The Top 10 Sending Good Cheer Winners

For four years, Minted has sourced holiday cards in an open-submission call to the best designers in the world. In 2008, we received 110 entries; in 2009 637 entries, in 2010 1341 entries, and this year we received 2251 entries. This year, we were awed by the quality and quantity of design submissions. We saw beauty in so many designs that it became an almost impossible task to pick just a few.

Thankfully, we use the votes of the Minted community (consumers and designers) to help determine our assortment.  We are careful to remove ‘bad’ voting behavior that we feel is trying to swing the vote unnaturally.  One thing we have noticed is that the Minted community are tough graders; the top placing design in this challenge achieved a score of 3.51 out of 5.  While there has been a lot of debate in the Minted community about why great designs receive scores of “1” at all, I believe these are legitimate scores because there is true difference of opinion regarding design.  If anything, the Internet has enabled greater fragmentation of taste.  Individuality of style and self-expression are encouraged within the community at Minted; we should celebrate the “1s” as well as the “5s” as these scores are a reflection of the diversity of taste in the community.

OK, so at this point I will stop blathering on about voting because I know that this is not what you are interested in reading about.  It is 2:47am here at the office and we are here listening to Lady Gaga and other dance music.  We’re excited to launch these designs, and we’re even more excited for our customers to have access to them.

Among thousands, here are the 10 top voted designs from our Sending Good Cheer Holiday Challenge. I couldn’t be more thrilled to say congratulations to you all.

1st place: “Kraft Ribbon” by Alethea & Ruth

We are very excited that “Kraft Ribbon” by Alethea and Ruth was voted number one, winning the grand prize of $5,000.  This card was distinguished by its popularity among consumers and designers alike, and it was a personal favorite among many at Minted.  I happen to be flying down to Southern California shortly and will be delivering a $5,000 check to Rachel Simonsen of Alethea and Ruth myself.

This card is the very definition of beautiful. Rachel of Alethea & Ruth weaves together a crisp kraft paper background, soft colors, and a gorgeous hand-illustrated greeting. We’ve just celebrated one year of having Alethea & Ruth as part of the community and look forward to many more awe inspiring designs.


Sending Good Cheer 11th-20th Place Winners!

Hi everyone,

We’ve all been going holiday-crazy for months now and we know the Minted design community has been too. For all you designers who donned holiday sweaters in May and who celebrated Christmas in July (and August and September), the wait is over! This challenge blew us away—over 2,200 strong submissions, 3,000 voters, and nearly 450,000 votes later, an announcement of the incredibly talented 11th-20th place winners. To properly celebrate these gorgeous designs, we are announcing the 11th-20th place winners today. We will follow with our announcement of the 1st-10th place winners tomorrow, including a commentary about our voting process.

We would like to say one thing to all designers who participated: we thank you for participating in the Minted holiday card design challenge, and we and other Minted designers are here to continue to enable your creativity, growth, and careers. We have seen immense growth among designers within a matter of months; please believe us that if you didn’t place in the top 20 in this challenge, you shouldn’t give up – your place in the limelight is coming soon.

And now… Congratulations to the creators of these designs, which have been lauded as some of the best by consumers and designers alike:

11th Place: “Merry Everything Bright” by Laura Hankins

Each and every detailed letter in the vibrant greeting that dances across the top of “Merry Everything Bright” is unique and positively perfect. We especially love the wreath hanging from the “G.”  This was the top-ranked multiple-photo card in the entire challenge.


The Great Ideas Notebook Challenge Special Prize Winners

It would be an understatement to say that the whole Minted team has been notebook crazy for the past couple months. It was so exciting to give our designers a whole new task and to see where you went with it! We were so impressed with the beautiful, modern, and completely unique designs that were the result. Take note of our Special Prize winners below!


Best design that can be given as a gift:

“Crosby Street” by Toast & Laurel


Summer is Born Special Prize Winners!

Today I’m thrilled to announce our Special Prize winners from the Summer is Born Birth Announcement Challenge. Summer has just about ended, but we’re still celebrating the staggering number of beautiful birth announcement designs. Here are the Special Award Picks, as chosen by Mariam and the Minted team. Congratulations to all—you really delivered (no pun intended)!

Best Multi-Photo Design

Sweet Stork” by Three Kisses Studio


A Few Holiday Card Design Challenge Winners…

We know that the Minted design community probably wants to know the winners of the “Sending Good Cheer” holiday challenge – NOW.  We thought we would surprise you with a sneak preview of winners in three special award categories, the  “Advertising,” “Trailblazer,” and “Whimsy” categories.  Enjoy!

Advertising Award

Our Minted holiday card advertisement in Real Simple Family has hit the newsstands, and it features the first of the new Minted community designs to be featured this year in a national Minted print ad!  Congratulations to Cecile Kotsch of Cecile Paper Lounge on her beautiful “Fleurs de Noel”, a combination birth announcement-holiday card that we thought would be perfect to showcase in this family magazine.  Here is the advertisement:

We love how the beautifully illustrated floral garland frames the image, and the hand-drawn style script is the perfect complement to Cecile’s illustrations.  This delicate design is perfect for a birth announcement any time of the year, but the addition of the rich reds, greens, and pinks in the garland added just enough holiday cheer. Congratulations to Cecile on being named in our advertisement and her $250 award.


Sending Good Cheer Holiday Challenge: Guest Judges’ Awards

We won’t be announcing the winners in our Sending Good Cheer Holiday Card Design Challenge until all of the new holiday cards launch, but we know you’re like us and dying for a little news… and our guest judges were so over-the top-cool, that we’re delighted to share three of their awards with you today. Out of a staggering 2,554 submissions, three holiday photo card designs stood out to our judges.

Kristin van Ogtrop is the managing editor of Real Simple, the bible of the Minted consumer. Kristin, in addition to being a wonderful person to hang out with, oversees all of Real Simple’s brand extensions (from the website to books to mobile apps), and is a many-times published writer. She chose “Year in Review” by j.bartyn design.


Chronicle Books chooses Minted Designers!

Today is an exciting day for us… we are thrilled to announce the designs that Chronicle Books, our first-ever partner, has chosen designs submitted to the Chronicle-Minted challenge to print and launch in stores around the world.  Christina Amini, Executive Editor of Chronicle, along with her colleagues, has chosen:

Ballooning, by Momo


Special Awards from the International Celebration Challenge

Dear Readers,

I am writing this post from the Gansevoort Hotel, where a few of us are staying as we attend the National Stationery Show in New York.  The Gansevoort’s location in the Meatpacking District, by the way, is spectacular – right across from Pastis, where I plan to have breakfast every morning, and around the corner from too-tempting shops like Scoop.  I have yet to try the rooftop club at the Gansevoort, but I hear good things from the Minties who have scouted the place out and several us are planning on hitting that tonight to celebrate a successful trip (join us if you are in town!).

Alright, now down to business on the International Celebration Challenge.  I was really moved by this challenge, and here is why:  The Minted design community threw themselves into learning about other cultures with dedication, and they were willing to take risk in submitting designs around holidays that they were not necessarily familiar with.  Designers like Lena Barakat and Sheila Sunaryo, and many others tried to help other designers out with language and cultural expertise.  I am continually astounded and thrilled by how helpful this community is to each other.

Here are the winners of the Special Awards, and Runners Up:

Customer Favorite and Best Rosh Hashanah Design: The Matisse by Jess Taich

Jess Taich’s “The Matisse” was the favorite design as voted by customers in this challenge and Minted Editors wholeheartedly agree!

Customer Favorite and Best Rosh Hashanah Design - The Matisse by Jess Taich


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!


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