J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons Chooses Her Favorite Minted Holiday Card, Featured in Catalog

There’s just one special prize from the Sending Good Cheer Holiday Challenge that we have yet to reveal and in this case we really did save the best for last! It’s the Judge’s Pick from Jenna Lyons, the Executive Creative Director and President of J.Crew, who was a judge in Minted’s holiday card challenge. By bringing unique, colorful, and eclectic style to millions of women, Jenna has become a design icon to our generation.

Jenna Lyons in her NYC office (see the Minted envelopes on her desk!).  Courtesy of Martine Fougeron.

Out of close to 2300 submissions, Jackmove’s “Etched” is Jenna’s pick for her favorite holiday card. Jenna said this about the winning holiday card: ” This design is cool and modern. I love the simplicity—it’s exactly what I want from a holiday photo card.” A huge congratulations goes out to Jackmove’s Jack Knoebber for this top honor. Not only does Jack receive the special prize, his design has been featured in “Jenna’s Top 20 Wish List” in J.Crew’s November catalogs as well as on their website. You can buy Etched exclusively here at Minted.

Here’s the card with a picture of Jenna and her brother at left (yes, we know it is unfair that some people are both talented and good-looking).

Jack was ecstatic about this win and the exposure that he will receive from the feature in J.Crew’s catalog and on the J.Crew site. “I was shocked for a while. I didn’t realize the impact and exactly what that meant at first,” says Jack. “Having Jenna pick my card is a huge honor, and I’m still somewhat in disbelief that mine was picked out of so many great designs.”

We decided to take this partnership one step further by teaming up with a charity that both Minted and J. Crew feel strongly about. This holiday season we will be donating 15% of gross profit from the sales of “Etched” to Teach For America. Teach For America’s mission is to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in this effort.  What could be more important to our country than improving educational opportunities for everyone?  I have a strong belief in this, as a product of an American public school (Chevy Chase Elementary School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, in Maryland).

During Minted’s collaboration with J.Crew, I had the good fortune of taking a tour of J.Crew’s offices in New York. I admired how entrepreneurial the J.Crew culture is.  You can visibly see how the company is innovative, resourceful, and has a sense of adventure akin to a smaller company; it is no wonder that the company consistently produces design that influences and frankly blows away the assortment at other companies across the apparel industry.  Boards line the hallways filled with great fabrics and inspirations, much like the Minted offices.  One of the biggest mysteries: I am still trying to deconstruct how Jenna’s pinboard manages to combine lots of things and incredible chicness at the same time (you can see it in the picture above).  The J.Crew visit was one of the most fascinating corporate office visits I have ever had.

We’re thankful to J.Crew and to Jenna herself for taking the time to help bring the work of our great designers to homes around the world this holiday season! You can read more about the collaboration here. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to getting my J.Crew catalog – to see Jack’s design, but also to do some shopping for droolworthy gifts!

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Our Real Simple Ad Hits the Stands

Our November Real Simple Magazine ad hit the stands late last month and we’re thrilled to be able to share the final ad and a few behind the scenes photos. We shot on location in San Francisco at the beautiful home of Victoria Smith, the creative tour de force behind the ever inspiring design and lifestyle blog sfgirlbybay.

“All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. and “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design.

It was a great feat to decide on just two cards to shoot for the ad. This year’s holiday assortment provided us with so many incredible choices. In the end, we went with “All the Stops” by Campbell and Co. and “Noel Stardust” by j.bartyn design. We love the contrast between the two styles and the pop of red so nicely complemented by Victoria’s mostly black and white home.

Annie Clark and me having fun with holiday cards on location.

Suzanne Shade, Minted’s Creative Director, art directed this ad and our holiday ads from last year. She has the innate ability to pull ideas out of my head without my needing to say a thing. It’s really wonderful to be in absolute agreement when it comes to how we see the Minted brand. While last year’s ads captured the lightness of Minted, this year we wanted the feel to be elegant and sophisticated, like a chic dinner party.

Suzanne, hard at work in Victoria’s kitchen during the shoot.

Suzanne had this to say about the process, “My inspiration for the ad was my friend Victoria’s house and a shot she put up on her blog, sfgirlbybay. To me, the most fun was bringing that to life, and giving Minted the same relaxed elegance and wit that so many of her fans adore (including me!) We shot this with natural light and very little retouching. Our photographer, Annabelle Breakey, was joking during our scout: ‘This spot is so beautiful… all you need me to do is push the shutter.’ We had a ton of fun that day.”

Victoria’s Mantle. The backdrop for the Real Simple ad.

Victoria’s home is incredibly beautiful. We had a great time chatting with her about her decorating choices and eclectic style. What strikes you the most when you walk in her door is the contrast between her white furnishings and black chalkboard walls. Victoria said that she loved the dramatic difference between the two colors and the way the chalkboard walls look when you write and erase. The gorgeous mantle in Victoria’s home was the perfect backdrop for the ad. We were shocked to learn that the mantle was a recent addition to her home. She calls it her “DIY Fireplace” as she found it at Mega Salvage in Berkeley, brought it home and painted it herself. We’re so inspired.

Finding just the right accents for the cards was a lot of fun. Victoria picked up this sweet little reindeer at the Alameda Flea Market. The Alameda Flea Market is the destination for Bay Area antique enthusiasts.

We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes. We thank the Minted Design Community so much for their amazing contributions to an already wonderful holiday season. Check out their beautiful Minted holiday cards here.

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Meet a Mintie: Griffinbell Studio

Happy Halloween Minties! Today we interrupt your celebrations to get to now Lynn Knipe and her Griffinbell Studio a little better. Lynn has been a prominent member in the minted community for the past two years and we’re very lucky to have her; she has such a broad range of talent and has really excelled in every genre–no easy feat. Enjoy this sweet treat!

First things first: how did you come up with the name Griffinbell Studio?
Griffinbell Studio is named for my two children, Griffin and Bella.

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Calling cards in Southern Weddings.

We were very excited to be included in the Fab Finds department of Southern Weddings latest issue.

We made up calling cards for the entire staff.

As you probably know, here at Minted we’re always up for customizing anything. The gals at Southern Weddings asked us to turn four wedding invitations into business cards and of course we were happy to oblige! Here’s what we did: apple harvest by lovell avenue, Sweet Bees by oscar & emma, stem striate by Stacey Day, fireflies by cadence paige design. Business cards for the bride are such a great idea as it saves you all the effort of having to give every single vendor you meet with all your contact info and wedding date / locale, etc. And how fun to have your calling card match your invites?!  Now that is perfectly coordinated.

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Mini-Minties Children’s Stationery Special Prize Winners

It’s no secret that here at Minted, we love personal stationery. And of course we all know that mini-Minties deserve fun, fresh, modern stationery too. In this challenge, we were looking for a large range of designs for all ages and all attitudes—from baby to teen, thank yous to self-expression, and elegant to edgy. Our design community was definitely up to the task. They proved that kid’s stationery can be elegant, modern, clean, and lighthearted all at the same time. Huge congratulations to these mini-Minties special prize winners!

Best over-the-top pretty design:

Watercolor” by Katie Dirksen

Katie’s “Watercolor” immediately caught our eyes. Her soft pink watercolor stain is so striking, while still staying simple and subtle. We love how the water-stained layers of pink give this design such texture and depth. This design really is over-the-top pretty—and Katie makes it look so effortless!

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Joli Monogram” by Cecile Paper Lounge ǀ “Lovely Components” by aticnomar ǀ “Cotton Candy” by Kylie Holmes ǀ “Princess Garden” by Hello Hailey ǀ “Painterly” by The Occasional Hello

Best ‘edgy’ design:

Liner Notes” by Ann Gardner

This Woodstock-inspired design has a definite edge that’s sure to appeal to both kids and adults. Ann shows off her incredible illustration skills with an understated, but undoubtedly cool stylized guitar. All of Ann’s details from the off-kilter tuning pegs to the Stangelove font to the muted color palette make “Liner Notes” both old-school rock nostalgic and fun and modern at the same time.

Runner-Ups (from left): “Happy Dayz” by Mandy Gordon ǀ “Dog’s Life” by Susan ǀ “Tag You’re It” by ERAY

Best ‘classic with a twist’ design:

The Translucent” by Maria Estigoy

We love the freshness of Maria’s “The Translucent.” The largely white canvas with a fine black font definitely recalls a classic stationery design, while the bold highlighter stripe adds a big twist. Maria kept this design simple and clean to let us focus on the name and on the splash of color across the top. We love the texture of that highlighter stripe that really makes it look hand-drawn.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from far left): “Vogue Stripes” by Melanie Severin ǀ “The Perfectionist” by Annie Clark ǀ “Pretty Patterns” by rose eckford ǀ “PenPal” by nocciola design

Best design for a girl:

Stars for Annie” by SimpleTe Design

What little girl wouldn’t love to use Erin’s “Stars for Annie?” The delicate purple and the subtle fade to white make this design so calming and ethereal, but still youthful. The adorable white stars add the whimsy that makes this such a fun and lighthearted design. The simple white text and a subtle background texture show off Erin’s amazing ability to nail every detail.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Hearts Abound” by nocciola design ǀ “Budmo Dots and Lines” by Pink Hippo Prints ǀ “Daydreaming” by Design Lotus ǀ “Lula Hula” by Mandy Gordon

Best design for a boy:

Fish Tales and Campfires” by AJCreative

We love the masculine, yet adorable feel of Amy’s “Fish Tales and Campfires.” The soft grey is the perfect background to her fun, stylized trees and her lively river. Her simple jumping fish and sailboat give so much energy and movement to this design. Amy’s fun composition, with her river running down the side of the stationery, is sure to get any boy to want to write home from summer camp or to draw in the rest of that woodsy scene.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Yellow Submarine” by Melissa Cundiff ǀ “I Spy” by Jennifer Wick ǀ “Simon Says” by Design Lotus ǀ “Spaceland” by Aspacia Henspetter ǀ “Beacon” by Susan Asbill

Best design that incorporates a photo:

Facts and Stats” by Up Up Creative

“Facts and Stats” is so (up up) creative! Julie’s design leaves so much room for personality and character, which is exactly what kid’s stationery is all about. Her fun facts and stats are refreshing and youthful, but they also stay clean in her lovely grid. It’s not easy to incorporate a photo into a stationery design, but Julie makes it seem so easy. We love the general flow and ease of this informative and fun design.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Hugs and Kisses” by Alethea and Ruth ǀ “Washi Me” by Design Lotus ǀ “Pitter-Patter” by Betta ǀ “Masterpiece” by Melanie Severin

Best design for baby gift thank-you cards:

Olivia Baby” by Kelly Nasuta

Kelly really lets your newborn baby shine through in the wonderfully understated “Olivia Baby.” When sending a thank you card for a baby gift, your newborn should absolutely be the center of attention. Kelly’s clean, muted color palette is pretty and eye-catching without being distracting. Her use of varying typography adds a certain dynamism and her simple flower motif is gentle and refined.

Runner-Ups (from left): “Gifted Thanks” by Jennifer Wick ǀ “My First Monogram” by Up Up Creative ǀ “My Very First Monogram” by Cecile Paper Lounge ǀ “Thanks, Cupcake” by guess what?

Best design for a tween or teen:

Doodle Initial” by Alethea and Ruth

Doesn’t “Doodle Initial” just take you right back to junior high (albeit in a more refined way than the first time)? Rachel captures so much energy with all her hand-drawn doodles and fun word treatments. Just like any real tween’s notebook, no two doodles are the same, which keeps us staring at this design for minutes on end! We love how the carefully edited single banner of doodles keeps this lively design so clean.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Construction Zone” by The Social Type ǀ “Gear Head” by Lovell Avenue ǀ “Love From” by k notes LLC ǀ “Doodle” by Palm Papers

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Meet a Mintie: Francesco Bongiorni

Italian designer Francesco Bongiorni lives in Spain and illustrates the covers of everything from the New York Times to Frankenstein. He is an incredibly talented “ideas guy” and we are thankful to have him drop in on a Minted challenge from time to time! Today he talks with us about the advantages of living abroad and travelling and how his work takes him into the minds of people all over the world. Thanks for taking a minute to let us get to know you Francesco. We look forward to seeing what you submit next!

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Holiday Minibook and New Year’s Card Challenge Special Prize Winners

We’re all still reeling from the Sending Good Cheer winners, but there are even more holiday winners to announce! In our Holiday Minibook and New Year’s Card Challenge, we asked our designers to create end of the year holiday designs for flat cards and for our signature Minibook format. These cards will be a wonderful way to spread the holiday love and to ring in the New Year with friends and family. Congratulations to our winners!

Customer Favorite Minibook

“Technicolor Snowflake” by nocciola design

We love the sweet simplicity of Jessica’s “Technicolor Snowflake” and apparently our customers do too. The modern, bright colorblocks perfectly complement the clean opaque dots that mark each page. Pair those details with the straight lines and simple shapes of the minimalist snowflake and you’ve got one very chic Minibook.

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Typography Business Card Special Prize Winners

The Minted Community really got down to business on this one. We asked you to reinvent the business card and you certainly lived up to the task! In this challenge, we emphasized using creativity in typography. Looking through the submissions, you can see just how much typography can really say about not only your profession or hobbies, but even your personality. We awarded five special prizes in this challenge—see our wonderful winners and runner ups below:

Best design for a guy

“Architectural lines” by Susan Asbill

What guy wouldn’t love this design? We really dig Susan’s abstract line drawing of buildings, perfect for an architect or any urban dweller. The grey and yellow color palette feels mature and modern all at the same time.

Runner Ups (from left): “Type Strype” by jackmove | “Bona Fide” by Ann Gardner | “Blocks” by nocciola design

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