Minties in the City

When you are part of an online community, you spend a lot of time getting to know people through email, forums, online chat, and the phone. Nothing replaces actual face-to-face interaction though and whenever possible, we love getting together with designers for a cup of coffee, a cocktail, or lunch.

(Quick shout out: if you are ever in SF, drop us an email! We’d love to meet up).

Last week, we had a super-sized Minted Meet Up by inviting three designers from different parts of the U.S. to join us in San Francisco for a few days. The lucky designers — or should I say, the designers we were lucky to be able to hang out with — were Brandy of Marabou Design (Seattle, WA), Sydney Newsom (Dothan, AL), and Amy of Design Lotus (Baltimore, MD).

(L-R) Sydney Newsom, Amy, Kerry of Paper Dahlia, Mariam, Brandy, Annie Clark, Jody of Jody Wody, Robert of Waui Designs; (Bottom) Andres Montano

This was our first time ever inviting designers to come to SF and needless to say, we were really excited.

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Fortune’s 2010 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs

We always knew Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy was a force to be reckoned with, and this just reaffirms it. From more than 200 nominations, Fortune has selected Mariam and 9 other amazing women to honor as the 2010 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Read more here.

Mariam will be headed to D.C. next week to speak at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, a three-day conference bringing together prominent women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education, and the arts. She’ll be joining some pretty impressive company, and we couldn’t be prouder of our boss. Congratulations Mariam!

If you want to drop her a note, leave a comment here or find her on twitter at @mnaficy.

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Town & Country Weddings photo shoot.

If you open up the latest issue of Town & Country Weddings, which hit newsstands yesterday, you’ll find this beautiful new Minted ad.

It is the first in a series of ads styled by famous bloggers. We were delighted to work with Victoria Smith of the always fascinating SF Girl by Bay. We have long marveled at how Victoria is able to find the the most unique and beautiful things and put them all together in an even more interesting way, which is exactly what she did for our shoot.

The Shoot was masterminded by these four lovely ladies: Victoria Smith, photo assistant Amber McKee, photographer Eva Kolenko, and designer Suzanne Shade.

The idea behind the shoot was to include Minted’s invites in a real life inspiration board collage. It’s what we think somebody as trendy as Victoria has as her personal bulletin board, without even trying!


In the end, the winning combination featured the Social Type‘s Love Struck and Annie Clark‘s Apple Blossom. Congratulations ladies on an excellent team effort! The ad is stunning and will hopefully let lots of new brides know about our great wedding offerings.

it was me, then the photo assistant, eva kolenko (the photogrpaher), and suzanne.  i don’t know the photo assistant’s name, but will ask suzanne.

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Meet a Mintie: Sweet Street Gals

Today we have the real treat of meeting not just one, but two lovely Minted ladies: the Sweet Street Gals. They’ve been a part of the Minted community for two full years now and they’ve contributed a great deal of wonderful work. We know you are just as excited as we were to learn more about Alison and Jessie and how they work so obviously well together.

At age nine, what did you both want to be?
Alison: A veterinarian. I have always loved animals. Now I have a yellow lab, Riley. He is my baby (and quite the artist himself!). Here is one of his “paw paintings”.

Jessie: A pilot.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
Alison:
I always knew I wanted to do something creative as a career. As a child, I loved painting, drawing, craft projects and homemade creations. But it really wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I got more serious about design. I had a very inspiring art teacher that really helped me develop as a designer.
Jessie: I saw my friend Arielle between classes in college and she was carrying a portfolio of paintings and I had a big stack of English books. I told her I wanted to draw and design all day, so I tagged along to a recruiting session of the visual communications program.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 2

This breezy design, Fantastic Birthday, by b.wise papers takes home the 2nd Place prize of $500 on the Happy, Happy Birthday Challenge countdown. Congratulations Alston!

Alston channels retro inspiration and makes it feel fresh again. Let’s start with the “fan.”  It looks structurally accurate, yet it carries a sense of whimsy and lightness that makes it feel downright perky. The personalized banner of the cupcake flutters delicately in the fan’s breeze, and the graphic stripes of the cupcake wrapper gives this stand-by treat a decidedly modern and sophisticated upgrade. And then there is the color palette, which pairs mint green and coral in a way that feels easy and relevant. It takes a skilled and confident designer to pair these colors for such an unexpectedly refreshing effect, and this win is an affirmation that b.wise papers is a designer to watch.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 3

Celebrate an ultra-special day with an Ultra Official design by J.Bartyn Design, the 3rd Place winner of $250 on the Happy, Happy Birthday Card Countdown. Congratulations Cambria!

Look closely at any J. Bartyn-design and your eyes will slowly uncover the many layers of details and touches that Cambria builds into her designs. A delicate hatching of the “Please” to catch your gaze and hold it; a delicate, orange grid that offsets the type and adds a soft, modern elegance; a clever interior panel composed entirely of fonts. Cambria consistently submits designs that are deliberately conceived and flawlessly executed, and she shows us that perfection is really in the details.

Cambria has been a fantastic contributor to the design community since her first design challenge, the Breakout Wedding Challenge, and we are thrilled to congratulate her on yet another win.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 4

As I write this, I am imagining the many items squashed-stuffed-and-stashed in my too small closet that would fit perfectly in today’s winning design. Without naming names, I will confess to having received an Extra, Extra, Extra Large fleece with a corporate logo, a wonderfully soft but hard-to-match maroon boa, and several pairs of super-thick, furry, argyle socks with fake crystals glued onto the ankles (please keep in mind that I reside in SF, a decidedly socks-optional kind of place). We all have received one or many of these kinds of presents, which makes Many Happy Returns, the 4th Place winner of $100, totally amazing. Congratulations to Leslie of Unless Someone Like You! You know EXACTLY how we feel.

An Unless Someone Like You design can be spotted from a mile away. Leslie has a knack for creating light-hearted, cheeky, and slightly retro-feeling illustrations that are as evocative as they are fun (check out her stationery design Elliott! or her wedding invitation Destination for example). Her latest winner, Many Happy Returns, is no exception. It strikes a tone of familiarity and adds a sassy twist to make you laugh. Rather than roll your eyes at the gifts and the givers, this design is so good because it joins the giver and recipient in a joke with a wink and a smile.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 5

Is there anything as elegantly handsome, nostalgic and quirky as a well-tied bow tie? If you think no, definitely not, then you’ll love the 5th Place winner of $100. Congratulations to Ashley of Fine Day Press for her winning design, Tie One On!

Ashley originally hails from Savannah, Georgia and is now based in Brooklyn. It’s highly probably that a combination of the two locations have inspired the design’s spirited, patterned bow ties and whimsical color palette. This design manages to feel both distinguished and celebratory and would be a wonderful addition to a variety of special occasions — a birthday, anniversary, or even a graduation. So go ahead, tie one on.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 6

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce today’s 6th place winner of $100 — Birthday Suit Dance Party by Melissa and AJ of We Hold Hands.

This is Melissa and AJ’s very first Minted design challenge (adding yet another newbie to the top 10!), and I already can’t get enough of their textures, typography, and cheeky spirit. A quick scan of their 4 design submissions reveals an illustrative style that is whimsical, tactile, and incredibly fun, and we are expecting to see big things come out of this Philadelphia-based design duo. Congrats guys, and welcome to Minted!

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 7

The designer who created the No. 7 design on the Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge Countdown is quickly becoming a familiar name. Since entering in her first design challenge in February 2010, Ann Gardner has established a reputation as a versatile and talented illustrator with a penchant for creating handsome designs that encompass a broad range of styles – from bold and typographic to illustrative. Her design, The Manly Type, takes home the 7th Place prize of $100.

Ann referenced vintage cigar labels in the layout and typography of this design.  Keeping her potential customer in mind, Ann prominently incorporated the name of the recipient to make customization simple. The design’s discreet flourishes and message to “have some cake” add humor and whimsy, meanwhile maintaining the elegance of the overall design. Congrats Ann!

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