Your Cards On Us: Five Minted $200 Holiday Card Giveaways

Help us share this video with your friends… tweet a link to this blog post and leave a comment below to tell us that you tweeted, by 11:59pm Pacific Time on Saturday night, October 29, 2011.  We’ll select 5 winners to win $200 holiday card giveaways, and we’ll notify you by 6am Pacific on Sunday, October 30, in time to do your shopping for holiday cards this weekend!

What truly original holiday cards do, when no one’s looking…

(Update on 10/30 – Hi everyone, Thank you so much for your very kind comments about Minted.  We just couldn’t pick 5 so we picked 7 winners!  Congrats to the winners, who have been notified: @alinecate, Amie, @moglea_studio, MollyT, @NatCalAtkinson, @bornboutique, @sparkledawne.  Winners will be receiving their individual codes on Monday morning by email.  Stay tuned for more holiday fun on the Minted blog!)


Calling cards in Southern Weddings.

We were very excited to be included in the Fab Finds department of Southern Weddings latest issue.

We made up calling cards for the entire staff.

As you probably know, here at Minted we’re always up for customizing anything. The gals at Southern Weddings asked us to turn four wedding invitations into business cards and of course we were happy to oblige! Here’s what we did: apple harvest by lovell avenue, Sweet Bees by oscar & emma, stem striate by Stacey Day, fireflies by cadence paige design. Business cards for the bride are such a great idea as it saves you all the effort of having to give every single vendor you meet with all your contact info and wedding date / locale, etc. And how fun to have your calling card match your invites?!  Now that is perfectly coordinated.


The Dance of the Minted Holiday Cards

This holiday season has been full of interesting creative projects at Minted. One that I have enjoyed most is our new stop motion video, “Dance of the Minted Holiday Cards.”

I have wanted for a while to make a video that captures the creativity and spirit of Minted’s employees and design community, and was interested in exploring stop-motion video.  Plus, I have a strong passion for music and want to explore how to integrate it into our brand.  My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Shade describes how the video’s concept evolved:

“We wanted a few videos for the holidays and talked about different ways to show off Minted. This video originally started off as a stop motion ‘description’ of the card formats and suites. After seeing some early roughs, we realized that our filmmakers, Matt and Julie from Tiger in a Jar, could bring more of their talents to the piece. We asked them to make it something they’d do for themselves, and the result was this fun story about the secret lives of the cards on Christmas Eve. I think the fun part was seeing how collaborating could bring a new twist on the spirit of Minted.”

Hope you enjoy this, and let me know what you think!  All of the holiday cards featured in the video are buyable here.  Our 10% off promotion ends on Monday, so be sure to take advantage of this before it ends.


Mini-Minties Children’s Stationery Special Prize Winners

It’s no secret that here at Minted, we love personal stationery. And of course we all know that mini-Minties deserve fun, fresh, modern stationery too. In this challenge, we were looking for a large range of designs for all ages and all attitudes—from baby to teen, thank yous to self-expression, and elegant to edgy. Our design community was definitely up to the task. They proved that kid’s stationery can be elegant, modern, clean, and lighthearted all at the same time. Huge congratulations to these mini-Minties special prize winners!

Best over-the-top pretty design:

Watercolor” by Katie Dirksen

Katie’s “Watercolor” immediately caught our eyes. Her soft pink watercolor stain is so striking, while still staying simple and subtle. We love how the water-stained layers of pink give this design such texture and depth. This design really is over-the-top pretty—and Katie makes it look so effortless!

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Joli Monogram” by Cecile Paper Lounge ǀ “Lovely Components” by aticnomar ǀ “Cotton Candy” by Kylie Holmes ǀ “Princess Garden” by Hello Hailey ǀ “Painterly” by The Occasional Hello

Best ‘edgy’ design:

Liner Notes” by Ann Gardner

This Woodstock-inspired design has a definite edge that’s sure to appeal to both kids and adults. Ann shows off her incredible illustration skills with an understated, but undoubtedly cool stylized guitar. All of Ann’s details from the off-kilter tuning pegs to the Stangelove font to the muted color palette make “Liner Notes” both old-school rock nostalgic and fun and modern at the same time.

Runner-Ups (from left): “Happy Dayz” by Mandy Gordon ǀ “Dog’s Life” by Susan ǀ “Tag You’re It” by ERAY

Best ‘classic with a twist’ design:

The Translucent” by Maria Estigoy

We love the freshness of Maria’s “The Translucent.” The largely white canvas with a fine black font definitely recalls a classic stationery design, while the bold highlighter stripe adds a big twist. Maria kept this design simple and clean to let us focus on the name and on the splash of color across the top. We love the texture of that highlighter stripe that really makes it look hand-drawn.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from far left): “Vogue Stripes” by Melanie Severin ǀ “The Perfectionist” by Annie Clark ǀ “Pretty Patterns” by rose eckford ǀ “PenPal” by nocciola design

Best design for a girl:

Stars for Annie” by SimpleTe Design

What little girl wouldn’t love to use Erin’s “Stars for Annie?” The delicate purple and the subtle fade to white make this design so calming and ethereal, but still youthful. The adorable white stars add the whimsy that makes this such a fun and lighthearted design. The simple white text and a subtle background texture show off Erin’s amazing ability to nail every detail.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Hearts Abound” by nocciola design ǀ “Budmo Dots and Lines” by Pink Hippo Prints ǀ “Daydreaming” by Design Lotus ǀ “Lula Hula” by Mandy Gordon

Best design for a boy:

Fish Tales and Campfires” by AJCreative

We love the masculine, yet adorable feel of Amy’s “Fish Tales and Campfires.” The soft grey is the perfect background to her fun, stylized trees and her lively river. Her simple jumping fish and sailboat give so much energy and movement to this design. Amy’s fun composition, with her river running down the side of the stationery, is sure to get any boy to want to write home from summer camp or to draw in the rest of that woodsy scene.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Yellow Submarine” by Melissa Cundiff ǀ “I Spy” by Jennifer Wick ǀ “Simon Says” by Design Lotus ǀ “Spaceland” by Aspacia Henspetter ǀ “Beacon” by Susan Asbill

Best design that incorporates a photo:

Facts and Stats” by Up Up Creative

“Facts and Stats” is so (up up) creative! Julie’s design leaves so much room for personality and character, which is exactly what kid’s stationery is all about. Her fun facts and stats are refreshing and youthful, but they also stay clean in her lovely grid. It’s not easy to incorporate a photo into a stationery design, but Julie makes it seem so easy. We love the general flow and ease of this informative and fun design.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Hugs and Kisses” by Alethea and Ruth ǀ “Washi Me” by Design Lotus ǀ “Pitter-Patter” by Betta ǀ “Masterpiece” by Melanie Severin

Best design for baby gift thank-you cards:

Olivia Baby” by Kelly Nasuta

Kelly really lets your newborn baby shine through in the wonderfully understated “Olivia Baby.” When sending a thank you card for a baby gift, your newborn should absolutely be the center of attention. Kelly’s clean, muted color palette is pretty and eye-catching without being distracting. Her use of varying typography adds a certain dynamism and her simple flower motif is gentle and refined.

Runner-Ups (from left): “Gifted Thanks” by Jennifer Wick ǀ “My First Monogram” by Up Up Creative ǀ “My Very First Monogram” by Cecile Paper Lounge ǀ “Thanks, Cupcake” by guess what?

Best design for a tween or teen:

Doodle Initial” by Alethea and Ruth

Doesn’t “Doodle Initial” just take you right back to junior high (albeit in a more refined way than the first time)? Rachel captures so much energy with all her hand-drawn doodles and fun word treatments. Just like any real tween’s notebook, no two doodles are the same, which keeps us staring at this design for minutes on end! We love how the carefully edited single banner of doodles keeps this lively design so clean.

Runner-Ups (clockwise from top left): “Construction Zone” by The Social Type ǀ “Gear Head” by Lovell Avenue ǀ “Love From” by k notes LLC ǀ “Doodle” by Palm Papers


Meet a Mintie: Francesco Bongiorni

Italian designer Francesco Bongiorni lives in Spain and illustrates the covers of everything from the New York Times to Frankenstein. He is an incredibly talented “ideas guy” and we are thankful to have him drop in on a Minted challenge from time to time! Today he talks with us about the advantages of living abroad and travelling and how his work takes him into the minds of people all over the world. Thanks for taking a minute to let us get to know you Francesco. We look forward to seeing what you submit next!


Holiday Minibook and New Year’s Card Challenge Special Prize Winners

We’re all still reeling from the Sending Good Cheer winners, but there are even more holiday winners to announce! In our Holiday Minibook and New Year’s Card Challenge, we asked our designers to create end of the year holiday designs for flat cards and for our signature Minibook format. These cards will be a wonderful way to spread the holiday love and to ring in the New Year with friends and family. Congratulations to our winners!

Customer Favorite Minibook

“Technicolor Snowflake” by nocciola design

We love the sweet simplicity of Jessica’s “Technicolor Snowflake” and apparently our customers do too. The modern, bright colorblocks perfectly complement the clean opaque dots that mark each page. Pair those details with the straight lines and simple shapes of the minimalist snowflake and you’ve got one very chic Minibook.


Typography Business Card Special Prize Winners

The Minted Community really got down to business on this one. We asked you to reinvent the business card and you certainly lived up to the task! In this challenge, we emphasized using creativity in typography. Looking through the submissions, you can see just how much typography can really say about not only your profession or hobbies, but even your personality. We awarded five special prizes in this challenge—see our wonderful winners and runner ups below:

Best design for a guy

“Architectural lines” by Susan Asbill

What guy wouldn’t love this design? We really dig Susan’s abstract line drawing of buildings, perfect for an architect or any urban dweller. The grey and yellow color palette feels mature and modern all at the same time.

Runner Ups (from left): “Type Strype” by jackmove | “Bona Fide” by Ann Gardner | “Blocks” by nocciola design


Sending Good Cheer Special Award Winners

I hope you’re all as thrilled as I am about yesterday’s announcement of the top 20 winning holiday card designs. The Minted team has now recovered from its collective all-nighter in the office. (We had a wonderful visit today from Megan of Toast & Laurel, who was in town from Houston with her husband Greg. We took them out to lunch nearby, and now I’m back to finish this post!)

In addition to the community voted winners, the Minted design team and I have chosen an additional 19 Special Prize winners for designs that met one of our specific categories. We’ve already announced the Trailblazer Award for Kelli Hall’s “Grande Noel,” the Whimsy Award for Alex Elko’s “Frosty Paws,” and one of the Advertising Awards for Cecile Paper Lounge’s “Fleurs de Noel.” Today I’m excited to congratulate the remaining 16 winners and the Collection Award winners:

The Collection Award winners

In addition to our special prizes, we decided to award four designers the chance to launch a collection of 7 holiday cards on The two designers with the most designs in the top 100 designs and two additional designers chosen by Minted’s editors will receive the Collection Awards. Palm Papers and b. wise are the two designers who have the most designs in the top 100.  Minted has selected another two designers to receive the collection award – j. bartyn and Toast & Laurel.  We chose these two designers because they tied for having the 3rd largest number of designs in the top 100. Congratulations to these four designers for their massive accomplishment in such a talented field of competition.

The Big Picture Award for the best full-bleed holiday photo card design

Simply Noel” by Alex Elko Design

Alex’s beautifully crafted script is simple and powerful, and we love the contrast with the minimalist type used above for the family name. The swashes are bold and delicate while the uneven and textured edges give the design a handcrafted, rustic feel.


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.