Minted’s third annual wedding invite giveaway!

We have launched our third annual wedding invitation giveaway… but this year it is better than ever!! We are giving away $500, not just once, but every week for the next four weeks!! You can enter every week for a chance to win, but you can only win once. Head over to this page to enter! The gift certificate is good for any and all Minted wedding stationery… here are some fun ideas from our new collection that you could use it on!!

Our first-ever postcards!! We just launched these adorable save-the-date postcards–they give you lots of fun options for what you can put on the back… detailed text or another photo. And they’re printed on that thick, luscious stock you’ve come to expect from Minted.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 5   COMMENTS

Mark Your Calendars: Save the Date Challenge Special Prizes

Save the dates is personally one of my favorite categories on Minted. Often times these announcements are a bit more casual than wedding invitations, which leaves room for all kinds of creativity. Choosing save the dates is also quite likely the first time couples decide on how to express themselves, together. They take the opportunity before the wedding planning chaos really heats up to send a note to their friends and family saying hey, write this down, we’re getting hitched. In the Mark Your Calendars: Save the Date Challenge, we looked to the Minted community for unique and stylish ways for our customers to spread the word about their upcoming nuptials. We weren’t disappointed. Below are the stunning special prize winners for this challenge. I feel so lucky to be able to share these with everyone. Congratulations designers!

Better in Pairs Award for the best multi-photo design

Bold Stripe” by VOSS

The blue stripes and photo strips in “Bold Stripe” are so clean and fresh. We love the simplicity in the details and the attention Sara is able to bring to the happy couple in this modern design.

Runner Ups (from left): “Glimmer” by The Social Type | “Chic Photo Booth” by trbdesign | “Trifecta” by Palm Papers | “Modern Collage” by annie clark

Snapshot Award for the best design incorporating a full-bleed photo

Vintage Street Sign” by kelli hall

We’re pretty crazy about text over photos these days, especially in the places you least expect it. Kelli is able to magically blend the centered opaque frame and delicate detail text with a big beautiful photo of the couple in “Vintage Street Sign.”

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Signed Sealed Delivered” by J. Bean and Co. | “Circle the Date” by Kimberly Fitzsimons | “Etched Color Wash” by Caitlin McClure | “A Banner Date” by nocciola design | “Ink Roll” by Phoebe Wong-Oliveros | “Silver Screen” by Jennifer Wick

Big & Bold Award for the best bold and/or typographic design

Antiquely” by GeekInk Design

Inspired by antique type and signage, “Antiquely” is big, bold and very fun. Eric’s monochromatic palette really allows the details of the wording, striped border and intricate banner to shine.

Runner Ups: “My Sunshine” by Susie Allen | “Save the Date Whimsy” by ERAY | “Here’s a Story” by Inkblot Paper | “Simply Sweet Watercolor” by Sara Heilwagen

Crazy Love Award for the best off-beat, whimsical and/or funny design

Nostalgic Knot” by jenincmyk

What better way to tell your friends and family about your upcoming nuptials than to send a diagram of how to literally tie the knot? Jen’s dotty border and pale pink background accent this design beautifully.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Tiptoe Kiss” by lunegrafik | “Bridal Chorus” by Betta | “Just Get Here” by 2BSquared Designs | “Word Play” by Kristin Haley | “He+She in One Package” by chocomocacino

Only the Facts Award for the best minimal, chic and/or simple design

Symphony” by Sydney Newsom

The minimal colors and beautiful type are so chic. The preppy border and simple detail text are icing on the cake. Sydney is a master of sophisticated and modern design, which is perfectly displayed in “Symphony.”

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Numbers” by Kristie Kern | “Calendar Page” by Pink Hippo Prints | “Picture Perfect” by roxy | “Pica” by jackmove | “Yes, It’s True” by Jana Volfova

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane Award for the best destination save the date design

Prepare to Celebrate” by Jana Volfova

Bunting banner and a vintage suit case! So cute. Jana makes us really excited to travel with her whimsical and versatile design. “Prepare to Celebrate” is perfect for a destination wedding taking place anywhere in the world.

Runner Ups: “Yes Si Oui” by Ana Gonzalez | “Fly with Us” by morganvicki | “Costa Rica” by Katie Wahn

Baby It’s Cold Outside Award for the best winter design

Cabin Love” by Jess Taich

While we’re really looking forward to the upcoming spring and summer months, we can’t help but want to snuggle up in a cabin surrounded by snow when we see “Cabin Love.” Jess’s hand illustrated type and the pines framing the adorable cabin are the perfect finishing touches.

Runner Ups: “Winter Wonderland” by Amber Barkley | “Alpine” by Alex Elko Design | “Simple Snowflake” by VOSS

Spring Fling Award for the best springtime design

Vintage Floral” by Amber Barkley

The dancing florals and preppy type setting in “Vintage Floral” just scream springtime. The bold gold accents and monogram up top really connect the dots in Amber’s beautiful design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Woodland” by Kristie Kern | “Sea Breeze” by Kristie Kern | “Fanciful Florals” by lehan paper design | “Two Little Birdies Told Me” by Blonde Ambition

An Autumn Affair Award for the best fall inspired design

bow & arrows” by annie clark

The ochre yellow color block sets the autumn tone in Annie’s whimsical, yet modern “Bow and Arrows.” We can’t get enough of her hand illustrated type and perfectly imperfect border.

Runner Ups: “Retro Florals” by Hello Hailey | “Log Cabin” by Katie Wahn | “Lakeside Twilight” by My Sweetie Pie

Summer Love Award for the best summertime design

Vintage Beach” by Kristie Kern

I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer than on the beach in one of Kristie’s super chic lounge chairs. The colors, the stripes, the textured background…”Vintage Beach” just exudes fun in the sun.

Runner Ups: “Sunshine” by Oscar & Emma | “Malibu Stripes” by Simone Klein | “Citrus Lovin’” by Christine Loo | “Watermelon Hearts” by Sarah Curry | “Ocean Blue” by Sari Victoria

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 10   COMMENTS

Minted on Martha!

Our valentine notebooks were featured last week on The Martha Stewart Show!

Check out the whole segment here. Darcy Miller, the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings shares lots of fun valentine ideas with Martha… Darcy sure knows how to package candy in a pretty way and has so much enthusiasm for the holiday in general!

All of the details of the segment are available on the Martha Stewart Family blog here.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 3   COMMENTS

Something Old, Something New Guest Judges Awards.

While we love to see what all of you voted on, we also really love to see what caught the eye of our guest judges… these ladies are deep in the wedding trenches, looking at and blogging about beautiful weddings all day long. So when they like something, we know they’re surely on to a trend.

We had such interesting bloggers guest judge our Something Old, Something New Challenge. They have all carved out distinct niches for themselves and are covering a certain genre of weddings really well. Read on for their picks, and also perhaps discover a few new blogs for your reader along the way!

Jen Campbell from Green Wedding Shoes award goes to A Wedding in Marrakesh by Cecile Paper Lounge. Jen says, “I Love how elegant and modern this invite was. The colors are gorgeous and you can see the couple’s heritage in the graphic pattern.”

Jen also loved Sushi Love by Casey Fritz. “The sushi illustrations are adorable! Love how fun + cute this invite is”

Another of Jen’s favorites was Retro Hawaii by Gakemi Art+Design. “I love old poster design and this one really stood out with the bold graphics and island illustration.”

German Stein Toast by Casey Fritz was one of Jen’s tops. “Love the beer stein illustrations at the top and the way they incorporated hearts into them also. Great nod to the couple’s heritage.”

humuhumu 10x by guess what? caught Jen’s eye. “Love the colors, design and the illustration. It’s also fun which I think is great and let’s the guests know what kind of wedding it’s going to be!”

Fri Forjindam, the driving force behind Wedding Nouveau chose Happiness Doubled by GeekInk Design for her favorite. “To me, the beauty of culturally chic designs like the “double happiness” symbol that represents good luck and well wishes in many Asian celebrations, is that it’s not only personal, it’s timeless. This design has a carefree vibe and effortless brush strokes that reflect the passion that many newly weds feel for each other. It’s no surprise that it got the most votes from our savvy readers. Now, if there could just be a symbol for ‘happily ever after.’ ”

Greek Key to Happiness by Shari Margolin was the team favorite over at Shawna Gohel’s Maharini Weddings. You can see more of Shawna’s favorites here.

Naoise McNally and Susan Gallagher, the founders of One Fab Day, chose French Bliss by Kayla Grunder. “Perfect for a modern Irish-inspired wedding, this invitation conveys a subtle cultural message with the combination of white and green in the wreath set against the taupe background. It has a contemporary folksy feel that is soft, romantic and informal, just like Ireland.”

Darjeeling by Annie Clark was another favorite because of the beautiful Indian style.

Danish I do by Rachel Wiles/Benign Objects was noticed for its Dutch/Danish/Scandinavian inspiration.

And last, but certainly not least, the lace in Pink Henna by Four Wet Feet Design really made an impression.

A big congratulations to all the winners and a huge thank you to our guest judges for lending their talent to help make this challenge more fun and interesting! Have a lovely weekend ahead everyone!!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 4   COMMENTS

Something Old, Something New Wedding Special Prize Winners

It’s always so exciting to think about the fact that Minted couples come from all over the world—from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. And it’s no surprise that so many of those couples want to incorporate elements of their customs and personalities into their big days. I can’t get over how enthusiastically our designers embraced the chance to design for couples that want to honor their heritage in a chic, modern way. Congratulations to our special prize winners below!

Destination Delhi Award for the best Indian inspired design:

Modern Mehndi” by Laura Condouris

We love the delicate elegance of Laura’s hand-painted “Modern Mehndi.” The watercolor effect gives her flourishes a certain depth and shape that makes them pop off the page. Her simple text and large, but delicate couple’s names provide a perfect balance.

Runner Ups (from left): “Anand Karaj” by Ann Gardner | “Indian Flair” by Kristen Smith | “Indian Love” by Cecile Paper Lounge

UK Royalty Award for the best Kate and Wills inspired design:

Royal Monogram” by Griffinbell Studio

Lynn has us dreaming of a royal wedding with this design. Her regal lions and bold crown recall traditional heraldic elements, while her textured background and patterned silhouettes add a modern twist.

Runner Ups: “Hyde Park” by annie clark | “Kensington” by nocciola design | “Perfect Union” by Stacey Hill

Going to the Chapel Award for the best Christian design:

Two Become One” by trbdesign

Taleen’s “Two Become One” sends a lovely message. Her simple cross made up of sunbursts and a single heart gives a lighthearted, almost whimsical flare to this design. Her unusual mustard and grey lend a certain sophistication as well. Taleen incorporates Christian values in a clean, modern way.

Runner Ups: “Quiet Chapel” by ArtSplott | “Vow” by Erin Pescetoo | “Going to the Chapel” by Griffinbell Studio | “Mediterranean Stucco” by karen boehm custom

Amor Amor Award for the best Hispanic/Latino inspired design:

Con Amor” by Jennifer Long

We can’t get enough of Jennifer’s watercolor hand lettering and illustrations. Her bright, bold, diagonal text gives so much life and personality to this invitation. The color palette is vibrant and festive, which sets a casual, but beautiful tone for the wedding.

Runner Ups: “Heart of Gold” by Susie Allen | “Dia de Amor” by Shari Margolin | “Espana Tiles” by Sharon Rowan

Good Fortune Award for the best Chinese, Vietnamese, or other design with a nod to Asian heritage:

Double Happiness Screen” by Phoebe Wong-Oliveros

“Double Happiness Screen” would be sure to illicit a (positive) gasp from anyone receiving it in the mail. The red, angular screen pops off the very white background. Phoebe’s justified text aligns with the screen in a perfect balance and her use of red allows the couple’s names to stand out.

Runner Ups: “Double Washi-ness” by Frooted Design | “Wedding Cranes” by Sarah Curry | “Chute” by marabou design

Let’s Tie the Knot Award for the best African inspired design:

Daishiki” by marabou design

Brandy’s “Daishiki” strikes that perfect balance between bold and clean. Her African-inspired print uses bright, warm, earthy colors that give the design a rich feeling. The straight lines and the stark contrast between colors give the design an element of order that balances so well with her understated text.

Runner Ups: “Ghana” by Lulu Garcia | “A Wedding in Marrakesh” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Simple Broom” by Laura Condouris

Mazel Tov! Award for the best Jewish design:

Beloved” by Paper Dahlia

We love how soft, but sophisticated Kerry’s “Beloved” is. Her stamped seal sends a beautiful message and anchors the design on a central element. The various blues and fonts blend seamlessly together, giving an overall clean and casual feel.

Runner Ups: “Pinwheel Stars” by Casey Fritz | “Little Chuppah” by Jess Taich | “Modern Star” by Leslie Ann Jones

Love Knot Award for the best Celtic/Irish/Gaelic inspired design:

Vintage Celtic Knot” by Katherine Moynagh

Katherine’s interwoven knot instantly grounds this invitation in Celtic heritage. The eternal aspect of the never-ending knot hovers over the couple’s names, suggesting the happiness of their upcoming nuptials. A soft green border and carefully placed dividing lines give order to Katherine’s varying fonts.

Runner Ups: “Minimalist Celtic Wedding Knot” by Adrienne Berry | “Classic Claddagh” by Hooray Creative | “Celtic Eternity Knot” by Please Reply Designs

Across the Pond Award for the best design with a nod to Italian, Scottish, German, or other European heritage:

German Stein Toast” by Casey Fritz

We love how much fun Casey must have had designing “German Stein Toast.” Every detail adds whimsy and lightheartedness to this design from the delicate scalloped edges to the stylized hearts, the unusual banner, and of course those German steins. Still, the clear focus is on the celebration of the couple’s love. We appreciate the inclusion of a little German language too!

Runner Ups: “Paris” by j.bartyn design | “Tuscan Hill” by Erin Pescetto | “Ello London” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak

It’s a Small World Award for the best design that incorporates two cultures:

Miles of Love” by Ana Gonzalez

There’s so much to love about this design. Ana captures the multi-cultural aspect of a wedding in such a clever way with her arrows pointing in different directions. Her beautiful deep, watercolor blue ocean and vivid green landscapes give the impression of a map without any limiting specifics.

Runner Ups: “Something Bookish” by Candice Leigh | “Bagatelle” by Cecile Paper Lounge

…And Just for Fun for the best designs incorporating each of these other ‘traditions’:

Las Vegas:

Vegas Type” by Elaine Stephenson

Elaine’s “Vegas Type” captures the life and energy of a Las Vegas wedding. Her use of red, black, and white subtly recalls the cards that are so synonymous with the city. The varying fonts and text treatments remind us of flashing lights in a clean, elegant way.

Disneyland:

Enchanted Stars” by Jody Wody

Jody’s “Enchanted Stars” gives any fairy tale wedding the sophistication and elegance it deserves. We love her flowing stars and dots that give an impression of magic. Her soft grey castle outline is subtle and muted and directs our eyes straight to the couple’s names.

Runner Ups: “Ever After” by Jill Means | “Cinderella” by Jacqueline Dziadosz

Military:

Air Force Salute” by Heather Wullenweber

Heather’s planes are so striking. Her careful use of whitespace gives her planes the power and boldness that reminds us of their physicality. Her tightly clustered capitals in Air Force colors and regimented text set the tone for a military wedding, while keeping the couple’s celebration at the center of it all.

Runner Ups: “Navy Stars and Stripes” by Sarah Curry | “Letter Home” by Katie Dirksen

Luau:

humuhumu 10x” by guess what?

It’s so very fitting that one of our Hawaii-based designers would design our favorite Hawaiian-inspired invitation. Lori’s kissing fish give the design a fun, tropical feeling that has us San Franciscans longing to grab our snorkels. Her text is lighthearted and casual, which works perfectly with the informality of her type treatment and layout.

Runner Ups: “Aloha Nui Loa” by Rachel Wiles/Benign Objects | “Retro Hawaii” by Gakemi Art + Design | “Tiki Luau” by Simone Klein

Vampire/Twilight inspired:

Solstice” by Alex Elko Design

Alex captures the dark elegance of a Gothic wedding. His distressed lace and dusty rose text give this design a romantic feeling, while the oval border recalls the nostalgia of Victorian portraiture. His formal text adds to the sophistication of the design that we find oh so vampire chic.

Runner Ups: “Luna” by Jody Wody | “Dark Romance” by Heather Wullenweber | “After Sunset” by Kristen Smith

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 17   COMMENTS

Meet a Mintie: e-ray.

Today we get to know a self-described “design geek” who we think happens to be one of the coolest members of our community. No doubt by now you’re familiar with Eric Comstock’s or e-ray’s whimsical, hand-drawn lettering and delightful cherry and blueberry color pairings. Eric is a veteran designer who came to minted with a very large portfolio and a lot of experience in both the advertising and design worlds. We hope you enjoy getting to know Eric a little better!

A cool marquee letter Eric found on ebay.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I loved art from the time I was a kid, but it was really when I was working in advertising as an art director that I really started to think about it seriously. I was jealous of the graphic designers at our agency. It just seemed to me that they had the really fun job.

A drawing that I did when I was 14. When I did this drawing I realized I wanted to go into advertising. I didn’t even understand what one did in advertising but I thought if I could do drawings like this all day I would love it. Ten years after getting into advertising I left that career and started working with my wife. We spent a lot of time designing surface design. Advertising was good but I really love what I do now.

How would you describe your style?
Definitely not serious. I like to have fun and create things that make people smile. So, I think modern with a quirky flair and emphasis on typography is a pretty good description.

What is your normal workflow or process like?
You mean after I’m done procrastinating? Well, I usually draw out some sketches on paper, then scan them into illustrator to finish.

How many iterations does it take for a design to become final?
I guess it depends on the design.

How did you hear about minted?
I read about minted on designworklife.com. Shortly after, I met Mariam and the rest of her team at SurTex and they invited me to participate. I’ve loved it ever since!

Favorite design for sale on minted and why you like it?
The Retro ABC notebook is my favorite because I really love the colors and the texture from the hand drawn letters.

Favorite design challenge to date?
I have enjoyed the art poster challenge best of all. One of the things I love about Minted is having the opportunity to work on these different assignments. Every challenge gives me a chance to solve a new problem and some fun solutions have come from that.

It seems like you had a ton of fun with letters during the notebook challenge. All of your designs are incredible. Can you walk us through what it’s like to hand letter an entire alphabet?
It can be a challenge to create new ways of designing a letter, but that is also the fun part. Sometimes creating a new way of looking at the alphabet can lead to a bunch of other ideas.

I believe you’re married… what was your wedding invitation like?
I am married… My wife had her neighbor, a talented artist, hand letter our invitation. The lettering was shot with a stat camera and printed on an ivory cardstock.

Favorite pen?
Uniball Vision (Fine)

Favorite notebook?
My Retro ABC notebook, of course!

Favorite design tool?
Illustrator, Wacom tablet and my scanner

A sketchbook pic.

How does living in the Utah influence your design?
I’m not sure Utah has really influenced my design much. Sitting on our deck enjoying the perfect summers here with a glass of wine might not hurt too much though.

Although I will say that because I am not skier (not a fan of the winter here) it forces me to stay at my desk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fall and Winter are my most productive times of the year.

Another sketchbook pic.

What are the places in your hometown that you would recommend a visitor check out?
Caffe Ibis for really great coffee, lunch or breakfast. Logan Canyon for hiking. Sardine Canyon in the fall for seeing the leaves change.

Eric thoughtfully brought Mariam a bag of his beloved Caffe Ibis coffee to our Salt Lake City meet-up.

Where do you go for design inspiration?
I put on some really good jazz music, pour a really tasty cup of coffee and then I just wait. Sometimes they show up and sometimes they don’t.

My desk. Sort of boring. This is how my desk looks for about 5 minutes after I have cleaned it.

On the wall above my desk is a print that Nate Williams sent me. The other is a print by Jim Flora that I bought on fab.com.

Where do you like to shop? What are your favorite stores?

Being 6′ 5″, I shop online mostly. I like JCrew, Gap, Etsy and Fab.com (my latest favorite).

What are your favorite online design sites and blogs?
designworklife.com, designsponge.com, grainedit.com and of course my own site that I just put together with the help of virb.com, the url is www.eray.us (a work in progress).

What designers do you really admire?
Alexander Gerard, Ray and Charles Eames, Miroslave Sasek, Jim Flora and Richard Diebenkorn whose paintings I just love.

What advice would you give a new designer?
The more work you do, the stronger you will become at what you love doing. When I worked in advertising, we were expected to come up with 20-30, maybe even 50 ideas for each assignment. Only 3-5 of those ideas would make it to the first round of presenting to our creative director. It would be narrowed further from there. Persistence is more important than talent. Don’t give up!

Keep in touch with Eric on his website here.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 20   COMMENTS

Head Over Heels Guest Judges Awards.

We’re very excited to be announcing the guest judges awards from our Head Over Heels wedding invitation challenge today! Our guest judges are pretty much the most impressive, sweetest and most talented ladies we’ve come across so it comes as no surprise that their winning selections are nothing short of swoon-worthy.

Heather Lee, the Associate Editor at Brides.com, awarded her prize to: Gallery Hopping by Annie Clark. “I REALLY love that one,” says Heather. “And I’m totally not a “pink” person! I love the look of the stacked all-capped letters and the large wash of pale pink is very Rothko-esque. This design is perfect for modern couples hosting their nuptials in an artistic venue, such a Chelsea art gallery, renovated warehouse, or former foundry.”

Before deciding, Heather asked her readers for help and their favorite design was In the Park by Amanda Larsen Design. Says Heather of their selection: “I’ve seen plenty of faux bois invitations—it’s a popular look for outdoor weddings and this design is done particularly well. The typography reminds me of chalkboard lettering, which gives the design a nostalgic feel, while the flower and leaf details add a touch of sweetness to the overall rustic look.”

Cathleya Schroeckenstein, the Editor-in-Chief of Weddingbee.com, asked the Bees at Wedding Bee to help her decide and they all voted for Love Story by Cadence Paige Design.

Their second place favorite was Flourishing by Griffinbell Studios.

Cyd Converse from The Sweetest Occasion chose Leaf Specimen by Krista Messer. Says Cyd of her selection: “I’m always a sucker for great type and hand lettering so I instantly loved this invitation. Plus, it’s just super pretty so you can’t help but love it.”

One of Cyd’s other favorites was chalkboard by Alethea and Ruth. “The bold mix of neutrals on this invitation is modern while still feeling timeless,” Cyd says. “I love the white type against the dark background, it makes the design feel both whimsical and modern.”

A huge hip, hip hooray to Heather, Cathy and Cyd for their excellent input! We really appreciate your time ladies. Thanks so much!!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 13   COMMENTS

Head Over Heels Special Prize Winners Part 2

I have really enjoyed taking a detour from the always lovely, but slightly chaotic, holiday season to take in all of the gorgeous winners of our Head Over Heels wedding challenge. So many fantastic designs came in and it’s really fun to see where they’ve landed when it comes to our special prize categories. The creativity abounds in this collection of stylish and specific wedding invitations and I feel quite honored to present them here. Congratulations, designers!

Breath of Fresh Air Award for the best fresh take on a classic (formal) wedding invitation:

Simple Scallop” by Laura Hankins

“Simple Scallop” mixes a traditional text and color palette with a fun, modern twist. We love the elegance of Laura’s simple, traditional text and layout. It’s the fun, imperfect scalloped border that adds personality to the design in such a fresh way.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Certified Chic” by j.bartyn design | “Triangle Flirtation” by SimpleTe Design | “Watercolor and Doilies” by Bethany Bowers | “Twine” by Palm Papers | “Notable” by Wondercloud Design

Church Bells Award for the best church/chapel wedding invitation:

Blessed Lace” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak

Yolanda’s “Blessed Lace” is both sophisticated and modern. The beautiful, stylized cross has the delicacy of white lace, while the shape and detailing also recall a stained glass window. The simple, but unusual border adds to the charm of the design and the slightly textured background provides visual interest and depth.

Runner Ups (from left): “Going to the Chapel” by Stacey Meacham | “Grand Lace” by Carrie O’Neal

Vegas Baby! Award for the best Las Vegas wedding invitation:

Lucky in Love” by Susan Asbill

Susan captures the retro glamor of Las Vegas, the sense of billboards and flashing lights, and the energy of the city all while managing to keep “Lucky in Love” organized and elegant. The white text on a textured grey background allows us to focus on the playful blend of fonts and type treatments and her lively dotted lines lead your eyes around the design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bet on Love” by Rose Lindo | “Vegas or Bust” by The Occasional Hello | “Bright Light City” by root beer float | “Roll of the Dice” by Kelly Nasuta | “Vivas las Marriage” by Candice Leigh | “Hearts & Spades” by Jill Means

Flora and Fauna Award for the best outdoors or nature-inspired wedding invitation:

In the Park” by Amanda Larsen Design

“In the Park” is a perfect example of rustic chic. We love the richness and depth of the woodgrain background. Its deep brown really allows the text and flora embellishments to pop. The simple, concise wording keeps this design friendly and somewhat informal—the perfect invitation for outdoor nuptials.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Autumn Leaves” by Hello Hailey | “The Grove” by Design Lotus | “Ladybug Garden” by Alethea and Ruth | “Big Sur” by annie clark | “Sunday Succulent” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Forevergreen” by jenincmyk | “Evergreen” by The Social Type

Beachy Keen Award for the best beach wedding invitation:

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore” by Aspacia Henspetter

We love Aspacia’s “Sea Shells by the Sea Shore” for a chic beach wedding. The detail of her illustrations makes the design both impressive and delicate. Her use of starfish, coral, sea shells, and plants is so fun, while the informal confines of a perfect wreath shape keep the design clean.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Horizon” by Linda & Harriett | “The Shore” by Kristen Smith | “Beach Bums” by trbdesign | “Ombre Stripes” by Jill Means | “What a Pair” by Smudge Design

Best Newbie Design:

Leaf Specimen” by Krista Messer

Krista has entered the Minted world with a bang! “Leaf Specimen” was not only the highest rated newbie design, but it also came in at 7th place overall. Her illustrations and hand-lettering add a beautiful, personal touch to this invitation while the deep, muted tones and leafy elements are both sophisticated and naturally casual.

Runner Ups (from left): “Cake Toppers” by Zory Mory | “Fiesta Folk Art” by root beer float | “heart Throb” by Taylor Todd – Olive and Violet | “Star Dust” by Heather W.

Found in Translation Award for the best multi-language wedding invitation:

Language of Love” by VOSS

Sara’s stylized speech bubble sends a wonderful message of love, regardless of the languages on the invitation. We love the suggestion that each side of the invitation, one in English and the other in Spanish, translates to the same message. The framing and symmetrical layout give this design a sense of structure that complements the whimsy of the speech bubble.

Customer’s Choice Award:

Kissing Ball” by Phoebe Wong-Oliveros

Phoebe gives the old tradition of a kissing ball a very modern, fresh twist. Her text treatment and placement allows us to focus on the beauty and intricacy of the kissing ball itself. The density of the kissing ball is balanced by the delicacy of the white outline around each flower and the clean space of the overall design. It’s no surprise that this beautiful design is our Minted customer favorite.

Most Helpful Commenter Award:

Commenting and critique are a key part of the Minted experience and we’re proud that our community members help each other grow as designers. Because our Minties were so active in commenting in this challenge, we want to acknowledge our most helpful commenter. Congratulations Debb W! To reward Debb for being so helpful, we will be sending her a copy of one of our favorites, Drawn In: A Peek into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, and Cartoonists by Julia Rothman. Thank you Debb!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 14   COMMENTS

Head Over Heels Special Prize Winners Part 1

The wedding winners continue! Today I’m thrilled to announce the first batch of our special prize winners. These winners highlight the incredible diversity of this year’s Head Over Heels wedding collection. From photo to non-photo, romantic beach to rustic barnyard, and elegantly classic to boldly modern, each Minted couple is looking for a unique wedding invitation that speaks to their personality and style. I’m so proud to say that this year more and more couples will find just what they’re looking for here at Minted. Congratulations, designers!

Picture Perfect Award for the best photo wedding invitation:

Moment in Time” by The Social Type

It’s not easy to incorporate a photo into a wedding invitation, but Allison and Jess of the Social Type make it look so effortless. The slightly off-kilter angle of the photo and the old-fashioned photo corners make it seem as though the bride and groom have hand-crafted each invitation. The subtle texture of the background and the delicate text add to the personality of the design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bright Future” by root beer float | “Minimalist Display” by Gakemi Art + Design | “Forever Panoramic” by Stacey Meacham | “Sense & Sensibility” by Jennifer Wick | “Saturday in the Park” by guess what? | “Polaroid Perfection” by Katie Dirksen

Can’t Pick Just One Award for the best multi-photo wedding invitation:

Eyes for You” by R Studio

Renee creates a wonderful tension by separating the bride and groom on either side of this invitation. The flanking full-bleed photos add a very modern touch. The clean type and the use of plenty of whitespace make this design so versatile. We can see so many different types of photos working in this basic, but unique frame.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top): “Metro Green Line” by sarasponda | “Star Gazing Multi Photo” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Moments Captured” by Carrie Eckert

Piece of the Pie Award for the best design element in a wedding invitation:

Wedding Boughs” by Kimberly Morgan

We love the delicate intricacy of Kimberly’s “Wedding Boughs” tree. The elegant leaves and curling branches are wonderfully unusual, while the couple’s initials add a personal touch. Kimberly lets the couple’s tree shine in the context of a clean, minimal design. We can also see this beautiful tree transplanted into so many other types of designs as well.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Iconic Barnyard” by bumble ink | “Painted Flower” by lehan paper design | “Studio Modern” by Sydney Newsom | “Koi” by Anais Lee | “Mr & Mrs X” by Design Lotus | “Kissing Quails” by nocciola design

Whimsy Award for the best whimsical/offbeat wedding invitation:

Summer Love” by rose eckford

Rose’s “Summer Love” puts us in a summer state of mind. Her fun, textured popsicle immediately sets the tone for a laid-back wedding. Every detail screams whimsy from the crosshatch background with the imperfect popsicle cut-out to the angled, white text highlights.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Charm School” by The Social Type | “Sole Mates” by k notes llc | “A Love Story” by Kayla Grunder | “I’m Nuts for You” by Kimberly Morgan | “Afterparty” by Ann Gardner | “Blueprint” by Sarah Brown | “Times Flies” by Wondercloud Design | “Infinity & Beyond” by Dawn Jasper

Wild Thing Award for the best edgy/outrageous wedding invitation:

Our Love Mix” by Cheer Up Cherup

Nothing like a bit of 80’s rock to give a wedding invitation a little edge. Alaina’s charming cassette tape packs so much memory and emotion behind it. The bold, but limited color palette allows you to focus on the tape and on the large names. This design provides a clean, modern outrageousness and conveys the couple’s personality.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “The Zebras” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Translation Destination” by Erin Pescetto | “Shindig” by Precious Bugarin Design | “Eclectic Type of Love” by cadence paige design | “Initials” by roxy | “Wedding Vinyl” by Dawn Jasper

Sweet Simplicity Award for the best simple/chic wedding invitation:

Blushing” by Sydney Newsom

Sydney’s “Blushing” fits this award so perfectly; it’s sweet, simple, and oh so chic. The color palette of muted pink and deep grey immediately gives the design a very modern feel while the small, Mrs. Eaves text and flowing Business Penmanship elegantly balance out the modern monogram.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Broome Street” by j.bartyn design | “Gallery Hopping” by Annie Clark | “Perchance” by b.wise papers | “Sweet Chic” by Daily Sip Studios | “Color Block” by Paper Dahlia

Away We Go Award for the best destination wedding invitation:

Maritime Stripe” by Wondercloud Design

Olivia’s fun, nautical design has us ready to pack our bags for a destination wedding. The big, bold names and varying fonts would be chic and interesting on any design. It’s the bar of diagonal stripes, the anchor in a heart, and the playful “anchors aweigh!” that give this design a distinctly-destination feel.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Cartography” by Sarah Brown | “Mosaic” by Betta | “Dive In” by Call Me Lauren | “Translation Destination” by Erin Pescetto | “Painted Ferns” by Katharine Watson

I’ve Got a Feeling Award for the best evocative of a feeling without being too literal wedding invitation:

Pinwheels” by Jill Means

The playful, staggered pinwheels in Jill’s design immediately evoke a warm summer breeze and the casual comfort of that time of year. We love the balance of a simple color palette with the fun black and white patterns in each pinwheel. The bold white border and traditional text are the perfect complement to the more whimsical elements of this design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bouquet d’Amour” by Beth Ann | “Champagne & French CanCan” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Chalkboard Wedding” by Katie Dirksen | “Ombre/Sunset” by Linda and Harriett | “Love, Sweet Love” by guess what? | “In the Stars” by Kimberly Nicole | “Watercolor Dots” Stacey Day

Big Day Big Name Award for the best wedding invitation that features the couple’s names in a big way:

Santa Monica Modern” by Andres Montano

So many couples love to see their names really stand out on a wedding invitation and Andres has definitely delivered for them with “Santa Monica Modern.” The faded background and white highlights make these names seem to jump right off the page. The distressed texture and unusual seal give an overall urban and modern vibe.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Color Us Happy” by Oscar & Emma | “Stamped Center” by Alethea and Ruth | “Artist’s Frame” by Linda and Harriett | “Shindig” by Precious Bugarin Design | “Bokeh Bride” by Andres Montano | “Dearest” by Susan Asbill

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 10   COMMENTS

Meet a Mintie: Linda & Harriett.

Happy week-of Christmas everyone! This monday morning, I bring you a fine treat: a Meet a Mintie with Liz from Linda & Harriett. Liz is a relatively new member of our community, but boy did she get into our holiday challenge, submitting several stunners!

First things, first! Who’s Linda and who’s Harriett?
My mom’s name was Linda & my middle name is Harriett, also the name of my great grandmother. When I was thinking of names for my business, my husband mentioned using these names because they’re pretty old-fashioned unique names & obviously mean a lot to me. As a result, I get called Linda a lot. But I never mind because it reminds me of my mom, who passed away when I was 17.

How did L&H get its start?
I started Linda & Harriett as a custom stamped invitation business. I made rubber stamps & used them for people’s invitations & personalized stationery. It was a lot of work & a lot of hand-work, but there’s something so gratifying about putting ink to paper for an immediate result – and one that changes depending on that moment of contact – the pressure of your hands, the ink saturation, the paper, the rotation of the stamp – it all adds up to something slightly different each time. It’s fun, and I’ve just gotten back into it again.

I’ve moved away from the custom work & now concentrate on a few key products that I really love from start to finish – namely, our calendars. I love creating them, selling them & giving them as gifts. I stand by them 100% and I’ll keep doing them as long as that’s the case. Cutting back on our line has also freed up time for other projects, like creating designs for Minted!

As you know, I’ve been purchasing your calendars for five years and counting now and am a HUGE fan. How do you go about designing it each year?
My process for our annual letterpress calendar, which I’ve been doing since 2008, starts in January of the prior year and is by far my favorite project. In my sketchbook, I list all 12 months & over several weeks, I take notes on what I want to do for each month. The summer months are usually the first to fill up with ideas. I’m a total sucker for sea life images – whales, crabs, sailfish, anchors, seagulls. I could do June, July and August twenty times over each year. But back to the process. So I take notes & sketch possible layouts in January. The next few months are spent sketching the images & month titles. The last part is deciding on colors. I tape Pantone swatches in my sketch book next to the months to make sure I’m not overusing or missing a color or duplicating colors in back to back months. This is the part that definitely takes me the longest. I hem & haw over colors so much that sometimes I spend most of the day deciding on a shade of blue. I’m not really that picky of a person, but when it comes to my colors, I’m crazy. We go to print by April and debut the calendar at the National Stationery Show in May.

Speaking of the National Stationery Show, that is where I met you! Natasha told me about Minted while I was still in the thick of custom work, so it didn’t feel like the right time since I was busy with my own clients & production schedule and couldn’t imagine taking on more. Cutting back on custom work over the past year freed up some time, and I submitted my first designs this May for the Holiday Card Challenge. Sometimes I feel like I work in a vacuum a bit, so getting immediate feedback in comments & then later in sales is particularly fun for me. And I have to admit, I do love a good challenge!

I loved meeting you for the first time–I am such a big calendar fan that I was quite starstruck. What is your favorite design for sale on minted now?

My favorite design of mine on Minted right now is my Handlettered Merry Christmas card. I ordered it as my company holiday card (non photo, citron green color — so cool!) and will use it as our family Christmas card, too, with a big photo of Griffin, my one year old son. I like that it’s simple enough to let the photo shine, but has personality in the loose lettering. It feels light-hearted – and to me, that seems like the perfect sentiment for the season.

How is your letterpress work different than designing for minted’s flat printing?
Designing for flat printing is a bit different than letterpress. Letterpress printing gets more expensive with each color you add, so I typically use one or two colors, sometimes three and almost never four. And even though I can use more than three colors for flat printing, my designs for Minted have so far rarely exceeded two colors. I can’t help it:) I also think that when you’re using photos, it’s best to limit the number of colors in your design. Too much can be too much.

How does your new son Griffin fit into your work / life / balance?
When I was pregnant with Griffin over a year ago, I started anticipating work life with a baby. I realized pretty quickly that my time was about to turn to gold & I didn’t want to waste it. So with that in mind, I cut back on things in my business that I didn’t enjoy & didn’t have faith to grow. I cut back on a lot, actually. It was risky, but I am so happy I did because it’s allowed me a whole day off a week to hang out with Griffin and has given me more time for other projects, such as designing for Minted! So really, Griffin brought me to Minted:)

Isn't little Griffin's bum adorable on her Merry Merry giftag?

And we’re so glad he did!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season Liz!! Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better. Keep in touch with Liz over on her blog here.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 11   COMMENTS