What the foodies want in their paper goods.

We asked leading food magazine editors to be special judges in our recent holiday party invitations challenge. Here is what they picked. Congratulations to the Minted design community again for coming up with fantastic designs for this challenge.

Emily Kaiser, Associate Food Editor, Food & Wine

Here’s my favorite:
Light Bright Party Invitations
Light Bright Party Invitations

by escargot studio

It jumped right out at me from the page displaying all 140 entries; I particularly loved the light strings, it was quite a feat the way they were both elegant and playful at the same time. I also loved how the warm gray background allowed the information about the party to look clear and, well, inviting. The choice of fonts also helped make the invitation clear and easy to read.

Close runners up:

Snowy Bloom Party Invitations
Similarly enjoyed the fun design and clean presentation.

This Little Light Party Invitations
I loved the color and the candles; the way the candles floated on the page, there seemed to be a surreptitious allusion to the Adams Family.

Bird on a Branch Party Invitations
I was drawn to the robin on the branch and the play on red and green.

Francis Lam, Contributing Editor Gourmet
I’m so glad you got such an enthusiastic response, and with so many wonderful entries. It wasn’t easy to choose from many designs I really liked, but here we go. I have a pick and a few runners up.

My pick:

oh, joy Party Invitations
oh, joy Party Invitations

by Stacey Day

I love the colors here, using the traditional Christmas combination but in a muted, restrained way. But even more, I love the subtle contrast and harmony. The green circles are a happy mess, set and anchored by the graceful strokes of the “Oh Joy” before them – the invitation speaks of a party both elegant and playful. I’d want to go to this party, dressing up neatly for it, knowing that we’ll all be a little sloppier by the end.

Runners up:

Holiday Elephant by Erin Rau

This is a really lovely way to express winter; the rich blue and rough-edged white space suggest sky and snow, but the roundness of the elephant suggests softness, plushness. It’s a really appealing invitation. It gives a real sense of warmth. The text fonts don’t work for me super well, though – I find them a little busy and heavy in relation to the simple curves of the elephant and the simplicity of the rest of the design.

Decorative Ornaments by Lauren Mummé

Really beautiful; I love the warm colors and the “Tis the Season” font. It’s deliciously retro, like a card I might have found in my
mother’s attic.

Up Up and Away by Milkmaid Press

I have to confess that my favorite part of this card is also, to me, the most inexplicable. What does a hot air balloon have to do with this party? It’s not really clear from the rest of the card. Still, that graphic is gorgeous with its fine lines and textures, a quality echoed lightly in the elegant fonts below. I keep wanting to stare at the balloon, but the weight of the word “Celebrate” keeps drawing my eye to itself, a nice trick that makes the balloon really feel like it keeps floating away from me.

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Interior designers weigh in on their favorites.

We were over the moon when three internationally renowned interior designers signed on to guest judge our Inspired Personalized Stationery Challenge. Their involvement really jump-started our community and inspired hundreds of stunning designs. After giving us their final picks, we picked their brain about how they arrived at their tough decision.

minted: In general, what do you look for in personal correspondence cards?

jay jeffers: I want something that reflects my personality. I send many handwritten notes to friends, colleagues, and clients because I feel its a more personal gesture and gives you the opportunity to create something beautiful.

martha angus: A piece of personal stationery should really be a portrait of the person sending it out. It’s asking a lot; you have to get the whole person down onto one tiny piece of paper.

orlando diaz-azcuy: I want the recipient to be able to identify the sender even before reading.

minted: How did you arrive at your final decision?

jay jeffers: Monogram by SunnyJuly – is elegant, modern, and versatile – I feel I could send it to a friend or a business colleague.
Mongram Personal Stationery
Monogram Personal Stationery

martha angus: I have a fine art background so those designs really resonated with me. The final decision was agonizing! It was really difficult to widdle it down past my top ten. In the end I picked what I love: bright and colorful. Candy Buttons by Cayce Cobb reminded me of Damien Hirst–I used to have one of his paintings hanging behind my desk.
Candy Buttons Personal Stationery
Candy Buttons Personal Stationery

orlando diaz-azcuy: typehead full stop by six other press looks like it identifies with me and my name and represents my attitude of minimal and sensual.
typehead full stop Personal Stationery
typehead full stop Personal Stationery

minted: What were your other close favorites?

jay jeffers:
I really liked Simplicity by Amanda Larsen and Jacquard by Vinyl. They’re all elegant and simple, and feel balanced to me. Each is also very individual.

martha angus: There were WAY too many wonderful designs to choose from and it amazed and it overwhelmed me! There is a staggering amount of talent that Minted draws in. It was such a treat to be on the other side of the design process. Thank you SO MUCH for all this genius sent my way!!

Loved Paper Dahlia‘s nob hill.

Loved stacked type for Orlando by annie clark but I realize my name wouldn’t look as good as his does.

I’m also crazy about Gabriela Cartin‘s orange frame.

Marabou‘s posy personal was great.

KRUSHgraphic‘s from martha is fab.

Katie, who works in our office and has a graphic design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, loved navy rings by jessica jenkins.

talk bubbles by Jody Wody was divine.

orlando diaz-azcuy:
Unity Personal Stationery by R Studio and Mod Flowers Personal Stationery by Amy Fontes Graphic Design were my other favorites.

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Design Trends: Hand Drawn

First off, let me say that I absolutely adore hand drawn elements in design. Much to the chagrin of my family I made them stop every three buildings on a trip to France to take pictures of hand painted signs.

Look at that! Art is all around you! Don’t you see how beautiful the curve in that “S” is??!?!

With my love for all things handmade, it’s been wonderful to see our amazingly talented Minted community incorporating hand drawn elements into their work.

Carved Tree by pottsdesign
carved tree Save the Date Cards

Emily Potts of pottsdesign beautifully married a rustic illustration of a tree with clean, classic typography. And all the variable elements that our customers can change right down to the initial carved into the tree are a font — which makes the designers at Minted very happy.

Line Blur by Lili Meng
Line Blur Personal Stationery

Who knew scribbles could feel so modern? Lili Meng’s stationery design is colorful, energetic, unique and hand drawn!

Dry Petals by Gleaux
Dry Petals Personal Stationery

Erika of Gleaux certainly has a knack for layering modern graphics with hand drawn illustration and Dry Petals is a perfect example. Overlaying organic line art brings depth and warmth to her design.

Foggy Holiday by Kimberly Schwede
Foggy Holiday Holiday Photo Cards

Our Last Call Holiday Challenge has just begun we’re already amazed by what our design community is creating. It’s hard not be charmed by Kimberly’s whimsical illustrations of San Francisco. By eschewing clip art Kimberly’s hand drawn elements give this design personality and a truly unique flair all its own.

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Minted Unveils Winners From the 2009 Holiday Photo Card Design Challenge

Minted Unveils Winners From the 2009 Holiday Photo Card Design Challenge Minted has announced the winners of its 2009 Holiday Photo Card Design Challenge, its biggest design competition yet. 651 designs were entered, 50,000 votes were cast, and over $8,000 was awarded in prizes. The winning holiday photo cards are now available on Minted.

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Moving Announcements now for sale

25 innovative moving announcements from The Home Sweet Home Moving Announcement Challenge have just gone up for sale! Here are some of the ones we can’t stop gushing about.

Mariam: I love the architectural line drawing feel of Lot by marabou designs, plus it looks a bit like my neighborhood.

Ellen: When I move into my dream home with a huge yard I’m going to order The Grass is Greener by sweet tree studio.

The Grass is Greener

Kim: I love Float Paperie‘s Float + Modkey. It’s simple, clean, eye-catching, and retro all at once!

Float + Modkey

Allison: I always adore Float Paperie‘s use of typography, and it’s showcased well in float + taking off.

float + taking off

Annie: I love the vintage rustic feeling of Mandy Gordon‘s home tweet home. Her pattern work is fantastic.

Home Tweet Home Moving Announcements

Natasha: I actually just signed the lease on a new apartment with my fiance so I am going to order Tied by marabou design, but I’m going to take advantage of Minted’s fully customizable options and do it in a sage green to match the walls of the dining room in our new place. I’ll make the caption “we tied the knot.” Then I’ll have a bridesmaid drop them all in the mail when we leave on our honeymoon. It’s a wedding and moving announcement in one!

Tied Moving Announcements

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Cheree Berry in Martha Stewart Weddings

We couldn’t take our eyes off the pages of Minted brand Cheree Berry’s red and aqua wedding featured in Martha Stewart’s Summer 2009 edition. Cheree nicely gave Minted a shout-out today in Martha Stewart’s “The Bride’s Guide” blog. I just love the idea of Minted personalized wedding stationery for a bridesmaid gift–so much in fact I may have to steal it for my own upcoming wedding! Pair it with an engraved letter opener and it’s a worthy gesture of thanks for any bend over backwards attendant. Thank you Cheree and a million congratulations on your letter-perfect wedding!

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Help Abby at Style Me Pretty decide!

Our Seasonal Save the Date guest judge Abby Larson is trying to pick her favorite entry. Help her narrow down her list of favorites by weighing in on her infamous Style Me Pretty blog.

And make sure, if you haven’t already, to vote before it’s too late in our seasonal save the date challenge.

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Holiday Challenge winners announced!

Thank you to each and every designer who participated in Minted’s 2009 Holiday Card Competition – we were awed by the collective talent displayed in this challenge. Over 50,000 votes were tallied to decide on the winners – in the end, these 3 designs prevailed by a close margin to win in their respective categories:

a white christmas by day design – 1st prize, $1000, Full Bleed Photo
Candy Tree by Gleaux – 1st prize, $1000, Fresh Take on a Classic
bold reflection by kelli hall – 1st prize, $1000, Mulitple Photo category

Also placing in the top 10 designs overall were:
joy by Carrie Eckhert
organic ornament by kelli hall
Sweet Snow by Candice Leigh
Feliz Navidad by Sarah Lenger
sweet memories by pottsdesign
Red Ribbon Happiness by Cococello
footsteps in the snow by Oscar+Emma design

Congratulations to these designers for their vision and hard work. We wanted to add that the Minted staff had a very difficult time deciding on our ‘editors’ picks’ and will likely be adding more editors’ picks to those already selected. As this—our biggest competition yet—wraps, we sit down with a few members of Minted’s staff to hear their perspective on the designs submitted..

1. What card do you think will be most popular this holiday season and why?

Allison: White christmas by day design.

It’s eye catching, yet has subtle type and design qualities. It will let almost any photo shine.

Mariam: I second White Christmas. I think that photography aficionados will enjoy displaying a large photograph on the front of their card, while the snowflakes add an elegant but modern touch to the card.  This design that epitomizes the Minted customer.

Annie: Sweet Memories by PottsDesign.

Emily’s design doesn’t over power the photograph, which I think is the most important factor in a successful holiday card. The design has just enough winter spirit without being too over-the-top to have mass appeal.

Natasha: Snowflake Music Holiday Photo Cards by Koshi.


Why not just let the photo and the beautiful font do all the work? This design feels very luxe to me.

Koshi: Oh Christmas Stripes by Stacey Day:

I’m not one for the typical Christmas symbols, but her tree evokes an architectural quality fit for any Frank Lloyd Wright mantle.

2. Of the hundreds of cards submitted, what is your favorite holiday card and why?

Allison: Organic ornament, by kelli hall.

I love the simplicity of the illustration and her color palette is right up my alley! It’s a fresh design, and that’s what Minted is all about!

Annie: So many to choose from! It’s a tie between Kelli Hall’s Winter Chic and Alex Elko’s Peace Love and Bop.


At first the designs seems so effortless, but then you realize the care and attention to detail that goes into creating such flawless compositions.

Natasha: Sweet Tooth by Oscar+Emma Design


It strikes the perfect balance between cute and classy. The colors are very current and I like mixing a bright holiday red with a winter blue.

Mariam: I love Citrus Snowflakes by Gleaux.


This artist’s vision is very unique and very detail obsessed.  She communicates both vintage and modern clearly and successfully in this design, which I think is hard to do, and the vintage elements add appropriate seasonal warmth.

Koshi: This is like asking me which pair of sneakers I like most (I own an obscene number of sneakers). It’s nearly impossible to pick just a single one, but I’m partial to Emily Potts’ Sweet Memories:

It’s a simple design with intricate details and great typography. It’s also not red and green, yet it still evokes the season

3. What card is leading your list to send out personally this year and why?

Mariam: Classic Ribbon Stripes by Emily Ranneby.

I love the restrained, modern classical style of Emily’s designs.  What I love about this design is that it incorporates holiday red, but allows a photograph to really take center stage.

Koshi: I like Precious Bugarin Design’s Modern Geometric because it’s so starkly modern it could easily be an announcement for a gallery opening:

Reminiscent of Design Within Reach’s iconic logo, this design not only uses one of my favorite typefaces, News Gothic, but it’s also so clean it almost impossible for me not to love. It’s almost as if I had designed this one for myself.

Allison: I would first send my own Peace, Love and Presents.

However, if I were to send out any other photo card I would chose either organic ornament, or simple bulbs by kelli hall.

Natasha: I’m a little biased because Erika did my wedding invites, but I love the sophistication of Warm Berries by Gleaux:

Annie: If I wasn’t going to send out one of my own designs, I’d use Retro Holiday Holiday Photo Card by Baumbirdy.

I’m a sucker for anything mid-century modern inspired, and I have a perfect old family photo (ugly Christmas sweaters and all) that would look great with this retro holiday card.

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Congrats to the Minted 2009 Holiday Photo Card Design Challenge Winners

Natasha’s posting more about this on Monday, but after a flurry of activity and excitement at Minted yesterday we are excited to announce the winners of the Minted 2009 Holiday Photo Card challenge at www.minted.com/previous-challenge.  This was a very tough design challenge in which we received over 650 entries and 50,000 votes.  There were many designs that came close to winning, and I’m just sorry we can’t give more designs a ‘top 10’ recognition.  In the meantime, congratulations to the 3 first prize winners – Day Design, Gleaux, and Kelli Hall  – for their unique and winning vision!

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Minted in InStyle Wedding

At Minted we love the idea that invitations can capture the spirit and personality of an event. And we’re not alone, in their Summer 2009 issue InStyle Weddings featured invitations for the modern bride that eschews outdated ideas that wedding invitations must be stuffy and boring. The article highlighted designers that are pushing the envelope with bold use of color, strong graphic patterns, and creative use of typography. Among those mentioned was Minted’s own Deco Lights wedding invitation by the talented Deb Pang Davis of Cococello. Allison, one of our talented design associates, is also quoted, “Strong patterns, bright colors and clean font help set the tone for a modern wedding, says Allison Wheeler, a designer at stationery boutique Minted.com. To find your inspiration, Wheeler suggest looking at fabric patterns, modern design and art deco-era typography.”

Minted in Instyle Summer 09

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