R Studio and Students in Minted’s State of the Art Challenge

Minted artists are incredibly supportive of each other; they critique each others’ work, give suggestions, celebrate others’ wins, and often become good friends. Many see Minted as a type of “design school” and a valuable source for learning and inspiration. So it’s very fitting that we’re writing today about a Minted relationship that incorporates education on a whole new level! Longtime Mintie Renée Stevens of R Studio is a professor at SUNY Oswego in upstate New York. We were so happy and flattered to hear that last semester, she encouraged her graphic design students to submit their artwork to Minted’s State of the Art Challenge.

In a challenge with an incredible 1,044 art submissions, two of Renée’s students won Minted Editors’ Pick prizes! “The Mess” by Emily Hinckley and “Townie” by Melissa will both be up for sale on Minted.com soon. We see Minted as an artistic community, first and foremost, and nothing makes us happier than seeing artists take a risk and learn through the challenge process.

Emily, Renée, and Melissa

 We were lucky enough to get to hear from Emily, Renée, and Melissa about their Minted experiences and about the inspiration for their work.


Love is in the Air Valentine’s Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Get ready to feel the love! In the Love is in the Air Valentine’s Day Challenge, we asked the Minted Community Designers to create beautiful, original designs for customers of all ages to send sweet Valentine’s sentiments to family, friends, and classmates. We are just in love with the designs below, that each stood out in the following special prize categories:

Big Picture Award for the best Valentine’s photo card design using a full-bleed photo

Valentine Heart Sprinkle” by Alethea and Ruth

Rachel’s “Valentine Heart Sprinkle” perfectly complements any customer’s full-bleed photo. Her sweet little hearts in varying sizes and colors dance adorably around the “Happy Valentine’s Day” greeting.

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Together Again: Minted + West Elm Art Challenge

Together again! We are very happy to say that we’re continuing our Minted + West Elm Collaboration with a second art print challenge. We have loved working with West Elm not only because they are at the forefront of modern, eclectic home design and decor, but especially because they share our fundamental passion for supporting independent artists.

Our first challenge was such a success that we jumped at the change to work with West Elm again. Learn more and submit to our second Minted + West Elm Art Challenge here by Monday, February 3 at 10am PT. Keep reading for more details!


Don’t Forget! Save the Date Challenge Special Prizes

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

In the Don’t Forget! Save the Date Challenge, we asked the Minted Design Community to create fresh save the date designs to delight couples and to help them express their personal style, whether it be modern, vintage, whimsical, romantic, or traditional. We were looking for unique designs that would help set just the right tone for couples’ upcoming nuptials. We just love the result!

The designs below stood out in our Special Prize categories. Congratulations, special prize winners!

Out of the Box Award for the most creative and innovative take on a save the date

Our Timeline” by Jessie Steury

Jessie’s “Our Timeline” strikes that perfect balance between fun and sophisticated. What a great way for a couple to share some of their history and happiness, without going over the top. The simplicity of the design keeps the design classic, but definitely with a bit of a twist.

Runners Up: “Birdy Love” by Petra Kern | “love +” by Aspacia Kusulas | “Vintage Blooms” by Miranda Lyn


Outside the Box Gift Wrap Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

At Minted, we believe that when giving gifts, what’s outside the box matters almost as much as what’s inside. So this year, after years of dreaming and plenty of requests from designers, we held our first-ever gift wrap challenge! In the Outside the Box Gift Wrap Challenge, we asked designers to create modern, unique, personalizable gift wrap designs that would make Minted customers’ gifts even more special this holiday season.

We received so many amazing submissions and are beyond thrilled to present our gift wrap collection. Among those winners, the designs below really shined in our Special Prize categories. Congratulations, winners!

Interests Award for the best gift wrap design that reflects a hobby or interest

Night Skate” by Morgan Ramberg

We cannot get enough of Morgan’s abstracted ice skaters! The mixture of exaggerated curves and angular poses creates a very interesting, whimsical scene. This gift wrap would surely bring a smile to anybody’s face – perfect for holiday gifts!


Quickfire Holiday Party Invitation Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Tis the Season for holiday partying! In the Quickfire Holiday Party Invitation Challenge, we asked the Minted Design Community to create holiday party invitations that would appeal to all types of revelers. Above all, we were looking for those incredibly unique designs that would make any party the most anticipated one of the season! Among the winning pieces, the designs below stood out in our Special Prize categories. Congratulations, winners! (You can check out all holiday party invites here.)

Out of the Box Award for the most unique holiday party invitation that you wouldn’t find on other sites

Holly Jolly Tree” by Karidy Walker

We love Karidy’s incredibly unique take on a holiday party invitation. There’s so much that makes this truly “out of the box” – her type tree is a very cute take on the traditional Christmas tree and her clever copy makes the design feel very fresh and modern.

Runners Up: “Retro Swank Poster” by Gakemi Art+Design | “time to celebrate!” by rose eckford


creativeLIVE’s Online Courses

Minted is all about providing a platform where you can develop skills, help each other grow, and try new creative outlets. So we’re always on the look out for resources to help inspire your creative side—not only in art and design, but also in just about any skill that might interest you!

Today we wanted to share some resources from our friends over at creativeLIVE. creativeLIVE is a site dedicated to providing free, live interactive courses taught by world-class instructors. They have classes on all types of skills — like how to take better photographs, create intricate designs using programs like Adobe’s Creative Suite, produce incredible videos, and even whip up artisanal winter cocktails! If you’re participating in a class, you can even chime in and ask questions in real time using their chatrooms.

Here’s a note from creativeLIVE: “creativeLIVE is an interactive global classroom. All you need is an internet connection to learn from world-class experts — right alongside your peers. Since 2010, more than 2 million students have tuned in for over 1 billion minutes of live education. ‘creativeLIVE has changed the way I think, the way I operate, literally changed my life,’ user Lorenzo Hill says, adding, ‘creativeLIVE put me in business.’ Another user, Lee Tenneboe, says, ‘creativeLIVE is the best learning experience ever. There’s just no place like this to learn a variety of information like this.’”

In the last few weeks, creativeLIVE has produced some amazing design and DIY workshops, like Crocheted & Embroidered Snowflakes, Using Color in Home Design with Tobi Fairley, How to Become a Commercial Photographer, as well as a wide range of productivity and lifestyle courses.

creativeLIVE can help you grow and learn through free online access to useful, transformative education. Here are a few upcoming creativeLIVE workshops that we think you might like:

Think Like a 10K Wedding Photographer with Scott Robert Lim

Personal Finance for Artists & Freelancers with Galia Gichon

The Art of Pregnancy & Newborn Photography

Scrapbooking with Project Life with Becky Higgins



The Happy New Year’s Card Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer and Hope Tammany, Minted Community Team

Happy New Year’s Special Prize Winners! Every year, more and more people choose to send unique, personal New Year’s cards to family and friends. So in this challenge, we asked the Minted Design Community to help customers ring in the New Year by giving them the freshest designs out there. The special prize winners below each stood out among an incredible collection of designs. Congratulations, winners!

Simply Minimalist Award for the best New Year’s card that is simple, edited, and clean

New Little One” by Susan

Susan’s “New Little One” really lets the customer’s photo shine. Her wide, white background frames the photo nicely, while her minimal but playful text adds just the right amount of New Year cheer. Lovely!

Runners Up: “From the City” by Fig and Cotton Paperie | “The Classic” by 2birdstone | “Golden Cheer” by Sarah Curry



We are very excited to announce the guest judge awards from the ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Challenge. We were honored to work with such wonderfully talented luminaries and our designers should be elated to have such talent handpick their work from the thousands of submissions.

Michael Boodro chose Wonderful Merry by chica design, out of Atlanta. Says Michael of his selection: “Like the holidays themselves, this card is a great mix of the nostalgic—that charming black and white photo—and the fresh—the vibrant red script.Boodro has been the editor in chief of ELLE DECOR since August 2010. He has also served as editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living, was the launch editor of Culture and Travel, was an editor in the Style Department of The New York Times Magazine and served as the editor in chief of Garden Design. He worked as features editor at Vogue for 11 years. He is the author of Stephen Sills and James Huniford’s design book Dwellings.

Vanessa Holden, Senior Vice President and Creative Director of West Elm, chose Ticket to Joy by San Francisco designer Spotted Whale Design. “Combining seasonal sentiment with great graphics and a slew of family fun facts, I love how this design allows the sender to truly personalize their holiday message – right down to including their family motto for 2013! Oh what fun indeed!” said Holden.

Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay chose Georgia designer Kelli Hall‘s Jingle Brights. “I like the nostalgic feeling of the vintage framed photograph,” says Smith. “It reminds me of my old family photographs. And I like it combined with the fun, bold typeface. It just stands out to me, and it’s a card I’d be likely to post on my fridge!”

Leila Lewis of Inspired by This selected So Much Merry by San Francisco-based Lizzy McGinn. “While the design is a little more simple, that’s why I fell in love with it,” says Lewis. “The focus is left to the image. It’s not an in-your-face holiday card, which means it can stay on someone’s fridge long past New Years!”

Huge congratulations to Angela Vellino, Elliot, Kelli Hall and Lizzy McGinn! This is really big! We hope you take a minute to enjoy this epic nod.



‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Today we’re very excited to announce the Special Prize winners from the ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge. Our annual holiday challenge is the biggest, most anticipated challenge of the year and this year’s broke all sorts of records! Out of a staggering 3,348 submissions, the designs below stood out to us in the following special categories. Congratulations, winners!

Simply Minimalist Award for the best holiday card that is simple, edited, and clean, with a greater emphasis on photos and less on design elements that can detract from photos

Modern Shimmer” by b.wise papers

Alston proves that less can truly be more. The term “simply minimalist” describes this design exactly. Alston’s chic, structured stripes are perfectly balanced around a large customer photo. Her faux-glitter (also available in real foil here) adds just the right touch of shimmering elegance.

Runners Up (clockwise from top left): “Brushed Gold” by kelli hall | “Frenchie” by Stacey Meacham | “All You Need, Nothing You Don’t” by HUNT GATHER | “The Newlyweds” by Lauren Chism