Books to Bottles Baby Shower Invitation Challenge Special Prize Winners

Who doesn’t love a baby shower? The gifts, the excitement, the anticipation! We asked the Minted Community to design unconventional baby shower invitations for modern moms-to-be. We were looking for chic designs to re-invent the traditional shower invite. We can’t get over the number of adorable, edgy, beautiful, and truly surprising designs that came in! Now it’s time to shower those Minties with some love. We’re thrilled to announce the special prize winners for the following prizes. Congratulations, winners!

Avant Garde Award for the best ahead-of-its-time invitation design

Baby’s Due Date” by Serenity Avenue

We couldn’t resist giving our “Avant Garde Award” to this retro library-card design. Ashley created something truly novel with this one (pun intended). We love her attention to detail from the off-kilter, seemingly stamped months and numbers to the hand-drawn look of the circles marking the baby’s due date.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Backyard Barbecue” by Susie Allen | “Coming Soon” by GeekInk | “Letter Boy” by Homeseed Paper | “Ride On Over” by snickerdoodles

Cutest Award for the cutest invitation design that is still modern

Bonjour Bebe” by Pistols

Where do we even start with this one? “Bonjour Bébé” is absolutely adorable. We wish we could say it has a certain “je ne sais quoi,” but we know exactly what it is that we love so much! Her delicate flowers, precociously posh little baby girl, and sparing but prominent use of the French language push this design over the edge for us.

Runner Ups: “Heart & Bow” by Erin Pescetto | “Sailboat” by Olive and Violet | “Eats & Treats” by Noma and Dolly

Baby Makes 3 Award for the best invitation design representing the new threesome

Family Picture Wall” by Alethea and Ruth

“Family Picture Wall” does a beautiful job incorporating mom, dad, and baby into one cohesive design. Rachel’s lovely mix of bows, pins, hand-drawn frames, and varied text gives the design a personal, casual feel. We love the sense of anticipation in her adorable framed onesie, representing the little one to come.

Runner Ups: “Yellow and Blue Make Green” by VOSS | “Sweet Seahorses” by Oma N. Ramkhelawan | “Baby Makes Three” by Jamie Bryant | “Welcome to the Next” by Sandy Pons

Animals Award for the best invitation design incorporating an animal or other creature

Nesting Birds” by j.bartyn

Cambria’s “Nesting Birds” stands out for a few reasons. Her midcentury color palette and clean type make this a design for an incredibly chic, sophisticated shower. At the same time, her stylized flora and fauna are so nostalgically friendly and familiar. Not to mention the fact that she illustrated this design using an oil ink printmaking technique. We love a shower invitation with depth and personality!

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Via Stork” by Jana Volfova | “Stylish Stork and Funky Baby” by chocomocacino | “Babies are from Paris” by Ana Sousa | “Mouse Showers” by kadie foppiano | “Ready to Pop” by nocciola design | “Beat the Drum” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Baby Elephant” by Pistols

Over-the-Top-Pretty Award for the prettiest invitation design

Floral Shower” by Bethany Anderson

Isn’t it obvious? We love Bethany’s beautiful, overflowing florals because they strike the perfect balance with her clean shapes and simple color palette. “Floral Shower” is over the top pretty, but it’s not overwhelming. This is the perfect shower invite for a feminine, delicate soon-to-be mom.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Oh Baby” by Lina Goldberg | “Oh Baby Florals” by Griffinbell Studio | “Petit Bebe” by Kristie Kern | “Baby Love” by Rebekah Disch | “Mariposas” by Wondercloud Design

Text with a Twist Award for the best design that uses curvilinear text to create unique shapes or unusual layouts with the mom’s or parents’ names

Cloud Nine” by robin ott design

Robin’s “Cloud Nine” just makes us feel good! Her beautifully detailed illustrations could have you staring at this design for minutes on end. Her use of curvilinear text is subtle, but perfectly incorporated and helps push the eye up, up to cloud nine. We love the way Robin sets the stage for the excitement that will come with the new baby.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bold Baby” by a la amore | “The Big Reveal” by Cheer Up Cherup | “New Blooms” by Sarah Curry | “Rock-a-Bye” by Betta


The Moms, Dads, and Grads Journal Challenge Special Prize Winners!

Cue the music, light the lights, the time has finally come! The Minted team has been hard at work all summer picking special prize winners from lots of our past challenges. We’re thrilled to say that this post is the first of many, so get ready to relive some of the most outstanding designs from this year’s challenges!

We kick it all off with special prizes from our Moms, Dads, and Grads Journal Challenge. We asked the Minted community to design fresh, modern journals that would make memorable gifts. Congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups whose designs stood out in the following categories:

Snapshot Award for the best design incorporating a photo

Eat Sleep Poop” by VOSS

This is one design that I’m sure lots of people can relate to! Sara’s “Eat Sleep Poop” is both adorable and hilarious. The type is thoughtfully set, perfect for overlaying a large photo of your little one.

Runner Ups: “The Story of You” by guess what? | “Super Dad” by Ana Gonzalez | “dad&me” by Jessica Kwok

Can’t Pick Just One Award for the best multi-photo design

Chalkboard Memories” by Jennifer Pace

There’s something so casual and personal about this journal. From the personalizable family seal to the splash of Washi tape to the chalkboard captions, every detail is so thoughtful. Jennifer’s journal is perfect for capturing memories.

Runner Ups: “Retro Stars” by Designkandy – Simone Klein | “Confessions of a First Time Mom” by Ana Gonzalez

Text with a Twist Award for the best design that uses curvilinear text to create unique shapes or unusual layouts.

Super Mom” by Smudge Design

Renee’s “Super Mom” is simple and sweet. We love the muted background and the very official “Mom” nameplate. Our favorite detail is the type below the name listing the heroic jobs of your supermom.

Runner Ups: “Suzette’s Flowers” by Sharon Rowan | “Run to Win” by Frooted Design | “Polka” by Stacey Meacham

Congratulations again to the winners!


Final ‘Become the Face of Minted’ grand prize award.

Folks, we have a winner!! And a big winner at that. Sophia, pictured, below is our final grand prize winner of our ‘Become the Face of Minted’ top model contest.

It’s pretty easy to see why this little darling took the cake! She is at once adorable and mischievous. We love the contrast of stripes and polka dots. And that blonde hair and blue eyes are just very striking.

The photo was submitted by Photographer Cecile Tinder, from Seattle Washington. Congratulations Cecile!! She will recieve $750 in cash + $200 Minted gift certificate for her masterpiece!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Final ‘Become the Face of Minted’ grand prize award.

Party invitations guest judges’ awards.

Today we’re excited to announce our judges’ picks from the Party Invitations Design Challenge!!

Stephanie Brubaker is the culinary and aesthetic genius behind StephModo, a pretty blog with original recipes, valuable tips and a healthy dose of “pretty.” Steph chose Element of a 16 birthday party invitation by Eunice Kindred.

Says Steph: “Loving this age-appropriate, modern invitation that boasts just the right amount of “cool”.  It emits the right amount of sophistication without being overly so.  He is still technically a ‘kid’ after all!  What a top-notch option for a stylish, fun-loving teenager that isn’t into skulls or cross bones.”

Our judge Liz Stanley is the creative, DIY force behind ‘Say Yes to Hoboken‘, a style and crafts site, when she’s not camping under the Golden Gate Bridge with her husband and son or digging for treasures at local thrift stores.

Liz chose Science by Kristen Kern.

“This one really stood out to me for it’s solid design elements and unexpected color choices,” says Liz. “I want to throw a science party  just around these invites!”

She also really liked Sweet Treat by Natalie Peoples.

“The simplicity of the design, fantastic font choices and fun summer colors–I’m a sucker for all things turquoise made this one a winner for me,” says Liz.

And last, but certainly not least, balloon bear by kadie foppiano.

Liz says: “I love the nostalgic, vintage feel to this invite and the colors combined with the text are just perfect.”

A very big thank you to these lovely ladies, bloggers, and mums for taking the time to pick out party invites that both they and their children will love!


Take Note! Women’s Stationery Challenge Special Prize Winners

We can never get enough of beautiful stationery. Whether you’re sending a formal note or just saying ‘hi,’ chic, modern stationery is the perfect way to do it with a bit of class and personality. That’s why we asked the Minted Community to design women’s personal stationery like we’ve never seen before. Below are the special prize winners that stood out in each of our categories. Congratulations, winners!

The Perfect Gift Award for stationery that would make a perfect gift for many women

White Flowers” by Four Wet Feet Design

The delicately framed monogram, calming color palette, and heart-shaped petals work together beautifully to make “White Flowers” a perfect choice for the special ladies in your life. We really adore Shannon’s playful floral illustrations.

Runner Ups (from left): “Daydream” by b.wise papers | “Simply Succulent” by Frooted Design | “Beaded Swag” by Laura Hankins

Typography Award for the best bold, simple, and modern design relying on typography to showcase a name

Write On Me, I Dare You” by Christopher Morben

We love the contrast of large, yet subtle type in Christopher’s “Write on Me, I Dare You.” The big name and business title flawlessly worked into the background (with modern type accents just below) make this great personal stationery for a chic professional.

Runner Ups: “All Lined Up” by Amber Barkley | “Ampersands” by Sarah Brown | “Antique Monogram” by Laura Hankins | “Hello, You” by Lisa Nelson

Modern Businesswoman Award for the best design for a businesswoman writing a note that demonstrates her unique style, and that she can send to both women and men

Business or Pleasure” by Up Up Creative

Julie’s “Business or Pleasure” strikes a great balance between the two. Her clean, simple background is definitely fit for a business setting, while the unique layout of her stacked-type adds a very modern twist. The subtle use of color adds character, without detracting from the sophistication of the design.

Runner Ups: “Entremet” by chocomocacino | “Write on Me, I Dare You” by Christopher Morben | “Two Feathers” by Jody Wody | “Dotted” by GeekInk

Colorful Award for the design that best uses bright, strong colors

Victorian Mod Floral” by Alethea and Ruth

We love the rich pops of color in “Victorian Mod Floral.” Rachel’s stylized flowers and bright little berries make this one very beautiful piece of personal stationery. The unusual layout of her bold, but delicate flowers over a classic cream background give the design a contemporary feel.

Runner Ups (from left): “Up” by VOSS | “Beaded Swag” by Laura Hankins | “Garden Party” by Jennifer Wick

Text with a Twist Award for the best design that uses curvilinear text to create unique shapes or unusual layouts

Here Comes Sunshine” by Jennifer Wick

Jen’s designs always seem so lighthearted and this is no exception. The flowing lines of her lovely hand-drawn “hello” give so much life and personality to the card (the bright, friendly yellow helps too!). We love how effortlessly her text follows the smooth curve of her “hello.”

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Thinking of You Badge” by Serenity Avenue | “Just a Floral Banner” by Hooray Creative | “Dream a Little Dream” by Roxy | “Keepsake” by nocciola design | “Bonjour” be Melanie Severin


Welcome Home Moving Announcement Special Prize Winners

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to send a stylish note in the mail than to announce a change of address. It’s a great opportunity to go out on a limb and send your friends and family something light, fun, and full of personality. Check out the special prize winners from our Welcome Home Moving Announcement challenge below. Congratulations, moving Mintie winners!

And don’t worry — we know you’ve all been anxious for more winners and we hear you! Special prize winners for our graduation announcements, journals, and stationery will be coming very soon.

Out of the Box Award for a design that is highly creative

New Place, New Space” by kelli hall

We love how simple and yet how very clever Kelli’s “New Place, New Space” is. The clean design elements make her design so modern, while the lowercase Didot and missing “a” in space make a smart nod to our minimalist, Internet-infused world (ironically on an good old-fashioned paper announcement!).

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Architect” by Sarah Brown | “Tear Sheet” by VOSS | “Pecil Us In” by Moglea | “On the Move” by Cheer Up Cherup | “Where We’re @” by kelli hall

Whimsy Award for the best fun or whimsical design

Mod Move” by Kristen Smith

Kristen’s first-place winner “Mod Move” was the immediate favorite for the best whimsical design. Every detail is so fun from the vintage suitcases to the vase balanced on top of it all to the patterned shadows under the wheels. We love the idea of living the kind of simple life where you can pack a few bags on the back of your Vespa and zip off to a new home!

Runner Ups: “The Burbs” by Pistols | “Bird Off the Wire” by Shindig | “Rolling On” by Kristen Smith | “Goldilocks” by Inky Livie

Independent Living Award for the best design to announce a move for someone living on their own

Me, Myself and I” by VOSS

You know the relief and independence that comes with moving on your own? Sara has captured it perfectly. Her bold letters in playful, imperfect blocks proudly announce a move for an individual. We appreciate the fun dash of culture in her De La Soul reference too.

Runner Ups: “City Living” by Jana Volfova | “New Beginnings” by Please Reply Designs | “Apartment Living” by Jennifer Long | “Pretty in Pink” by annie clark

Our First Place Award for the best design to announce a couple’s first home together

Ikat” by Palm Papers

Lauren never fails to impress with her super-chic, minimalist style. Her varying fonts add visual interest to the thin, white text. The yellow on yellow ikat pattern adds a bit of depth and texture to the design, without taking away from the message at all. It’s all about the Mr and Mrs in this design – just as a moving announcement for a new couple should be.

Runner Ups: “Home Front” by Kimberly FitzSimons | “Memory Lane” by lehan paper design | “First Home” by VOSS | “Love Nest” by Amber Barkley

Best over the top pretty design

bienvenue!” by Cecile Paper Lounge

Fine, beautiful florals and a lovely vintage key definitely make this design over-the-top-pretty. Cecile weaves a very intricate, but delicate image of leaves and flowers while the striking Villa Didot font provides a lovely balance. The containing borders and strong lines help the photo stand out in a very natural way.  And who doesn’t love a touch of French class?

Runner Ups: “Sweet Homeness” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak | “Moving Along” by Kelly Nasuta | “Flower Patch” by Sharon Rowan

Best classic with a twist design

Brand New” by annie clark

Annie strikes the perfect balance between modern and retro with “Brand New.” The slightly messy strokes in her pink background and her bold, angled “home” give the design so much energy. We love the balance between her thick text and her expanse of blank space.

Runner Ups: “We Are Home” by nikku | “A Bright Sunny Day” by My Playgroud | “Zipcode” by VOSS | “Pretty in Pink” by annie clark


Minted’s Art Preview at ALTitude Design Summit.

I wanted to, albeit somewhat belatedly, share with you the preview of our soon-to-launch art collection at the ALTitude Design Summit.

The show was curated by the insanely talented Suzanne Shade, the founder of the Beholder, a marketplace for artists.

Don’t you just love what she put together?!

Here’s what Suzanne had to say about how she made her selections: “Art is all about what makes you happy, makes you wonder and connects you to others. When I chose the collection for the ALT exhibit, I wanted to just focus on what pieces I loved and try to see the connections between them.”

“The more I chose, the more I realized that ‘love’ itself was the central theme to a lot of the pieces,” says Suzanne.

“And because of the way the Minted Community votes on art challenges, I could see how many other people enjoyed a piece, too.”

“This was such a joy, because once you saw all of the love a piece was getting, it made me feel really connected to the people voting, not just the artists.”

Here are a few bloggers in front of the show!

And here’s just how packed with bloggers the lounge where the art was showcased got in between conference sessions.

The installation itself was an all-hands-on-deck effort, which included our CEO and founder Mariam Naficy working away with Suzanne until the wee hours of the morning.

And being a bit of a night owl, that smile never left her face!

Match it up just right!

And just one more shot of the curator with her beautiful collection! 

We’re looking forward to the collection’s official launch on our site later this spring.


Guest judges awards from ‘Untitled.’

As you all know, we simply could not be more excited about our new line of art prints soon to launch from “Untitled: The First-Ever Minted Art Print Challenge.” Every time we think about hanging these beauties on our own walls, our hearts go pitter-patter!!

Today we’re happy to announce the guest judges’ awards from our esteemed panel of decor experts. Each design chosen will be awarded $500, plus the designers will also receive a print of their design!

Our first judge was Alison Pincus. Alison is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of One Kings Lane, the leading private flash sales site in the home market.

Alison’s three picks will be featured and sold on One Kings Lane during a special sales event in 2012. How cool is that?! Following the 72-hour sales event on One Kings Lane, the three prints will then be sold on along with the rest of the winning prints. In no particular order, Alison chose Ocean Whale by Colorado-based Creaform Design.

Alison says, “I adore this for either stationery or perhaps a notebook cover.  The whale is sweet and joyful.  Although the name Holden initially grabbed my attention (I have forever loved the name), I am a fan of the typography.   Overall, it’s preppy, fresh and fun!”

Bird Count by Portland-based Tara Lilly Studio also caught Alison’s eye.

“When I first viewed “Bird Count” by Tara Lilley, I immediately thought it would be ideal for a 4th baby’s birth announcement,” says Alison. It’s adorable and memorable.  And, on the other side, I can imagine the messaging done in beautiful typography.  And there will be space for the baby’s precious face.”

Last but certainly not least, Friendly Forest by Atlanta-based Wondercloud Design also garnered Alison’s stamp of approval!

“One Kings Lane is passionate about giving our members access to the work of both renowned and emerging designers & artists,” says Alison. “I’m always enthusiastic to support the work of talented artists, and look forward to providing One Kings Lane members the first chance to buy these unique and original pieces from up and coming Minted designers.”

The other esteemed judges included Christina Brian, the founder of the blog Full House, which often highlights life at home as well as ramblings about design with an emphasis on home decor.

Christina chose Highway Wildflowers by Atlanta-based Kelli Hall.

“In my mind Highway Wildflowers is a winner not only for the fact that it is an abstract but also for its beautiful colors,” says Christina. “I feel that every home could benefit from an abstract piece like this one because it is fun, fresh, modern, chic and sophisticated. Also abstracts are not just for modern homes but in fact sometimes look the best when juxtaposed with traditional elements.”

Mary Jo Bowling works for McEvoy Media, where she covers the best of California design and architecture for California Home+Design and writes about the unique, stylish and sometimes quirky nuptials of the Golden State for 7×7 Weddings.

Mary Jo chose Initial Wreath by Ohio-based Kristie Kern.

Our hats go off to all you brilliant designers and a huge thank you to Alison, Christina and Mary Jo for taking the time to lend their talented eye to our new collection. We really can’t thank you enough. And a happy weekend to all!


Every Mother Counts and the Little Journeys Art Challenge.

As you all likely know, our ‘Little Journeys: The Nursery, Children’s, and Family Tree Art Challenge‘ is going on right now and for the first time in a Minted design challenge, we’ve teamed up with an amazing non-profit organization: Every Mother Counts. Christy Turlington Burns, the founder of Every Mother Counts, will choose 3 judge’s picks from the challenge. A percentage of proceeds from all nursery, children’s, and family tree art prints sold on Minted will benefit Every Mother Counts and their mission to improve global maternal health. Working with Every Mother Counts makes a lot of sense for Minted, as both our designers and our consumers are mostly women (and many are moms), and we strongly believe in the power and importance of mothers in shaping the future of our world.

We thought you might like to know a little more about EMC… Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

Here are some statistics that highlight what EMC is up against:

  • A death occurs every 90 seconds from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Hundreds of thousands of women die each year from pregnancy, making reproductive health problems the leading cause of death among women worldwide aged 15 to 44. 90% of these deaths are estimated to be preventable.
  • Pregnancy is the biggest killer of women aged 15-19 in the developing world. Nearly 70,000 young women die each year because their bodies were not ready for parenthood.
  • Women who have completed their secondary education decide to have a skilled worker present at the time of their delivery 84% of the time–which translates to a higher survival rate for mother and baby.

Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns upon completion of her directorial debut, NO WOMAN, NO CRY in 2010.

NO WOMAN, NO CRY is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid adding to these troubling statistics. The film puts audiences in the footsteps of a Maasai woman in labor who must walk five miles to a clinic with no electricity, a young pregnant woman in the slums of Bangladesh too ashamed to seek out care, a pregnant OB in Guatemala who helps women who have suffered from botched illegal abortions, and a midwife in central Florida who treats uninsured women who are denied appointments elsewhere.

First time director Christy Turlington Burns opens the film with footage from her own harrowing birth experience. A quick turn of events during the delivery of her daughter inspires her to see firsthand what can be done to help other women who do not have the same access to quality care that she did.

Now in its second year, Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

By entering this challenge, our designers will be indirectly supporting the work of EMC and helping mothers-to-be the world over receive better access to quality health care. It all starts with spreading the word about this incredibly important issue! Check out their informative site to learn more.


Special Art Awards from “Untitled”

Happy Long Weekend!  I am writing to you from Hawaii, where I have just had a lovely meetup with Minties Laura Hankins, Charis Derry, Melissa Rota, and Allison Richardson.  We toasted each other at Brasserie du Vin in Honolulu, and discussed ways in which the designers felt we could improve Minted.  Thank you, ladies, for a really nice afternoon!

On another note, we’ve finally finished our art selections at Minted, and we look forward to a launch by early April.  We’re thrilled to see the emergence of an entirely new category, which will evolve and grow to further and further heights as time passes.

We received over 1,600 submissions and set very loose guidelines as to the types of art we were looking for.  Here are Minted’s editorial team’s choices for the best art from the challenge.  One thing to note is that if you examine the rating distribution for each individual piece of art (located at the top right of each design rating page), you’ll find that votes seem to be distributed further from the mean than the average stationery submissions.  Put another way, people seem to agree more on their ratings of stationery designs and less on their ratings of art.  What constitutes “art”, it seems, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

So, Minted design community, thank you for bravely trying and succeeding in this new category at Minted, and take with a grain of salt that the picks below are simply Minted’s editorial team’s subjective selections.  We look forward to seeing in which new directions you lead us.

All the designs selected below, both winners and runners up, will be launched for sale at Minted.

Rule of Two Award for the best set of 2 art prints

Winner: glink glunk and e is for elephant by ERAY

Eric truly knocked it out of the park in our first art challenge. His color combinations are unexpected and amazing, and we love the way his sense of humor shines through in every piece. The cityscape in “Glink Glunk” complements the characters in “E is for Elephant” like a charm. We’d love to live in the quirky world he has imagined.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Jazz Duet #1” and “Jazz Duet #2 by Moglea | “Below Ravello” and “Ligurian Houses” by kelli hall | “Lots of Hearts” and “Woodgrain Hearts” by Max and Bunny | “Two Villages and the Little Bear” and “Restless” by Kayla King

Loft Living Award for the best art print suited to a modern, urban home

Winner: Metropolitan by Susan Asbill

Every time we visit New York City, we dream of setting up camp in a super chic loft. Susan channels loft dwellers perfectly with her geometric skyline and mod color blocks in “Metropolitan.” We love her sophisticated use of negative space.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Type Study: New York” by pottsdesign | “Chevy Chevron” by SimpleTe Design | “Highway Wildflowers” by kelli hall | “b&w ode 6” by koshi | “Rectangles” by carly reed

Avant-Garde Award for the best edgy or boundary pushing art print

Winner: quiet places by Annada Hypes

The truth is we hang things on our walls because they either consciously or subconsciously move us in some way. Annada Hypes has captured the wonder and awe that we all have towards that which is much bigger than ourselves. She couldn’t have picked a better saying—it’s a new one to us—and she couldn’t have paired it with a more perfectly executed, gentle giant.

Runner Ups (from left): “Deer Flirtation” by SimpleTe Design | “Goners” by Ryan De La Hoz | “Parceled-Out” by Jessica Kleinman

Best personalizable children’s art print

Winner: More than a village by Cadence Paige Design

Paige has taken a sweet, bucolic saying and image and made it both fresh and modern. We love her combination of bright and subdued colors that all really work together. While perfect as is, Paige has designed this so that family members or loved ones can each sign a leaf, thereby completing the village. We can’t imagine a cuter baby shower activity / souvenir for a mom-to-be.  Take note, designers who are entering the current children’s art challenge – we wanted to give you a sense here of the balance between whimsy and modernity that we are looking for in the children’s/nursery category.

Runner Ups: “Summer Picked Poppies” by kelli hall | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design | “A Family of Oranges” by Christine Loo | “Happiness is…” by ERAY

Best non-personalizable art print

Winner: bumble bee by ERAY

Inspired by Richard Diebenkorn, Eric has created his own piece of wonder-filled abstract art. We see an endless number of things happening in this collage of textures, some known like the school paper and book text, and some quite unknown. We see fish colliding, we see helicopters taking off, we see balancing birthday candles… but mostly we see unrelated shapes that combine to form something both extremely interesting and very complete.

Runner Ups: “Autumn” by Tin Ornament | “Ojo” by Maddy Nye | “Muted Bouquet” by Moglea | “Glink Glunk” by ERAY

Best art print using only black and white

Winner: constellation by annie clark

Fear, vastness, and emptiness have been taken out of the galaxy in this print, leaving sweetness and intimacy. The texture from the watercolor paper creating the background is beautiful and we love the brush stroke on the side, which suggests continuation.

Runner Ups: “Emerson Love” by Wondercloud Design | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett | “Change” by Sydney Newsom | “Woods” by j.bartyn design

Best hand-illustration or painting to be made into a print

Winner: stargazers by Maria Gromek

These girls may be the two very sweetest in the whole world. Maria has such command over textures and details. We love the lined wall, the cross-hatched bench, the checkered skirt, the striped scarves and the dimples in the sky. Wouldn’t every mother hope her daughters were just like this? Perhaps looking at life from a different angle and maybe one prefers books and the other animals, but still delighting to be in one another’s company?  A story is waiting to be written around this picture.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Friendly Forest” by Wondercloud Design | “Lucky Girl” by krista messer | “Love Birds + 1” by rene mijares | “Treetop” by Unless Someone Like You | “Map of Paris” by angel b lee | “Longing for Sutro” by Wilka Design

Best typography-based art print

Winner: heaven by j. bartyn design

Now this is practically our company motto. We can barely resist printing it a million times and tacking it up everywhere. With her perfectly justified choice of typeface, Cambria has illustrated her point brilliantly. And we love how the cold, hard truth is the small afterthought at the bottom.

Runner Ups: “God is Love” by VOSS | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett

Best art print using only black, white, and one other color

Winner: You and Me by rose eckford

Rose’s “You and Me” has a quirky personality that we love. The contrasting letter weights between “you” and “me” create a certain tension, while the organic shapes of the imperfect circle and the swirling ampersand add character. The de-saturated pink provides a modern, unusual pop of color that would jump off any wall.

Runner ups: “Love is in the Air!” by ERAY | “Stone” by annie clark | “City” by Todd Jones | “More than Coffee” by lehan paper design | “Jazz Duet #1” by Moglea

Best personalizable nursery art print

Winner: raindrops keep falling by Stacey Meacham

Now this is personalized art at its pinnacle. With a lovely color palette and liberal use of white space, Stacey has made a truly lovely piece of nursery art. The idea of a new baby coming down from above in such a miraculous way is quite touching. The script of the child’s name with the birth date in a block below make the piece feel very complete.

Runner Ups (clockwise from left): “Quiet Places” by Annada Hypes | “Frolic” by nocciola design | “prairie tale” by Moglea | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design

Best personalizable wedding art print

Winner: Je t’aime by chocomocacino

Gerrie’s “je t’aime” is the very definition of ‘sweet simplicity.’ What better way to say ‘I love you’ than with this modern, yet pretty art print? We love the texture of the pink bubble; from the rounded shadows to the slightly heathered background, the print feels so inviting. And of course we’re suckers for a bit of romantic French.

Runner Ups: “Surname” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak | “Shot Through the Heart” by Anna Elder

Customer’s Choice Award

Winner: prairie tale by Moglea

While Meg Gleason’s design is not new to us (we’ve loved it since Meg first entered it as a baby shower invitation), we couldn’t be happier to see it as art print as it’s always been just that; a true piece of fine art. There just isn’t much one can’t not love about these whimsical little creatures and we all know how much little ones love animals. Meg has gone with a retro shade of green, which we feel makes the design slightly more edgy and art-like.