The ‘Best of the Best’ awards.

It has been 3 years since Minted launched, and our community has grown and evolved tremendously. All of us at Minted feel very privileged to have been given the gift of working with a highly talented design community. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all is how supportive the designers in our community are of one other.

For the first time this year, we have launched an annual ‘Best of the Best’ award where we recognize the top designs of the entire past year. Before you peek at the results, please believe us in saying that it is a true honor to have made the top 200 list to begin with. Minted’s competitions have become known industry-wide for being very tough, and to achieve a top-20 ranking in the past 10 challenges is no small feat. We are thrilled to recognize these designs and designers as the top 10 Best of the Best of the past 12 months:

No. 1: no job too small by Ann Gardner

This clever design is an example of what so often makes a minted design successful: the genius idea behind the design. Our designers are always thinking outside the box and certainly adding a ruler to the back of a business card for a handyman seems like such a natural idea, but yet only Ann was brilliant enough to think of it!


Meet a Mintie: Jennifer Wick

Jennifer Wick has been a Mintie since last fall and she’s been steadily gaining steam! You no doubt couldn’t miss her first prize in our recent 3+ Holiday Challenge for her in all things Thanksgiving card entry. We’re thankful to have Jen in our community and we’re looking forward to meeting her in person at NSS… but until then, we really enjoyed this Q&A with her and we know you will, too.

In all things


Minted Meet-Up in Honolulu.

Happy Easter Minties! We hope you’re enjoying a wonderful, long weekend with your families.

Our CEO and founder Mariam Naficy was in Hawaii over the Easter vacation, so being the completely-committed team leader that she is, she hopped a flight over to Honolulu to meet up with one of our talented engineers Wesley Tanaka (at left), Lori James from Guess What (second from left), and Laura (seated to the left of Mariam). The four had a relaxing time at Manifest Gallery, pondering what it would be like to open a Minted office in Hawaii and discussing the exciting upcoming holiday challenge. Secrets were even shared with Lori and Laura about the challenge and other Minted expansion plans!  Laura gave us some great feedback along with ideas on the types of features she would like to see launched in voting.  Wesley and Mariam shared some upcoming changes in voting functionality.  And Lori brought beautiful Hawaiian gifts for everyone.  Mahalo for spending time with us, everyone!


The $1,000 Blogger Program Challenge.

I don’t know if you heard the big news… around here we feel like shouting it from the mountaintops, but we just launched wedding programs! What makes our DIY wedding programs special is that although they coordinate perfectly with the rest of your wedding stationery, they still leave a little room for creativity to make them your own. (Check out our step by step DIY guide on creating your DIY wedding program and download our wedding program templates.) They also let you leave (always, no matter how far ahead you plan) program details to the last minute (like, say, those hard-to-choose readings or which family will be included in the procession), while having a beautiful end product. So to celebrate this launch we’re having a challenge to see what creative things people can do to construct–or rather bind together–and embellish our programs. The grand prize is $1,000 cash. Two runner-ups will be awarded $500 minted gift certificates. In addition to these prizes, you will also receive a blog post here on the Minted blog, as well as permanent placement of your creation here on the minted site, with a link to your blog, which is linked off of EVERY program detail on the site–a sure way to permanently drive lots of traffic back to you!


Meet a Mintie: Float Paperie

Today we are lucky enough to have one of our community members who has been with us since the beginning: Andrea Tahlier of Float Paperie. Andrea really has her own style; I can instantly recognize a Float design from its brilliantly executed typography and soft, elegant aesthetic. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better!

At age nine, you wanted to be?
I wanted to be a dancer, which is funny because i think i dance like elaine from seinfeld now! but honestly, when i was younger – i think i was decent – i went to multiple dance competitions and it was a major part of my life.

Do you have any formal design training?
yup, BFA in graphic design.

How would you describe your style?
modern classic, with a focus on type.


Special Editor’s Picks from The +3 Holiday Challenge

Never have we had so much fun looking through all the design submissions for The +3 Holiday Design Challenge. The Halloween cards sent chills down our spine. The Easter cards were simply “egg-cellent”! The Thanksgiving cards made us grateful for the amazing talent in Minted’s design community. Here are the Special Editor’s Picks and the Runners up in each design category – brought to you by Mariam (Minted’s Founder & CEO) and the Minted Design Staff.

P.S. Some of our Easter Card Picks are already available for sale, just in time for the Easter holiday season!

Customer  Favorite:

Candytarian by Campbell and Co.  Minted customers all have a sweet tooth for this design! It just goes to show that Halloween can be sweet and doesn’t have to be all that scary.

Customer Favorite - Candytarian by Campbell and Co.

Runners up for Customer Favorite


Meet a Mintie: Carrie O’Neal

Today we get to meet Mintie Carrie O’Neal. She’s a real perky gal with a lot of talent and I know you’ll enjoy every word from her!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I didn’t realize that design was an actual career path until high school, but I have great parents that fostered my creativity growing up. And lots of loving aunts who taught me how to paint, sew, quilt, crochet and knit.

Do you have any formal design training?
I have a Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University, with a major in Industrial Design and a minor in Visual Communications.

How would you describe your style?
I don’t think I have a specific style (at least yet)… I love good typography, balance and simplicity.

All of your designs are quite different… How do you make sure you’re always making something so fresh?
It sounds so cheesy…but I try to stay true to my heart. These are BIG LIFE MOMENTS that we are designing for…babies, birthdays, weddings, holidays. BIG STUFF! I try to always remember that and keep my focus on the event taking place, rather than letting the design overpower the piece.

Favorite pen?

It’s sad to say…but I can’t live without my black, Paper Mate Flair pens! They are everywhere—my desk, my nightstand, my purse, car, and normally behind one of my ears.


Meet a Mintie: Sandra Pons

Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not joking when I say that you’re going to really love getting to know Mintie Sandra Pons. She has been a long-time contributor to our community (since September of 2008) and is just so sweet. Enjoy!

Let’s start with names! Do you prefer to go by Sandy or Sandra? I feel like you like to switch it up!
I sign my checks as Sandra but I think of myself as Sandy.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I was a crafty kid. I loved drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Loved hanging out at the playground in the summer where there was a big wooden box filled with craft supplies and I would make lanyards, potholders and tiled ashtrays (doubt that kids are making these anymore).

My parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and it was important for them that I go. One day when swimming in a neighbor’s pool, I overheard another guest say that she was an art major in college. I didn’t even know that was possible but I knew that’s what I would do too. Even to this day I think, what would I do otherwise?


SF Mintie Meet Up

We thought your might like to see some pictures from our S.F. meetup at Space Gallery on Polk Street. With dozens of people in attendance, it was probably our biggest, meet-up yet outside of the National Stationery Show.

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Meet a Mintie: Alethea and Ruth

Today we are lucky enough to have Rachel Simonsen, the creative genius behind Alethea and Ruth with us today. I know you’ll love learning about her close relationship with her sister, how she’s breathed fresh life into florals, how the Minted community helped her claim first prize in our most recent wedding invitation challenge, how she’s inspired by outfits, and what she does during the day. That’s a long-winded way of saying Rachel is truly incredible so enjoy your time with her!

Let’s start with names, How did you come up with the name Alethea and Ruth?
My sister and I started a blog under the same name, and while I’ve done all of the designing for minted thus far – she’s a huge part of where I find inspiration and is my sounding board for mid-project questions. Alethea and Ruth are our middle names.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I think since I was little and couldn’t stop drawing – even when I shouldn’t have been. I always answered the question of what do you want to be when you grow up I with something art related. Specifics ranged from interior designer to computer animator (toy story was very powerful to my small self) – I loved computers, so graphic designer was just sort of the natural progression of my passion for art.

Do you have any formal design training?
Yep – I have a BFA in graphic design

How would you describe your style?
Funky, whimsical, full of lots of color and pattern

What is your normal workflow or process like?
I’ll brain storm – talk with my sister – who is also an artist, look through sketchbooks, maybe doodle a few ideas and then start working on the computer.  I start with a single illustrator document and work on a bunch of ideas at once – it gets crazy messy, but it’s all in one place and I can everything better that way. Then I edit by pulling the best parts out on separate documents and fine tune them.

How many iterations does it take for a design to become final?
I think it’s different every time – some designs just work right away. But on a whole for every design I finish, I have three other ideas, sometimes related – sometimes not –that don’t make it off that first ‘idea’ document.  Either they weren’t strong enough, or too similar to other better designs, or I just ran out of time to work it out.

What tools, techniques, and mindsets do you find absolutely essential?
Hand drawing things first, a scanner and my wacom tablet – I love my wacom pen.

What are the easiest and the most difficult aspects of the design process?
Easiest is brainstorming – Hardest is editing.

Your flowers are awesome! Banners and Branches and Celebrate Florals are amazing. How do you go about creating them??
Thanks! I’m a compulsive doodler – constantly drawing on one of my many sketchbooks / moleskins / paper stacks. And I love florals – they’re what I draw when I’m not even thinking about what I’m drawing, so I always seem to have a bunch of ideas to start with when it comes to flowers. I have a few illustrator documents of wacom tablet drawn flowers that started in my sketchbook.  I’ll pull those up when I’m working on an invite that needs flowers.