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.

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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?

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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.

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Business Card Guest Judge Alexis Swanson’s Award

I am happy to announce the judge’s awards and runner-ups from our business card challenge guest judge Alexis Swanson, the design and PR maven behind her family’s Swanson Vineyards and the creative force behind her cheery blog. Her judge’s award goes to time for a trim by i heart design studio. Alexis chose it because of its “wonderful combination of modern and old time typography, plus it’s great colors.”

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Guest Judge’s Awards: February Showers

We were beyond thrilled to have three of the biggest names in the blogosphere guest judge our February Showers Challenge. I’ve had the great privilege of meeting them all in person and let me just say that they are the classiest, wittiest, prettiest, sweetest, most fun ladies ever. And their taste is impeccable, as their very popular blogs attest to, so I know you’re as excited as I am to hear which designs caught their eye in the challenge and why they liked them… so without further ado:

Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind chose couple’s recipe by Ana Gonzalez for her award.

“For me, this design won by a landslide. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s incredibly well thought-out. Most invitations are promptly recycled after the event, but this design will be long-treasured by the lucky couple in the form of a recipe card. Genius, and what a memory for the bride and groom!”

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LA Mintie Meet Up

We were quite pleased with the turn-out. Everyone was so excited to meet fellow Minties and business cards were a-flying!

(From left to right) Adam Lorber, Crystal Stansil, Allison Brennan of the Social Type, Annie Clark, Erin Welles of SunnyJuly, Patsy Henspetter of Aspacia Henspetter, Renne Pulve of Smudge Design, Chanda Alicanté Mariam Naficy, Ree Jae of Chi and You, Taleen Bedikian and Rhonda Hesse

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Special Editor’s Picks of The February Showers Challenge

Imaginative? Check.  Unique? Check. Gorgeous? Check! The February Showers Design Challenge assortment put forth by Minted designers was simply unparalleled. Congratulations all! Here are the Special Editor’s Picks and the Runners Up in each design category: “Customer Favorite”, “Best Over-The-Top-Pretty-While-Still-Modern Design”, “Best Couple’s Wedding Shower Design”, “Best Couple’s Baby Shower Design” and “Best Design from a Minted Newbie”. See what Mariam (Minted Founder & CEO) and the Minted design staff have to say about all these stunning designs!

Customer Favorite:

Prairie Tale by Moglea

Congratulations to Moglea – this design, Prairie Tale, was voted #1 by Minted customers!  We agree wholeheartedly.  This is a beautiful modern interpretation of sweet animals welcoming a new arrival, with composition and color making this design unusual and unforgettable.

Here are two other designs that were in the ‘top 10’ of what Minted customers loved:

Customer Favorite Runners Up

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Meet a Mintie: Laura Hankins

I hope you are as excited about this Q&A as I am! I’m sure you remember that Laura Hankins was recently chosen as the collection winner in our Happily Ever After Wedding Challenge–a huge honor! She is also a military wife posted with her husband James in Kapolei, Hawaii and we’re lucky to get to know this rising star a little better today!

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