banner with the tiny dots around ‘and’. And I also love the simple snowflakes that fill up any empty space. ‘This’ spelled out vertically looks really awesome. Finally, I love how the olive branch in the dove’s mouth pulls us into a peaceful 2010 and slightly overlaps across the photo! What other bits and pieces of fabulousness am I missing?


2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 21

In the countdown so far we’ve had elegant, classic, and sophisticated, but we’ve yet to have modern or humorous… until now: No. 21, Jolly Dots by Sweet Tree Studio.

So first of all, the text of the card couldn’t fit the tone of the photo better. It’s good to remember that lots of Minted customers actually take their holiday photos to mimic the card they’ve chosen and I for one would love to see more babies up in the air come December! But, in all seriousness, I think the very best part of this card is the lovely dotted ribbon that plays so well off the dots in “Jolly” and the ‘a’s in  fa, la, la. It’s just such a fresh take on ribbon, which can lean towards stuffy/traditional. The ribbon is on one hand so simple–it is, after all, just dots–but it is so beautiful. Readers, what’s your favorite part of Sweet Tree’s masterpiece?

Note: The designs in the top twenty five countdown, as voted by our community, will each receive a $100 cash prize, plus five percent ongoing commission anytime the card sells.


2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 22

Here at Minted we love photography almost as much as we love good design. Christmas Glow nails both–it really lets the photo be the star, but the subtle design elements add stunning finishing touches and so much class. Congratulations to Karen Glenn for being No. 22!

I think this card would work with so many photos as often the top quarter of the card is background. And don’t you just love how the dots and lines from above reappear in a different way below? I also love how 2010 is in a crisp, ice blue. It really makes me think of a winter wonderland, but not in a cheesy, hit-you-over-the-head kind of way. Although, it’s a little hard to think of snow in July! Hope you all had a lovely, celebratory 4th!

Note: The designs in the top twenty five countdown, as voted by our community, will each receive a $100 cash prize, plus five percent ongoing commission anytime the card sells.


2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 23

Let’s be honest, the Christmas tree has been around the block a few times. So whenever we see something tree shaped that makes us stop and reconsider this timeless icon, it truly is a beautiful thing! Introducing No. 23: A Very Merry Christmas by Sarah Brown.

Don’t you just love how all of these fonts combine together in such an elegant way? Swirls and curly-q’s have never looked so beautiful. And I know families will love to see how their names look nestled into the bottom. I also just love black and white. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. I especially love it reversed-out like this.

So a big congratulations Sarah! I hope you enjoy this victory all long weekend long. You’re one of our community’s newest members and we just can’t wait to see what you’ll enter next!

Have a lovely Fourth of July everyone! We’ll be back on Tuesday with no. 22!

Note: The designs in the top twenty five countdown, as voted by our community, will each receive a $100 cash prize, plus five percent ongoing commission anytime the card sells.


2010 Holiday Spectacular Countdown: No. 24

Sometimes it’s simply too hard to decide on just one photo for your family holiday cards, so why not select 6? “Bow Tie,” a stunning design by Design Lotus comes in at no. 24 on our 2010 Holiday Spectacular countdown for its fresh take on the multi-photo card layout. We adored how “Bow Tie” allows customers to showcase so many photos in a chic and elegant way. We also adored how Amy added a touch of warmth and humor with a tiny cardinal illustration. The simplicity of the type and bow-tie detail balance the design, while letting the stars (your family photos) really shine through.  Congratulations Amy!

Please comment and let us know what you think. We’ll be announcing no. 23 tomorrow…


2010 Holiday Spectacular Countdown: No. 25

We are thrilled to be starting the 2010 Holiday Spectacular Countdown today. We’ve said it before, but this time we really mean it! We simply could not have been more amazed by the incredible submissions.  1370 designs were submitted and thank goodness we have such an incredibly active community of voters because there’s no way we could have chosen on our own!

A big congratulations for–drum roll please–no. 25: R Studio‘s Merry Mod.

The first thing we love about Renee’s design is the color. Grey and orange have never looked so sophisticated together. And while one doesn’t typically think of those colors as being very holiday, this design is nonetheless super festive. I also think Renee completely nailed the fonts here. All three work together so well–which is never an easy task when they’re so different. Finally, I love that her design really shows off the photo. Please do share your thoughts with us as we share a design a day (business days only) with you. Thanks so much and, again, a big congrats to R Studio!

Please do share your thoughts with us as we share a design a day (business days only) with you.


Wedding bells are ringing: Minted’s crowd-sourced invitations are now launched!

Today it’s official! We are up and running… and away we go with over 140 flat printed wedding invitations mainly sourced from our design competitions.

In celebration of our launch we’re running an incredible promotion for the rest of the month: 15% Off All Minted Wedding Invitations and Stationery. Code: LAUNCH15

Some of our newest designs include:

Aquarelle by Sarah Lenger

Frolic by Design Lotus

Cross Your Heart by Unless Someone Like You

Classic Affair by Dish & Spoon


Last call holiday card judge’s picks.

We are continually stunned by the incredible talent in our design community and by how many great designs are entered in each challenge — the last call holiday card challenge was no exception. We asked our guest judges for their favorites and, like us, they had a hard time picking a favorite.

Rachel Levin, senior travel editor at Sunset magazine, has never sent a Christmas card — but she’s excited to do so for the very first time this year with her new daughter front and center. She says she “leaned towards more general, less Christmasy” designs when making her selection.

Rachel: These are my top two. Even though I think you only want one; it was a tough call — so many fun ones!

cocoa Holiday Photo Cards
cocoa Holiday Photo Cards

retro greeting Holiday Photo Cards
retro greeting Holiday Photo Cards

Lindsay Bierman, Editor-in-Chief at Coastal Living.

Lindsay: This was tough — so many great choices and beautiful graphics. I went back and forth, but if I had to choose just one I’d say the space needle would be my top pick. Since the challenge was to refer to a city or region, I love how the card can be recycled for use as an architectural tree ornament!

Seattle Space Needle Ornament   Holiday Photo Cards
Seattle Space Needle Ornament Holiday Photo Cards

Tied for second, I really like the “bright holidays ahead” (although no place mentioned) and the “santa cruz basics” card. I liked the integration of type, graphics, and photo on the bright holidays, and adored the surfboard motif on santa cruz. Both are really bright and cheerful graphics that don’t overshadow the photo. I’d personally send the surfboard, but the conversion to an ornament gave Seattle the slight advantage.

Bright Holidays Ahead Holiday Photo Cards
Bright Holidays Ahead Holiday Photo Cards

santa cruz basics Holiday Photo Cards
santa cruz basics Holiday Photo Cards

I can’t wait to see what your visitors choose!


What the foodies want in their paper goods.

We asked leading food magazine editors to be special judges in our recent holiday party invitations challenge. Here is what they picked. Congratulations to the Minted design community again for coming up with fantastic designs for this challenge.

Emily Kaiser, Associate Food Editor, Food & Wine

Here’s my favorite:
Light Bright Party Invitations
Light Bright Party Invitations

by escargot studio

It jumped right out at me from the page displaying all 140 entries; I particularly loved the light strings, it was quite a feat the way they were both elegant and playful at the same time. I also loved how the warm gray background allowed the information about the party to look clear and, well, inviting. The choice of fonts also helped make the invitation clear and easy to read.

Close runners up:

Snowy Bloom Party Invitations
Similarly enjoyed the fun design and clean presentation.

This Little Light Party Invitations
I loved the color and the candles; the way the candles floated on the page, there seemed to be a surreptitious allusion to the Adams Family.

Bird on a Branch Party Invitations
I was drawn to the robin on the branch and the play on red and green.

Francis Lam, Contributing Editor Gourmet
I’m so glad you got such an enthusiastic response, and with so many wonderful entries. It wasn’t easy to choose from many designs I really liked, but here we go. I have a pick and a few runners up.

My pick:

oh, joy Party Invitations
oh, joy Party Invitations

by Stacey Day

I love the colors here, using the traditional Christmas combination but in a muted, restrained way. But even more, I love the subtle contrast and harmony. The green circles are a happy mess, set and anchored by the graceful strokes of the “Oh Joy” before them – the invitation speaks of a party both elegant and playful. I’d want to go to this party, dressing up neatly for it, knowing that we’ll all be a little sloppier by the end.

Runners up:

Holiday Elephant by Erin Rau

This is a really lovely way to express winter; the rich blue and rough-edged white space suggest sky and snow, but the roundness of the elephant suggests softness, plushness. It’s a really appealing invitation. It gives a real sense of warmth. The text fonts don’t work for me super well, though – I find them a little busy and heavy in relation to the simple curves of the elephant and the simplicity of the rest of the design.

Decorative Ornaments by Lauren Mummé

Really beautiful; I love the warm colors and the “Tis the Season” font. It’s deliciously retro, like a card I might have found in my
mother’s attic.

Up Up and Away by Milkmaid Press

I have to confess that my favorite part of this card is also, to me, the most inexplicable. What does a hot air balloon have to do with this party? It’s not really clear from the rest of the card. Still, that graphic is gorgeous with its fine lines and textures, a quality echoed lightly in the elegant fonts below. I keep wanting to stare at the balloon, but the weight of the word “Celebrate” keeps drawing my eye to itself, a nice trick that makes the balloon really feel like it keeps floating away from me.

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