The Places They’ll Go Graduation Challenges : Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our The Places They’ll Go Non-Foil Graduation Challenge and The Places They’ll Go Foil-Pressed Graduation Challenge!

Students and their families come to Minted to look for the perfect Graduation announcement or party invitation to celebrate this major milestone. We looked to you, our talented Minted community, to help us offer graduates the freshest, most original designs available anywhere. We were primarily seeking graduation announcements for high school, college, or graduate school students, but also added some graduation party invitations to our assortment.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

The Places They’ll Go Non-Foil Graduation Challenge

Originality Award
For the design that incorporates the best original drawing, illustration, or lettering that has been made specifically for this Challenge and not used before.
$1,000 + a $50 gift card to BLICK

Sketched Leaves by Morgan Kendall

Runners-up: Classic Foliage by Grae Sales, Flourish by Erin L. Wilson, and Featuring by Creo Study


File Prep Tips

by Olivia Goree

November 14, 2019
No More Accidental Glyphs

In order for text on your cards to be editable in our customizer, it cannot include any glyphs. Not sure if your textbox has glyphs included? Do a quick check — select the textbox, open the “Open Type” panel (Window > Open Type) and make sure none of the icons are selected on the bottom row. If any are highlighted, click the icons to remove all glyphs from your textbox!

October 24, 2019
Round up those font sizes!

Our design customizer tool can only accommodate font sizes set to whole numbers. If you have any fonts set as decimals in your file (e.g., 11.5), make sure to either round up or down. Please double-check that they meet our Minted font minimums to help avoid delays processing your files!

September 20, 2019
Don’t forget about bleed/trim!

Challenge submission templates for stationery cards are set to 5’’x7’’ to give voters an accurate view of final designs. However, templates that winners receive when submitting final Illustrator files are set to 5.2’’x7.2’’ to account for a 0.1’’ bleed & trim around all edges of the card when printed.

When preparing your winning files, please do not stretch your original 5×7’’ design to fill the 5.2’’x7.2’’ artboard space including the trim, as important elements of your design may be trimmed off when printed. Make sure to place your original design on the larger artboard within the trim lines, and then extend any background artwork (or elements intended to bleed off the edge of the card) to the edge of the artboard.

August 22, 2019
Rich Black vs. Flat Black: What’s the Difference?

Rich black is a color build that includes all values of C, M, Y and K to produce a deeper black tone when printed, and should be used for large areas of black artwork. Our team recommends using a CMYK build of (45, 45, 45, 100) for these elements.

Flat black has a CMYK build of (0, 0, 0, 100) and should be used for finer black details or smaller type.

July 23, 2019
How to approach Alternate Greetings with foil-pressed Holiday designs

If your design is foil-pressed, then it’s possible that the greeting in your design is a foil-pressed element. This element should stay on the “FOIL” layer. To ensure designs are easily found by customers, we require at least one element on one of the alternate greeting layers.

In these cases, we want a non-foil element on the alternate greeting layer your foil greeting corresponds to. Since “joy” in the example above is a holiday greeting, we would place the family name textbox on the “holiday text” layer.

If your design is foil-pressed but the foil element is not what would be considered an alternate greeting (i.e. if you have foil dots or star illustrations for example), proceed with alternate greetings as you would for non-foil designs.

June 19, 2019
How to set up foil artwork in Illustrator

It’s important that foil elements are set up a specific way in final files– this allows us to properly create foil dies for our printers to use, as well as correctly create site imagery for your design. Foil elements should be combined into one compound path, using only one clipping mask to crop the foil image. Note that this is per artboard (so if you are using the combined templates, you should have a single compound path with foil elements for each item in your suite). Follow these steps below to create your foil artwork correctly:

1. Expand foil design elements, so they are set as fill-only vector elements (meaning no strokes).
All foil elements should be in vector format and set as “fill-only” (no strokes applied). If foil elements include strokes, expand appearance to convert them to fill-only by going to Object > Expand within Illustrator.

2. Make foil element(s) a single compound path.
Combine your foil design elements into one compound path by using the Compound Path function in the Object menu (select all elements you want to foil on the artboard and go to Object > Compound Path > Make).

3. Place foil .jpeg texture in Illustrator directly behind the compound path.
Place the desired Minted foil or gloss texture in your Illustrator file by going to Object > Place. Make sure the compound path is sitting on top of the foil/gloss texture.

4. Select both compound path & foil texture and create a clipping mask.
With both elements selected, create a compound path by going to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. When you’re done, place this on the FOIL layer in your templates.

May 10, 2019
How to easily place high-resolution photos into Adobe Illustrator files

There are a variety of ways to place an image into Adobe Illustrator, but one process in particular optimizes your file for the Minted Production team (and helps avoid errors with large . Follow these steps to place a photo in your file and scale it down within Illustrator.

1. In Illustrator, go to “File” > “Place”.

2. Select the desired photo from the pop-up box and click “Place”.

3. Click and drag the photo to achieve the desired photo size.

Then to scale down the photo…

4. With the photo selected, go to “Object” > “Rasterize”.

5. In the “Resolution” section, select “High (300 ppi)”.
Make sure “Background” is set to “Transparent,” then click “OK”.

Olivia Goree is a Community Support Specialist on the Artist Relations Team at Minted. She is the design community’s source of contact regarding file preparation and submission. She is also a member of the Minted community and has a strong passion for hand-lettering and typography, which can be seen in her work. Visit Olivia’s Minted Artist Store and follow her on Instagram @oliviagoree or @oliviagoreedesign.

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Minted Artists in the Press April & May 2019

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured on The View, Target Weekly Ad, New York Magazine / The Strategist, HGTV Magazine,, and Orlando Soria’s Instagram. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

Target Weekly Ad
 (May 5, 2019)

Mother’s Day Greeting Cards featuring “Botanical Name Plate” by Shiny Penny Studio and “Mom I Love You” by Paper Raven Co.

The View (April 30, 2019)
Graduation Announcements featuring “Simple Hint
” by Simona Camp, “Modern Cap” by Dawn Jasper, “Dapper” by Lena Barakat, “Made It!” by Kristel Torralba, “Classic Graduate” by Melissa Casey, “Magnifique” by Nazia Hyder, “Flourish” by Paper Sun Studio, and “Scholarly Charm” by Toast & Laurel.

Also featuring Graduation Gifts “New York City Map” by Alex Elko Design, “Scripted” by Jennifer Postorino, “Minimalist Grid” by Erika Krystek, and “Quintet” by Hooray Creative.

The View (April 3, 2019)
“Abby’s Baby Shower” featuring “
Miracle Duo” by Ana Sharpe, “Twice as Nice” by Erica Krystek, “Extra Blessed” by Lea Delaveris, “Delicate Welcome” by Olivia Raufman, “Gilded Botanicals” by Oma N. Ramkhelawan, “The Name” by Phrosné Ras, and “The Sweetest” by Up Up Creative.

Also featuring “Forever Sunshine” by Carrie ONeal, “Baby Zebra 2″ by Cass Loh, and “Baby Watercolor Elephant” by Lauren Rogoff art prints and “Oh My!” by Oscar & Emma, “Oaring Around” by 24th and Dune, “Moroccan Zillij” by Kaydi Bishop, and “Walk the Line” by Addy Spangenberg pillows. Pinboard fabric is “Simple Starburst” by Erica Krystek.

New York Magazine (March 15, 2019)
What’s the Best-Looking Personalized Stationery?” featuring “Abstract Savannah Georgia” by Erika Firm and “The Grainfield” by Moglea personalized stationery.

HGTV Magazine (May 2019)
“Decorate!” featuring “Corrina” pillow by Anna Johnson.
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Crazy in Love Non-Foil Wedding Invitation Challenge : Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Crazy in Love Non-Foil Wedding Invitation Challenge! We have more engaged couples than ever before coming to Minted to express their style with unique invitations that can’t be found anywhere else. In this Challenge, we were looking for designs in a range of styles that appeal to our diverse customer base.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Out of the Box Award
For the most design-forward, innovative wedding invitation that you would only find at Minted.

Swirl by Alethea and Ruth

Runners-up: Mosaic by GeekInk Design, Lithe by Kristie Kern, and Galeria by Kelly Schmidt

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Font Award Round-Up : Special Prize Winners

Announcing Special Prize winners for our Font Awards! These awards are for designs that introduce new fonts and use them in a visually interesting and differentiated way. We’re always looking to the community to help us surface fresh new fonts to add to our Minted Font List. If you have a vision for an amazing design that uses a font that’s not in our font library, feel free to use it in your submission. You can read more about Minted fonts here. All winners receive a $100 credit to MyFonts.

Congratulations to all our winners!

Time to Party Pre-Wedding Celebration Challenge

Champagne Bottle by Cass Loh

Font used: Willow Bloom

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Minted artists’ top 10 font tips

Written by Amy Schroeder & Molly Wiggins

Fonts are kind of a big deal here at Minted. Over the years, we’ve amassed a collection of hundreds of them in our ever-growing Font List, a database of the fonts we’ve obtained commercial server licenses for.

Because there are a number of factors to consider before selecting and purchasing a font, we asked four respected Minted artists for their top tips. Here’s a compilation of their insights, ranging from top sites for purchasing fonts to rounding out your “wardrobe” of fonts … and some technical jargon clarified along the way.

Shown here: Five of the many fonts you can view in Minted’s Font List, which Minted artist Sweta Modi calls “her bible.” “I consult the Minted Font List to discover new fonts, choose a specific typeface from a particular style, and check the minimum size specified for a font.”

1. Find fontspiration everywhere

Fonts are on billboards, book covers, clothing, album covers—they’re everywhere you look! As Minted artists attest, it’s nearly impossible not to be typographically inspired in your everyday life. Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus follows her favorite type designers and foundries on Instagram, and Erika Firm maintains a typography Pinterest board that serves as her “running wish list for fonts.”

Erika also stays on top of font trends by flipping through magazines—a great way to see fonts in action, in actual print. “It’s one thing for a font to look lovely on screen, but it has to actually translate well on paper in order for it to work for stationery,” the South Carolina designer says. “I think Bon Appetit magazine does a great job of incorporating typography into their design.”

2. Purchase fonts purposefully

When it comes to purchasing fonts, Minted artist Julie Green of Up Up Creative tells it like it is: “Don’t feel like you have to buy every cool new font you see. But do remember that your font purchases are business expenses, which can help at tax time.” Point taken.

Amy Ehmann suggests shopping for fonts with a specific purpose in mind. “Ideally, I’ll be able to use a particular font for a minimum of two to three designs,” she says, adding that if she doesn’t envision using a font multiple times, in her mind, it’s probably not worth it.

As for pricing, fonts can cost between $10-$1,000, so keep this in mind as you’re establishing your design expenses budget. “The high-cost fonts are oftentimes large families of fonts such as Avenir that has 24 weights,” says Molly Wiggins, Minted’s Font Specialist.

Erika Firm, a designer who creates work for Minted and private clients, tends to steer clear of expensive fonts. “If the cost is more than $100 for the font family, I won’t use it in a Minted design. If the cost is more than $250 for a font family, I won’t use it for branding clients. I don’t source fonts that don’t include numerals or special characters. For branding projects, I don’t use fonts that don’t include ligatures.” But when she does find an affordable font she loves, she goes all in. “I buy the entire family—different weights, italics, small caps, etc.—so that it’s most versatile,” Erika says.


Minted Artists in the Press March 2019

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured in Family Circle Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Wedding Chicks,, and The Today Show Instagram. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

Family Circle (April 2019)
“Build on Your Basics” featuring “Chunky Stripes” napkins by Lehan Veenker

Better Homes & Gardens (March 2019)
“Mural Magic” featuring “Awaken” wall mural by Colby Zeiser

Wedding Chicks (March 1, 2019)
“It’s a Sign: Wedding Stationery Ideas Based on Astrology” featuring “Modern Shapes” by Morgan Kendall, “Corner Piece” by Hooray Creative, “Funky Names” by Phrosné Ras, “Boho Bright” by Morgan Ramberg, “Hudson” by Toast & Laurel, “Blue Tides” by Erin Deegan, “Flow” by Lisa Tamura Guerrero, “Little Wreath” by Phrosné Ras, “Storybook Floral Frame” by Lulu and Isabelle, “One and Only” by Design Lotus, “Aperture” by Laura Hamm, “Watercolor Wisp” by Ariel Rutland, “Hold On” by Carolyn MacLaren, “Painted Peony” by Alethea and Ruth, “One True” by Shoshin Studio, “Fantasy Floral Bride” by Phrosné Ras, “Fine Love” by Ana Sharpe, “Marine” by Kelli Hall, “Mist” by Lori Wemple, “Pencil Thin” by Baumbirdy, “I Adore You” by Phrosné Ras, “Lux Branch” by Stacey Meacham, “Love Grows” by Leah Bisch, “Shine” by Lisa Tamura Guerrero, “Gilded Mod Wreath” by Petra Kern, and “Understated” by Sara Hicks Malone

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7 Minted Artists are Finalists in Prestigious 2019 LOUIE Awards

The LOUIE Awards. Photo by The Greeting Card Association. 

Written by Daryl Lindsey

Seven Minted artists have earned spots as finalists in the Greeting Card Association’s 30th annual LOUIE Awards.

The distinguished award ceremony was founded in 1988 in honor of Louis Prang, the publisher and who revolutionized the modern Christmas card in the 19th century. Each year, the LOUIEs celebrate innovations in the greeting card industry, recognizing outstanding art and design.

“We are looking forward to celebrating this year’s LOUIE Awards finalists and winners,” said Fern Gimbelman, LOUIE Awards Chair. “We’re excited about the many creative greeting cards that were submitted.”

To select the finalists, a panel of 19 judges reviewed 620 entries. More than 142 companies submitted designs in 55 categories, all of which were sold in the United States in 2018. A second “Blue-Ribbon Panel” of five judges chose two “Cards of the Year” and a “Judge’s Award for Excellence” as well.

While considering the submissions, judges graded designs based on originality, impact, “sendability,” design excellence, and value.

165 greeting cards were selected as finalists — seven of which belong to Minted artists!

Here’s a look into their amazing work.

“Birthday Tacos” by Olivia Herrick Design. Finalist in “Birthday (Humorous)” Category.

Bride to Be” by Julie Murray. Finalist in “Congratulations/Special Occasion” Category.


5 etiquette guidelines for traditional wedding invitations

Written by Jackie Mangiolino

When it comes to formal, traditional wedding invitations, there are entire books written on etiquette, and I’ve read nearly all of them. As a traditional invitation designer and etiquette lover, it’s my job to know every obscure rule in the book.

However, as a couple planning to get married, you may be more focused on the look of your invitation, than on hidden code within the wording. But proper, formal invitation etiquette will tell the story of your wedding, so it’s important not to make a major faux pas. I mean, the invitation is the first thing a guest sees, so let’s leave a good impression, right?

Here are my top five etiquette guidelines and tips for creating successful traditional wedding invitations.

View The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation in closer view here on the Minted Wedding Planning Guide.

1. Check the spelling.

Spelling mistakes are by far the absolute biggest, and most common, mistake I see. It’s also a costly mistake to have to fix (not to mention, embarrassing). As a designer, the fonts we work with are often not compatible with spell-check software. Without the ability to run a spell-check, it is important for couples to carefully proofread their invitations before printing. At the end of the day, it’s the couple’s responsibility to check for all spelling, especially details, such as the spelling of their names, family member names, and key information, like the time, date, or location.

“Fashion District” wedding invitation by Jill Means

2. Position the bride’s name first—unless there are two grooms.

As with most etiquette traditions, this stems from when the bride’s family hosted the wedding, and thus invited guests to witness the marriage of their daughter and her future husband. While hosting norms (and who pays) have evolved over the years, it’s still standard for the bride to be first on the invitation, and for her initial to be on the left/first for monograms. Of course, if you’re having a same-sex wedding, this rule can happily be thrown out the window, and you and your partner will decide which of you will be first.


Minted Artists in the Press February 2019

Congratulations to Minted artists who are featured on The View, Buzzfeed, and more. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

The View
(February 5, 2019)

Featuring “Minimalist Quote” Keepsake Square by Phrosné Ras, “Where The Heart Is” Custom Art by Annie Clark, classroom valentines “Valentine Floss Boss” by Baumbirdy, “For the Record” by Robert and Stella, “Photo Fun” by Jessie Steury, “Five Stars” by Sarah Cohn, “More Than Tacos” by Erin L. Wilson, “A Pawsome Valentine” by Sovelle, and “Hedgehugs” by Erica Krystek

The Knot
(Spring 2019)

“Refined Desert” featuring “Gallery Abstract Art” invitations by Alethea and Ruth and “Joyfully Ever After” place cards by Faiths Designs

 (February 2, 2019)

18 Websites You Can Easily Shop for Valentine’s Day Cards” featuring “Little Octopus” by Karidy Walker and “More Than Coffee” by Lehan Veenker Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

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