First Minted Artist Paris Meetup Full of ‘Pinch-Me’ Moments

In mid-May, London-based Minted Artist Annie Montgomery organized the very first Minted artist meetup in Paris, bringing together one Parisian, as well as a German, French, American, and Italian. “It was absolutely lovely! An evening filled with inspiration and new friends…all set on a rooftop overlooking the rooftops of Paris,” Annie said.

Cheers! (From left) Annie Montgomery (London), Cécile Kotsch of Bonjour Paper (Germany), Liz Conley (U.S.), Gwen Bedat (Paris), and Gerrie Magnani of chocomocacino (Italy).

The five artists met at 43 Up on the Roof, dined at Fish La Boissonnerie, and finished the evening at Grom for gelato—”trying to make the night linger for as long as possible,” Annie said. “There were lots of bubbles and cheers involved because we had so much to celebrate, including the end of the big Minted holiday design challenge.”

Despite being from various parts of the world, Annie said the artists had so many things in common, from travels and expatriatism to designer role models and friends and families humming Christmas music in March. “We laughed and nodded and bonded over so many similarities,” she said.

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2 PBteen x Kids Challenge Artists Share ‘Winner Stories’

“An absolute blast!” “Delighted and astounded!” “We were oohing and ahhing.”

These are just a handful of the comments from the Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen merchants during the Minted community winners’ announcement call on May 25. An obvious statement—but we’ll say it anyway—the merchants were beyond excited. “This has been an unbelievable partnership,” said Mary Harrington, Vice President, Merchandising, Pottery Barn Kids. “The amount of work that artists put into the entries was amazing. The work is whimsical, creative, and beautiful—everything we like to stand for.”

Mr. Giraffe” by Makewells, 19th place winner (also Pottery Barn Kids Editors’ Pick)

Hey Mr. Dog” by Makewells, PBteen Editor’s Pick

With more than 7,000 submissions and over 600,000 artist and consumer votes, the Minted X Pottery Barn Kids X PBteen Wall Art Challenge is the largest in Minted’s history. We look forward to seeing the winners’ work in Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen stores in July 2016. View a list of all winners here.

Here, two of the many winners—Megan Wells of Makewells, and Hannah Williams—share the inspirations and stories behind their winning submissions.

Megan Wells of Makewells
Makewells Minted Artist Store

Minted: Word on the street is that there’s an interesting story behind your two winning designs—can you share?
Megan Wells: A few of the pieces I entered in the Minted X Pottery Barn Kids X PBteen Wall Art Challenge were from my 365 Sketchbook Project. In May 2015, I decided to create in my sketchbook every single day for 365 days. The only rule was I had to fill up a page, and post it to Instagram (@makewells). When I started this project, my main objective was to simply complete it and accomplish my goal. I had started twice before and didn’t last a month.

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Kids’ Birthday Party Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners from our Sweet Celebration Quickfire Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge! It’s time to party! Each year, parents come to Minted to find the perfect invitation celebrate another year in their child’s life. We invited you, our talented Minted community, to design fun and unique invitations that would inspire parents and set the tone for a party that their children will remember for years to come. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

For the most design-forward, innovative kid’s birthday party 
invitation that you would only find at Minted
Cherry on Top by Oscar & Emma

Runners-up: Party Sloth by Pistols | Dotted by roxy | Tutti Frutti by Karidy Walker


For the best design for a boy
Pirate’s Map by Alethea and Ruth

Runners-up: SK8 by robin ott design | Captain Laser by Bob Daly | Truck Time by Oodles of Color


For the best party invite featuring one or more
 photos of the birthday boy or girl 
Birthday Shades by Baumbirdy

Runners-up: Patterned Fun by Maria Hilas Louie | Let’s Celebrate a Birthday by Christine Taylor
Space Cadet by Jennifer Lew


For the best party invitation for a 1 year old girl or boy
feather wild one by Baumbirdy

Runners-up: and the clock struck 1 by Frooted Design | Wild by Jessie Steury
Dotted One by Jennifer Wick


For the best design specifically created for one
 of the unique shapes Minted offers 
Tri Birthday by Itsy Belle Studio

Runners-up: Birthday Brunch by Kelly Nasuta
Grrreat Lion by Katie Zimpel | Game night by Anupama


For the best design that celebrates a fall or winter birthday
Ice Castle by Jessica Ogden

Runners-up: Scout by Marabou Design | Snow Much Fun for Everyone by Laura Bolter Design


For the best design that puts customizable text on a curvilinear path
Banner Takeoff by Haley Warner

Runners-up: Joyful Rainbow by Hooray Creative
Roger That by 24th and Dune | Truck Party by Alethea and Ruth


For the best design from a designer winning for the first time
Timber! by Paper Sun Studio

 

Images created by Leah Conroy

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2 Minted Artists Win Top Honors in 2016 Louie Awards

Often described as the “Oscars of the stationery world,” the annual Louie Awards are kind of a big deal—especially for the winners. This year, we’re proud to say that the awards’ parent organization, Greeting Card Association, named two Minted designs as winners: Laura Hankins for “Baby Brewing” and Kristie Kern for “Sparkling Frame.” In addition, Minted artist Paul Berthelot received a nomination for “Coal.”

The Louie Awards display of stationery nominees took center stage at the National Stationery Show in mid-May, inside the entryway of the Javits Center in New York.

Sparkling Frame” photo announcement by Kristie Kern

“Grateful is the word I’d use to describe the way I feel about winning a Louie,” Kristie said. “Grateful to Minted for the many amazing opportunities, and for choosing one of my designs to enter for consideration — such an honor in itself. I am grateful to all the talented Minties whose beautiful work sets the bar and inspires me to challenge myself. And especially grateful and honored to have won this award alongside the incredible Laura Hankins.”

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Art on Your Sleeve T-shirt Challenge Special Prizes

For our first fun quickfire challenge of the year, we resurrected a community tradition from the Minted days of yore. We held our last Minted T-shirt design challenge in 2012 and we looked to our community to design fresh new t-shirts for us! We gifted these t-shirts to our community at the 2016 National Stationery Show. We’re looking forward to giving out more shirts to our community at some of the upcoming meetups this year!

Congratulations to our special prize winners! These designs will be repurposed as desktop wallpapers.

Employees’ Choice Award
For the design that captures the hearts of our Minted employees and of Minted’s founder, Mariam Naficy
Artsy by Stacy Kron


Out of the Box Award
For the most design-forward, innovative T-shirt design
Where Creativity Soars by Zhay Smith

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Minted Launches Minted Local (Our First Retail Store!)

Last week, Minted opened the doors to its first-ever brick-and-mortar store Minted Local, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. The shop brings the e-commerce company’s products to life and features art, home goods, and stationery from Minted’s community of independent artists and designers. The boutique also emphasizes the work of California-based artists and offers original art and one-of-a-kind items (which we’ve never done before!).

We kicked things off last Thursday with an opening party featuring pressman Matt Kelsey operating an old-school letterpress in the shop window (he made art prints for guests to take home!), delicious bites from Taste Catering, and a flower bar where guests could create their own bouquet (and have it wrapped by yours truly!). During the first week, 50 percent of all sales will benefit Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safer for mothers around the world.

Minted Local also will feature workshops, artists-in-residence programs, styling services, as well as interactive crafts and complimentary mementos to keep children entertained while you’re shopping. Come by to see it in real life and say hello! Minted Local is located at 222 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108; we’re open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local, San Francisco

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Minted Artists Connect at National Stationery Show 2016

Just as Minted has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings in 2007, NSS has evolved to become more than merely the country’s largest paper-goods trade show. It’s also an annual meeting place for the Minted community to connect, share ideas, and get inspired for the year ahead. Here’s a photo recap of the whirlwind that is NSS—from the vendor floor at Javits Center to the community cocktail party, CMYK Artist brunch, and the conversations in between.

Lower left: Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids, talks with NSS attendees about Minted Wholesale.
All Photos by Sara Wight

We showcased a sampling of Minted Home products for the first time at the 70th NSS.

Alicia Schultz of Vine and Thistle designed the lettering of this year’s brand statement for the Minted NSS booth.

NSS attendees were excited to take home this postcard map of New York’s High Line, designed by Minted Artist Jordan Sondler.

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Minted x West Elm Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes from our Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge! We were excited to partner with West Elm for the fourth year.  West Elm is a widely admired brand in the home decor space, known for their contemporary and eclectic style. And most importantly, West Elm shares our passion for discovering and supporting independent artists and makers. Congratulations to all the special prize winners!

West Elm Curator’s Choice Award
For the piece that most captures the attention of the West Elm Team
Lina y Challie by Lauren Packard Art


Photography Award
For the most beautiful and unique piece of photography
praia da ursa by Hi Uan Kang Haaga


Urban Award
For the best piece of art inspired by a city or industrial space
Scoring Through by Van Tsao

Click through for more special prize winners

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New Minted Artists Talk Prince, Day Jobs, And Creativity

Introducing the first edition of the Minted Welcome Wagon, where we spotlight a handful of new members of the community—and find out what makes our talented designers tick.

Zhay Smith
New York Metro Area

My first winning design: “Where Creativity Soars” for the Art On Your Sleeve Challenge

My Instagram:
 @zhaystyle 

The highlight of my Minted experience so far:
You want me to name just one? Now that’s a challenge! How about three?

1. I like that Minted is not just your run-of-the mill crowdsourcing experience. The people in the community are really present and willing to give advice that will move you forward when you need it.

2. The challenges are fun!

3. I like that we artists are encouraged to innovate, be ourselves, and bring our uniqueness to the table. As an artist, you get to hone your craft and expand your skill set. Minted has a true commitment to meritocracy, respects artists, and champions art and design. Wait, that’s beyond three, isn’t it?

Where Creativity Soars” by Zhay Smith

The most interesting thing about me: I’ve been told the most interesting thing about me is my perspective. I tend to see things through four lenses: fashion, history, craft, and culture. I always have my eyes open for things that intrigue me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am constantly taking pictures of things that inspire my creativity. Whether it’s street fashion, a random oil slick, or it could just be noticing the way the leaves or flower petals fell on the ground that day. I appreciate latent beauty.

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Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Simona Cavallaro, who lives and works in San Jose, Calif., takes us through the creative process for her modern, brushstroke-patterned “Abstract Union” wedding invitation.

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I love combining contrasting trends together in interesting ways. Here I wanted to create something that felt chic and sophisticated with a fresh and unexpected look. I think the result is classic with a twist.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
This design is for the couple that wants elegance but with an unexpected twist. Maybe the wedding venue is an old urban loft instead of a ballroom. Or the couple opted to use succulents instead of flowers at the event. I want my design to set the tone and hint to guests that there will be something special at the wedding.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I feel like weddings are becoming less about tradition and more about what makes a couple unique. Personal touches are apparent all throughout the details of the ceremony and reception which makes weddings feel more bespoke, no matter the budget. I guess I would call this “the anything goes trend.” And I love it!

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Describe your design process, from initial idea to end result.
Here is my typical process: A fantastic idea pops into my head while I’m driving, sleeping, showering, or doing something else that prevents me from writing it down. I repeat the idea in my head until it no longer makes sense, then I forget it altogether. I finally get to my workspace, clear my mind, relax, and start playing with paint on a blank canvas. Usually I’ll get a totally unexpected result that will naturally spark a new—even better—idea. And I just go with it.

In this case, it was the combination of rough brushstrokes and organic dots that really spoke to me. Once I finish painting, I scan and start working with the art on my computer by pairing it with typography. I really believe that type can make or break my designs, so I probably spend way more time setting type than any other part of my design process. The final thing I do is get feedback to make sure I’m not completely off with what I’m trying to achieve.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
The most challenging thing with this design, and probably most of my others, was narrowing down the color options. I love playing with color and being limiting to only six different palettes is really hard! But I tried my best to choose a broad range that will appeal to different couples.

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
I like to say that I have a mobile or traveling workspace. I have a designated space set up for working, but most of the time I find myself getting more work done if I’m open to moving around. Sometimes a coffee shop can be the most productive place in the world, other times my dinner table might become my painting studio. The couch, the floor, my patio, even a picnic table at a park have all been my workspaces at some point. The more open I am about how I work, the more opportunities I make for my creativity to build.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I was at a point in my life when I needed to nourish my creativity or I would burst. Minted allowed me to do just that. I was able to create and design based on my inspirations and talents, join an amazing network of designers, make new friends, and literally infuse my life with the creative fuel it was craving.


More from Simona Cavallaro:
Simona’s Minted Store
• Simona’s Website
Simona’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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