Guest judges awards from ‘Untitled.’

As you all know, we simply could not be more excited about our new line of art prints soon to launch from “Untitled: The First-Ever Minted Art Print Challenge.” Every time we think about hanging these beauties on our own walls, our hearts go pitter-patter!!

Today we’re happy to announce the guest judges’ awards from our esteemed panel of decor experts. Each design chosen will be awarded $500, plus the designers will also receive a print of their design!

Our first judge was Alison Pincus. Alison is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of One Kings Lane, the leading private flash sales site in the home market.

Alison’s three picks will be featured and sold on One Kings Lane during a special sales event in 2012. How cool is that?! Following the 72-hour sales event on One Kings Lane, the three prints will then be sold on Minted.com along with the rest of the winning prints. In no particular order, Alison chose Ocean Whale by Colorado-based Creaform Design.

Alison says, “I adore this for either stationery or perhaps a notebook cover.  The whale is sweet and joyful.  Although the name Holden initially grabbed my attention (I have forever loved the name), I am a fan of the typography.   Overall, it’s preppy, fresh and fun!”

Bird Count by Portland-based Tara Lilly Studio also caught Alison’s eye.

“When I first viewed “Bird Count” by Tara Lilley, I immediately thought it would be ideal for a 4th baby’s birth announcement,” says Alison. It’s adorable and memorable.  And, on the other side, I can imagine the messaging done in beautiful typography.  And there will be space for the baby’s precious face.”

Last but certainly not least, Friendly Forest by Atlanta-based Wondercloud Design also garnered Alison’s stamp of approval!

“One Kings Lane is passionate about giving our members access to the work of both renowned and emerging designers & artists,” says Alison. “I’m always enthusiastic to support the work of talented artists, and look forward to providing One Kings Lane members the first chance to buy these unique and original pieces from up and coming Minted designers.”

The other esteemed judges included Christina Brian, the founder of the blog Full House, which often highlights life at home as well as ramblings about design with an emphasis on home decor.

Christina chose Highway Wildflowers by Atlanta-based Kelli Hall.

“In my mind Highway Wildflowers is a winner not only for the fact that it is an abstract but also for its beautiful colors,” says Christina. “I feel that every home could benefit from an abstract piece like this one because it is fun, fresh, modern, chic and sophisticated. Also abstracts are not just for modern homes but in fact sometimes look the best when juxtaposed with traditional elements.”

Mary Jo Bowling works for McEvoy Media, where she covers the best of California design and architecture for California Home+Design and writes about the unique, stylish and sometimes quirky nuptials of the Golden State for 7×7 Weddings.

Mary Jo chose Initial Wreath by Ohio-based Kristie Kern.

Our hats go off to all you brilliant designers and a huge thank you to Alison, Christina and Mary Jo for taking the time to lend their talented eye to our new collection. We really can’t thank you enough. And a happy weekend to all!

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Every Mother Counts and the Little Journeys Art Challenge.

As you all likely know, our ‘Little Journeys: The Nursery, Children’s, and Family Tree Art Challenge‘ is going on right now and for the first time in a Minted design challenge, we’ve teamed up with an amazing non-profit organization: Every Mother Counts. Christy Turlington Burns, the founder of Every Mother Counts, will choose 3 judge’s picks from the challenge. A percentage of proceeds from all nursery, children’s, and family tree art prints sold on Minted will benefit Every Mother Counts and their mission to improve global maternal health. Working with Every Mother Counts makes a lot of sense for Minted, as both our designers and our consumers are mostly women (and many are moms), and we strongly believe in the power and importance of mothers in shaping the future of our world.

We thought you might like to know a little more about EMC… Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

Here are some statistics that highlight what EMC is up against:

  • A death occurs every 90 seconds from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Hundreds of thousands of women die each year from pregnancy, making reproductive health problems the leading cause of death among women worldwide aged 15 to 44. 90% of these deaths are estimated to be preventable.
  • Pregnancy is the biggest killer of women aged 15-19 in the developing world. Nearly 70,000 young women die each year because their bodies were not ready for parenthood.
  • Women who have completed their secondary education decide to have a skilled worker present at the time of their delivery 84% of the time–which translates to a higher survival rate for mother and baby.

Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns upon completion of her directorial debut, NO WOMAN, NO CRY in 2010.

NO WOMAN, NO CRY is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid adding to these troubling statistics. The film puts audiences in the footsteps of a Maasai woman in labor who must walk five miles to a clinic with no electricity, a young pregnant woman in the slums of Bangladesh too ashamed to seek out care, a pregnant OB in Guatemala who helps women who have suffered from botched illegal abortions, and a midwife in central Florida who treats uninsured women who are denied appointments elsewhere.

First time director Christy Turlington Burns opens the film with footage from her own harrowing birth experience. A quick turn of events during the delivery of her daughter inspires her to see firsthand what can be done to help other women who do not have the same access to quality care that she did.

Now in its second year, Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

By entering this challenge, our designers will be indirectly supporting the work of EMC and helping mothers-to-be the world over receive better access to quality health care. It all starts with spreading the word about this incredibly important issue! Check out their informative site to learn more.

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Special Art Awards from “Untitled”

Happy Long Weekend!  I am writing to you from Hawaii, where I have just had a lovely meetup with Minties Laura Hankins, Charis Derry, Melissa Rota, and Allison Richardson.  We toasted each other at Brasserie du Vin in Honolulu, and discussed ways in which the designers felt we could improve Minted.  Thank you, ladies, for a really nice afternoon!

On another note, we’ve finally finished our art selections at Minted, and we look forward to a launch by early April.  We’re thrilled to see the emergence of an entirely new category, which will evolve and grow to further and further heights as time passes.

We received over 1,600 submissions and set very loose guidelines as to the types of art we were looking for.  Here are Minted’s editorial team’s choices for the best art from the challenge.  One thing to note is that if you examine the rating distribution for each individual piece of art (located at the top right of each design rating page), you’ll find that votes seem to be distributed further from the mean than the average stationery submissions.  Put another way, people seem to agree more on their ratings of stationery designs and less on their ratings of art.  What constitutes “art”, it seems, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

So, Minted design community, thank you for bravely trying and succeeding in this new category at Minted, and take with a grain of salt that the picks below are simply Minted’s editorial team’s subjective selections.  We look forward to seeing in which new directions you lead us.

All the designs selected below, both winners and runners up, will be launched for sale at Minted.

Rule of Two Award for the best set of 2 art prints

Winner: glink glunk and e is for elephant by ERAY

Eric truly knocked it out of the park in our first art challenge. His color combinations are unexpected and amazing, and we love the way his sense of humor shines through in every piece. The cityscape in “Glink Glunk” complements the characters in “E is for Elephant” like a charm. We’d love to live in the quirky world he has imagined.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Jazz Duet #1” and “Jazz Duet #2 by Moglea | “Below Ravello” and “Ligurian Houses” by kelli hall | “Lots of Hearts” and “Woodgrain Hearts” by Max and Bunny | “Two Villages and the Little Bear” and “Restless” by Kayla King

Loft Living Award for the best art print suited to a modern, urban home

Winner: Metropolitan by Susan Asbill

Every time we visit New York City, we dream of setting up camp in a super chic loft. Susan channels loft dwellers perfectly with her geometric skyline and mod color blocks in “Metropolitan.” We love her sophisticated use of negative space.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Type Study: New York” by pottsdesign | “Chevy Chevron” by SimpleTe Design | “Highway Wildflowers” by kelli hall | “b&w ode 6” by koshi | “Rectangles” by carly reed

Avant-Garde Award for the best edgy or boundary pushing art print

Winner: quiet places by Annada Hypes



The truth is we hang things on our walls because they either consciously or subconsciously move us in some way. Annada Hypes has captured the wonder and awe that we all have towards that which is much bigger than ourselves. She couldn’t have picked a better saying—it’s a new one to us—and she couldn’t have paired it with a more perfectly executed, gentle giant.

Runner Ups (from left): “Deer Flirtation” by SimpleTe Design | “Goners” by Ryan De La Hoz | “Parceled-Out” by Jessica Kleinman

Best personalizable children’s art print

Winner: More than a village by Cadence Paige Design

Paige has taken a sweet, bucolic saying and image and made it both fresh and modern. We love her combination of bright and subdued colors that all really work together. While perfect as is, Paige has designed this so that family members or loved ones can each sign a leaf, thereby completing the village. We can’t imagine a cuter baby shower activity / souvenir for a mom-to-be.  Take note, designers who are entering the current children’s art challenge – we wanted to give you a sense here of the balance between whimsy and modernity that we are looking for in the children’s/nursery category.

Runner Ups: “Summer Picked Poppies” by kelli hall | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design | “A Family of Oranges” by Christine Loo | “Happiness is…” by ERAY

Best non-personalizable art print

Winner: bumble bee by ERAY

Inspired by Richard Diebenkorn, Eric has created his own piece of wonder-filled abstract art. We see an endless number of things happening in this collage of textures, some known like the school paper and book text, and some quite unknown. We see fish colliding, we see helicopters taking off, we see balancing birthday candles… but mostly we see unrelated shapes that combine to form something both extremely interesting and very complete.

Runner Ups: “Autumn” by Tin Ornament | “Ojo” by Maddy Nye | “Muted Bouquet” by Moglea | “Glink Glunk” by ERAY

Best art print using only black and white

Winner: constellation by annie clark

Fear, vastness, and emptiness have been taken out of the galaxy in this print, leaving sweetness and intimacy. The texture from the watercolor paper creating the background is beautiful and we love the brush stroke on the side, which suggests continuation.

Runner Ups: “Emerson Love” by Wondercloud Design | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett | “Change” by Sydney Newsom | “Woods” by j.bartyn design

Best hand-illustration or painting to be made into a print

Winner: stargazers by Maria Gromek

These girls may be the two very sweetest in the whole world. Maria has such command over textures and details. We love the lined wall, the cross-hatched bench, the checkered skirt, the striped scarves and the dimples in the sky. Wouldn’t every mother hope her daughters were just like this? Perhaps looking at life from a different angle and maybe one prefers books and the other animals, but still delighting to be in one another’s company?  A story is waiting to be written around this picture.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Friendly Forest” by Wondercloud Design | “Lucky Girl” by krista messer | “Love Birds + 1” by rene mijares | “Treetop” by Unless Someone Like You | “Map of Paris” by angel b lee | “Longing for Sutro” by Wilka Design

Best typography-based art print

Winner: heaven by j. bartyn design

Now this is practically our company motto. We can barely resist printing it a million times and tacking it up everywhere. With her perfectly justified choice of typeface, Cambria has illustrated her point brilliantly. And we love how the cold, hard truth is the small afterthought at the bottom.

Runner Ups: “God is Love” by VOSS | “Little Prince” by Linda and Harriett

Best art print using only black, white, and one other color

Winner: You and Me by rose eckford

Rose’s “You and Me” has a quirky personality that we love. The contrasting letter weights between “you” and “me” create a certain tension, while the organic shapes of the imperfect circle and the swirling ampersand add character. The de-saturated pink provides a modern, unusual pop of color that would jump off any wall.

Runner ups: “Love is in the Air!” by ERAY | “Stone” by annie clark | “City” by Todd Jones | “More than Coffee” by lehan paper design | “Jazz Duet #1” by Moglea

Best personalizable nursery art print

Winner: raindrops keep falling by Stacey Meacham

Now this is personalized art at its pinnacle. With a lovely color palette and liberal use of white space, Stacey has made a truly lovely piece of nursery art. The idea of a new baby coming down from above in such a miraculous way is quite touching. The script of the child’s name with the birth date in a block below make the piece feel very complete.

Runner Ups (clockwise from left): “Quiet Places” by Annada Hypes | “Frolic” by nocciola design | “prairie tale” by Moglea | “Family Circle” by Wondercloud Design

Best personalizable wedding art print

Winner: Je t’aime by chocomocacino

Gerrie’s “je t’aime” is the very definition of ‘sweet simplicity.’ What better way to say ‘I love you’ than with this modern, yet pretty art print? We love the texture of the pink bubble; from the rounded shadows to the slightly heathered background, the print feels so inviting. And of course we’re suckers for a bit of romantic French.

Runner Ups: “Surname” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak | “Shot Through the Heart” by Anna Elder

Customer’s Choice Award

Winner: prairie tale by Moglea

While Meg Gleason’s design is not new to us (we’ve loved it since Meg first entered it as a baby shower invitation), we couldn’t be happier to see it as art print as it’s always been just that; a true piece of fine art. There just isn’t much one can’t not love about these whimsical little creatures and we all know how much little ones love animals. Meg has gone with a retro shade of green, which we feel makes the design slightly more edgy and art-like.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!!

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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

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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.

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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!!

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