2016 Holiday Party Invitations: Special Prizes

It’s time to eat, drink & be merry! Minted customers are planning fun, festive affairs and we looked to our talented community to bring fresh, unique custom party invitation designs to the table. We’re excited to share the Special Prize winners of The 2016 Eat, Drink, & Be Merry Holiday Party Invitation Quickfire Challenge!

Out of the Box Award

Most unique holiday party invitation you wouldn’t find on other sites.
Wreath of Plenty by Haley Mistler

Bold Award

Boldly designed holiday party invitation that communicates a modern spirit through unique colors and modern, even edgy design.
Overlay by Genna Cowsert

Down to Business Award

Best invitation for a corporate/business holiday party.
Grandiose by Jennifer Lew

Modern Elegance Award

Best design that is traditional and elegant but still fresh.
Winter Evergreen Soiree by Kate Ahn

Home for the Holidays Award

Best invitation that celebrates a housewarming party for a new home.
Our Holiday Housewarming by Rebekah Disch

Make me Laugh Award

Funniest party invitation.
Let’s Get Basted by 24th and Dune

Auld Lang Syne Award

Best New Year’s party invitation.
New year jazz party by Ana de Sousa

Traditional Colors Award

Best design that uses traditional holiday colors like red and green.
Decking the Halls by Kelly Nasuta

Give Thanks Award

For the best Thanksgiving Party invitation.
Classy Turkey by Dana Beckwith

Spooktacular Award

Best Halloween Party invitation.
haunted house by Morgan Kendall

Love is in the Air Award

Best design for a Valentine’s Day party award.
Party Hearty by Baumbirdy

Engagement Award

Best design which doubles as an engagement party invitation.
be married by Owl and Toad

Newbie Award

Best design from a first-time entrant.
Mr. Cat’s Ugly Sweater by Lissabeth Anglin

Published November 23, 2016

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A Day in the Life of Minted Artist Carly Reed Walker

Written By Carly Reed Walker
Portraits By Courtney Bowles Photography

6 AM: I’m somewhat of an early riser, rarely sleeping after 6 in the morning. It works well for me, because I find those early morning hours are my most calm, quiet, and productive. I try to start each morning with yoga. Usually that means practicing in my living room, but I just started a prenatal yoga class that I love — I’m 20 weeks along! I’ll have breakfast and coffee with my rescue pup, Buster, and husband, if he’s home (he has an irregular work schedule as a locomotive engineer). Buster is an adorable little beagle mix that we adopted from a great organization called the Richmond Animal League, where I volunteer regularly. I also spend a little time on Instagram before I get to work for the day, but don’t we all?

Gala” is my favorite holiday card I’ve created for Minted. I love how modern and editorial it is.

8 AM: I like to sit down at my desk between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. to get organized, which is somewhat of a challenge for me. I have an amazing office/studio in our house. It’s a dream to get to work and create there every day. When we purchased our home in Richmond, Virginia, last year, my very generous husband agreed to give me the largest room in the house for work. It doubles as an office and meeting space for clients. I’ll start things off by going through emails and making a to-do list for the day, which tends to be a little scattered. From there, I get to work designing whatever is on said to-do list. My workload is balanced between wedding stationery clients, branding projects, and other stationery/design work like Minted. It’s a challenge for me to focus on several different projects, so I take frequent breaks away from the computer to snack or take Buster for a walk through our neighborhood.

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Spaces & Places Art Challenge: Special Prizes

We’re excited to announce the Special Prize winners of our Spaces & Places Art Challenge! In this Challenge, we looked for artwork and photography that was inspired by a location. We were in awe of the diverse perspectives and unique interpretations of locations represented in the submissions.

Urban Photography Award

For the best piece of photography inspired by an urban place.
Empire State by Kaitlin Rebesco

Point of View Award

For the most unique interpretation or viewpoint of an iconic place or building.
Sydney Rising by Maja Cunningham

Vintage Edition Award

For the best antique or vintage inspired photograph.
montreal Cafe by kerri dougherty

Diptych Award

For the art that showcases the characters that make up a community.
Palm i and Palm ii by Annie Montgomery

People Make the Place Award

For the art that showcases the characters that make up a community.
Ponte del Ciolo by Sandro Portaluri

Pastoral Award

For the best piece inspired by a rustic scene.
House in the Woods by Ekaterina Romanova

La Grande Fête Award

For the best piece inspired by a festive location or scene.
Sky Coasters by Stephanie Sherman

Behind the Piece Award

For the piece that has the most interesting story.
Silver and Gold by Stephanie Sherman

“This painting is based on a photo I took from the ferry crossing between Seattle and my home on Bainbridge Island. Gray can be overwhelming here in the winter months but I’ve come to appreciate the many shades of gray found in the Pacific Northwest as seen in the green, gold, lavender and blue tones in this piece.” – Kelly Johnston

Winning Shot Award

For the best piece inspired by your favorite sports oriented location.
Santa Barbara Skate i by Kamala Nahas

Tropic of Cancer Award

For the best bright piece inspired by a tropical place.
Looking Far West by sue prue

By Land or By Sea Award

For the best piece that depicts travel from one place to another.
Cite by Emily Coey

Published on November 11, 2016

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2016 Non-Photo & Corporate Holiday Cards: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our No Business Like Snow Business Holiday Non-Photo and Corporate Card Challenge (non-foil and foil). We announced the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Outside the Box Award

For the most innovative non-photo or corporate holiday card that you wouldn’t find on other sites.
Season’s Best by Shannon

Oh Come All Ye Faithful Award

Best religious Christmas card.
Reyes Magos by Belia Simm

Merry Gentlemen Award

Best simple (but still interesting!) masculine design using neutral colors (think blue, black, gray, brown).
Snowfall by Baumbirdy

Home is Where the Heart Is Award

Best design that showcases a specific state or location and could be used as a holiday card and/or moving announcement.
Greetings From by Rebecca Turner

Holly Jolly Award

Funniest card that just makes you laugh.
Obligatory Christmas Card by Christine Taylor

What a Year! Award

Best reinvents the “annual letter” in which families share major milestones from their year.
 12 Awesome Days by merry mack creative

Gratitude Award

Card that best communicates gratitude.
Leaf + Berries by Three Kisses Studio

Company Logo Award

For the best design that incorporates a company logo.
Floral Letters with Cardinals by Four Wet Feet Studio

New Year Cheer Award

Best New Years design and greeting.
Radiant by Aspacia Kusulas

Most Wonderful Type Award

Design that introduces the best font that we purchase and add to the Minted Font List.
Abstract Merry Bright Fir Trees by erika firm

Deck the Halls Award

Best showcases one of Minted’s die-cut shapes.
Holiday Swirl by Julie Murray

Silver Bells Award

Most elegant design that appeals to more traditional customers while still being fresh.
Love, Peace, Prosperity by Susan Moyal

Curvilinear Award

Best design that puts customers’ names or other personalizable details on a curvilinear path.
Snowglobe Terrarium by JeAnna Casper

Copywriter Award

Clever wording to reinvent typical holiday greetings (like “Happy Holidays”, “Merry Christmas”, and “Happy New Year”).
Happy Hibernation by Eve Schultz

Go Tell it Award

Best design incorporating stats & data from the year in a fun way.
Noisette by chocomocacino

Published November 10, 2016


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Meet a Minted Artist: Lea Delaveris

Minted artist Lea Delaveris spent a decade working tough hours in the newspaper business and loved just about every minute of it — tight deadlines and all. Now that she’s a mom of two boys and the news industry has changed substantially, she’s designed a career for herself as an independent stationery designer. “Most of my day is spent in ‘mom mode,” the Columbus, Ohio, artist says of her freelance lifestyle. “The line is quite blurry between work and play for me. I honestly don’t think I can quantify the hours I work, but I know I spend quite a bit of time at my computer. Lea says she enjoys being able to work from home and be with her kiddos. “I just wish I were better at resisting the lure of my desk, though.”

In the past six years, Lea has made a name for herself on Minted as a designer who creates clean, simple, type-drive designs. “I really like when I can incorporate a bit of humor or playfulness, too.” In this interview, the Ohio artist talks about her love of visual communication, being “Mintie spotted” by a teenage boy, and what she hopes 2017 has in store for her.

Did you study art or design formally in school?
Yes, I majored in publication design and informational graphics at Ohio University. It was sort of a journalism and graphic design hybrid that felt like it was created just for me. In high school, I was really involved in the journalism department, but I didn’t love the writing part — layout and design was my area. So when I was looking at colleges and majors and found OU’s School of Visual Communication, I knew that’s where I had to be. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

Give Glory” by Lea Delaveris

Before life as a wife, mom, and stationery designer, you spent 10 years working in newspaper design. Why and how did you make the transition into stationery design?
I interned at a few newspapers in college and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked the fast pace, quick turnaround, and the behind-the-scenes aspect of it. I admired the work of The Columbus Dispatch while I was at Ohio University and jumped at a job opportunity there just a few months out of school. I got to work with such an amazingly talented staff of artists, designers, writers, photojournalists, and editors. I have such an appreciation for the way words and images work together — and the importance of good journalism in general.

But I got in as the news industry was really beginning to change dramatically, so I had a few years of getting to do a lot of really fun creative stuff (my absolute favorite work was for an irreverent humor page), but as more and more cutbacks happened, the more scarce the fun stuff became. Between that and the hours — which were not very conducive to having a family; typically working 4 p.m. to midnight and having to be on duty some holidays and weekends — I opted to stay home when my oldest was born and start a freelance design business. I stayed on staff a few more years as a weekend fill-in, but it was too hard after that late night Sunday sports design shift, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., to snap back into mom mode bright and early Monday morning. I do miss it sometimes — especially the people I worked with — but the newspaper world is just so different now even from when I left for good three years ago.

Colorful New Year Wishes” by Lea Delaveris


2016 Minted Holiday Challenge Winner Milestones

We’re thrilled to celebrate Minted artists who have reached tremendous milestones in this year’s Holiday Challenges. Reaching a Challenge-win milestone on Minted takes time, hard work, and perseverance. We’re excited to recognize all of the artists who reached their 50th, 100th, and 200th win milestones across all of our 2016 Holiday Challenges: Christmas Photo Card, Holiday Photo Card, Non Photo and Corporate Holiday Card, New Year Photo Card, Holiday Party Invitation, Letterpress Holiday Photo Card, and Holiday Gifting.

Congratulations for going above and beyond — we’re so honored to have such talented artists in our community!

200th Win Milestone

Three artists reached their 200th win milestones in this year’s holiday Challenges. Congrats to Lehan Veenker, Eric Beckett of GeekInk Design, and Erica Krystek.

Lehan Veenker

Lehan joined Minted in 2010. She has 202 wins, made 2,294 comments, and casted 19,158 votes during her time with Minted.

Merrily Frosted” by Lehan Veenker

“I have always been fond of art and design and stumbled upon Minted in 2008 when it was just starting. I decided to enter a couple of challenges and didn’t have any winning designs. In my mind, I completely failed to enter anything close to the caliber of designs already present at Minted. I was scared of failing again and missing this amazing opportunity to work at home with our then-future-now-present children, so I took a break to learn. I taught myself about Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, textures, typography—anything design-related that I could get my hands on. This self-teaching hiatus lasted about two years. In September 2010, I decided to give Minted another shot and actually had some winning designs in the wedding challenge that year.”

Read more about Lehan Veenker in this blog post: Has Anything Ever Scared You So Much It Inspired You?


Spaces & Places Art Challenge: Guest Judge’s Pick

We’re thrilled to announce the Guest Judge’s pick for our Spaces & Places Art Challenge!

Back in June 2016, we asked artist and art instructor Nathan Bond to be our Guest Judge for this Minted Challenge. A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Nathan accepted a teaching post at Parsons School of Design in 2002, where he helps guide students in classes from Freshman Drawing to Sophomore and Junior level painting as well as Illustration Concepts and Senior Thesis. As a painter, Nathan’s work has been exhibited internationally from London to Japan to Spain, and all over the United States from New York City to Washington, D.C., to Colorado, and is included in several public and private collections.

Nathan described the selection process as “a lovely and yet frustrating task.” He further explains that “it was a pleasure to experience so many spectacular places as seen through the eyes of so many artists. Yet it was so heartbreaking to also have to view them through the critical lens of a judge and slowly narrow the selection to a small group that spoke out just a little more than the others. I sat looking at this selected group of images on my screen for a long time. Wishing that I could have seen the real works in front of me. I had to be very critical of each work, weighing specific attributes like their compositional arrangement, color balance, emotional voice and visual depth.”

After long deliberation, Nathan selected “Wild Blue Yonder” by Korry Brown as his Guest Judge Pick. Coincidentally, “Wild Blue Yonder” was also voted first place by consumers and artists. Additionally, this was Korry’s first win in a Minted Challenge. There’s so many things to congratulate you on, Korry!

Nathan said, “Like so many of the works it had a strong voice and sense of place. It didn’t, however, rely just on the strength of the natural beauty of the location. It also had — along with beautiful color harmonies, good visual movement, and composition– a psychologically engaging element. The presence of the viewfinder in the photograph places the viewer into the image itself. It invites us to not only enjoy the vista we see now but to also imagine what lays hidden from view by the distance. The more I looked the more I wanted to know what did lie where the mountains meet the water just out of my sight. I always appreciate art that pulls the viewer further in and asks us to bring something from ourselves along. “Wild Blue Yonder” does just that.”

Congratulations, Korry! We can’t wait to see what you submit next.

Published November 2, 2016


Janine Vangool, Bonnie Tsang, Haskell Harris, and Caitlin Flemming’s Holiday Card Picks

We’re more than excited to announce our Guest Judges’ picks from three 2016 Holiday Challenges: the Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge, the Hot Off the Press Letterpress Holiday Photo Card Challenge, and the No Business Like Snow Business Challenge. Read more about Minted Guest Judges here.

Guest Judge Pick: Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge

Janine Vangool is the Guest Judge of Minted’s 2016 Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge. Janine is the publisher, editor, and designer of UPPERCASE, a quarterly print magazine for the creative and curious. UPPERCASE publishes content inspired by design, typography, illustration, and craft. Her magazine and books celebrate the process of making, the commitment to craft and the art of living creatively. Janine got her start working as a freelance graphic designer in for arts and culture clients and has also taught typography and publication design at the college level. She has been a shop owner and bookseller, gallery curator, sold a line of greeting cards wholesale, made 10,000 books by hand (with lots of help!) and has sewn her own products for retail. She has a particular fondness for typewriters, a passion that has inspired a book about their graphic history. Her debut fabric collection is launching this June with Windham Fabrics. She is often asked, “Do you ever sleep?” To which she replies, “Yes! By the end of the day I’m exhausted!” She lives in Calgary, Canada, with her boardgame-designing husband and curious son.

Staggered” by Sara Hicks Malone (launching to Minted.com soon!)

Janine Vangool selected “Staggered” by Sara Hicks Malone, saying that she likes the playful yet simple typography. “The card looks fresh and inviting, and the multiple panes for photos makes it a great choice for a family card,” Janine says.

Sara Hicks Malone is an artist from Nashville, Tennessee, who joined the Minted artist community in 2011 and has won 165 awards in Minted Challenges.


Meet a Minted Artist: Leah Bisch

Leah Bisch certainly is a talented graphic designer – especially for someone who majored in physical geography and originally intended to be a meteorologist. As she tells the story, Leah was always dropping in and out of art classes in elementary and high school, “but it never occurred to me that I could make a career out of it.”

Here, the Los Angeles Minted artist talks more about life as a part-time happy-go-lucky designer and part-time crazed-toddler-mommy.

Where did you go to school?
While I loved art and illustration, I ended up earning my BA from UC Santa Barbara in physical geography. I know—what? My studies focused on the planet and its processes, like weather and natural disasters. I’ve always had a strange fascination with weather—I’m actually irrationally terrified of thunderstorms, so I guess it’s a good thing I live in sunny Southern California. When I was a child, my dad owned a roofing company and he was always watching the weather channel to keep an eye out for rain in the forecast. I remember being interested in watching how weather patterns form and it seemed like a cool career.

So how did you go from geography student to artist?
After college, I eventually found myself working in marketing for a winery in Malibu. We didn’t have the budget to hire designers to create promotional items, so it was on my shoulders to create email blasts, event invitations, and flyers for the company. I found that I got swept up in that kind of work—in a good way. However, I soon felt limited in my design capabilities and wanted to get a formal education to enhance my skills. I enrolled in evening design classes at Otis College of Art and Design. The more classes I took, the more I wanted to learn, and I eventually left my job and enrolled in classes full time at Santa Monica College (SMC). The program at SMC gave me a solid foundation in the fundamentals of design like typography, layout and color theory. I also committed myself to reading every design book I could get my hands on.


2016 Holiday and Christmas Photo Card: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge (non-foil and foil) and Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge (non-foil and foil)! We counted down the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge

Completely Classic Award

For the most unique, traditional design inspired by a religious sentiment or hymn
Starry” by Jessica Williams

Religious Scripture Award

For the best design inspired by religious scripture
Glory Bookplate” by Lorent and Leif

Multi Photo Award

For the best religious design that showcases multiple photos
His Blessings” by Erica Krystek