Minted Goes to Alt

Minted is so happy to be a sponsor of the Alt. conference this year. Mariam asked the creative team to come up with a unique and seriously cute take away to be included in the gift bags for the attendants. We decided on a mini gallery kit, the perfect introduction to Minted’s new art prints. We hand stamped 550 muslin bags, included a collection of 3 art prints, and added mini clothes pins and twine so that people could create their own displays.


It was a lot of fun to see our lovely art prints in person and we couldn’t resist coming up with a few more creative options to display the pieces:

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Head Over Heels Guest Judges Awards.

We’re very excited to be announcing the guest judges awards from our Head Over Heels wedding invitation challenge today! Our guest judges are pretty much the most impressive, sweetest and most talented ladies we’ve come across so it comes as no surprise that their winning selections are nothing short of swoon-worthy.

Heather Lee, the Associate Editor at Brides.com, awarded her prize to: Gallery Hopping by Annie Clark. “I REALLY love that one,” says Heather. “And I’m totally not a “pink” person! I love the look of the stacked all-capped letters and the large wash of pale pink is very Rothko-esque. This design is perfect for modern couples hosting their nuptials in an artistic venue, such a Chelsea art gallery, renovated warehouse, or former foundry.”

Before deciding, Heather asked her readers for help and their favorite design was In the Park by Amanda Larsen Design. Says Heather of their selection: “I’ve seen plenty of faux bois invitations—it’s a popular look for outdoor weddings and this design is done particularly well. The typography reminds me of chalkboard lettering, which gives the design a nostalgic feel, while the flower and leaf details add a touch of sweetness to the overall rustic look.”

Cathleya Schroeckenstein, the Editor-in-Chief of Weddingbee.com, asked the Bees at Wedding Bee to help her decide and they all voted for Love Story by Cadence Paige Design.

Their second place favorite was Flourishing by Griffinbell Studios.

Cyd Converse from The Sweetest Occasion chose Leaf Specimen by Krista Messer. Says Cyd of her selection: “I’m always a sucker for great type and hand lettering so I instantly loved this invitation. Plus, it’s just super pretty so you can’t help but love it.”

One of Cyd’s other favorites was chalkboard by Alethea and Ruth. “The bold mix of neutrals on this invitation is modern while still feeling timeless,” Cyd says. “I love the white type against the dark background, it makes the design feel both whimsical and modern.”

A huge hip, hip hooray to Heather, Cathy and Cyd for their excellent input! We really appreciate your time ladies. Thanks so much!!

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GIVEAWAY: One pass to ALTitude Design Summit.

We are giving away a FREE pass to the astounding, amazing, awesome ALTitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, next week: January 18th–21st! The conference is now completely *sold out* so this may be the only way for you to attend!

This year we’re very proud to be a sponsor of this amazing event and will be camped out in the lounge all day Thursday. If you’re lucky enough to already be attending, please stop by, meet us and see our lovely stationery and art in person!

TO ENTER TO WIN: Please leave a comment with the name of your blog and your favorite design for sale on minted!! One winner will be chosen at random on Thursday at NOON PST. Good luck!

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Head Over Heels Special Prize Winners Part 2

I have really enjoyed taking a detour from the always lovely, but slightly chaotic, holiday season to take in all of the gorgeous winners of our Head Over Heels wedding challenge. So many fantastic designs came in and it’s really fun to see where they’ve landed when it comes to our special prize categories. The creativity abounds in this collection of stylish and specific wedding invitations and I feel quite honored to present them here. Congratulations, designers!

Breath of Fresh Air Award for the best fresh take on a classic (formal) wedding invitation:

Simple Scallop” by Laura Hankins

“Simple Scallop” mixes a traditional text and color palette with a fun, modern twist. We love the elegance of Laura’s simple, traditional text and layout. It’s the fun, imperfect scalloped border that adds personality to the design in such a fresh way.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Certified Chic” by j.bartyn design | “Triangle Flirtation” by SimpleTe Design | “Watercolor and Doilies” by Bethany Bowers | “Twine” by Palm Papers | “Notable” by Wondercloud Design

Church Bells Award for the best church/chapel wedding invitation:

Blessed Lace” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak

Yolanda’s “Blessed Lace” is both sophisticated and modern. The beautiful, stylized cross has the delicacy of white lace, while the shape and detailing also recall a stained glass window. The simple, but unusual border adds to the charm of the design and the slightly textured background provides visual interest and depth.

Runner Ups (from left): “Going to the Chapel” by Stacey Meacham | “Grand Lace” by Carrie O’Neal

Vegas Baby! Award for the best Las Vegas wedding invitation:

Lucky in Love” by Susan Asbill

Susan captures the retro glamor of Las Vegas, the sense of billboards and flashing lights, and the energy of the city all while managing to keep “Lucky in Love” organized and elegant. The white text on a textured grey background allows us to focus on the playful blend of fonts and type treatments and her lively dotted lines lead your eyes around the design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bet on Love” by Rose Lindo | “Vegas or Bust” by The Occasional Hello | “Bright Light City” by root beer float | “Roll of the Dice” by Kelly Nasuta | “Vivas las Marriage” by Candice Leigh | “Hearts & Spades” by Jill Means

Flora and Fauna Award for the best outdoors or nature-inspired wedding invitation:

In the Park” by Amanda Larsen Design

“In the Park” is a perfect example of rustic chic. We love the richness and depth of the woodgrain background. Its deep brown really allows the text and flora embellishments to pop. The simple, concise wording keeps this design friendly and somewhat informal—the perfect invitation for outdoor nuptials.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Autumn Leaves” by Hello Hailey | “The Grove” by Design Lotus | “Ladybug Garden” by Alethea and Ruth | “Big Sur” by annie clark | “Sunday Succulent” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Forevergreen” by jenincmyk | “Evergreen” by The Social Type

Beachy Keen Award for the best beach wedding invitation:

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore” by Aspacia Henspetter

We love Aspacia’s “Sea Shells by the Sea Shore” for a chic beach wedding. The detail of her illustrations makes the design both impressive and delicate. Her use of starfish, coral, sea shells, and plants is so fun, while the informal confines of a perfect wreath shape keep the design clean.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Horizon” by Linda & Harriett | “The Shore” by Kristen Smith | “Beach Bums” by trbdesign | “Ombre Stripes” by Jill Means | “What a Pair” by Smudge Design

Best Newbie Design:

Leaf Specimen” by Krista Messer

Krista has entered the Minted world with a bang! “Leaf Specimen” was not only the highest rated newbie design, but it also came in at 7th place overall. Her illustrations and hand-lettering add a beautiful, personal touch to this invitation while the deep, muted tones and leafy elements are both sophisticated and naturally casual.

Runner Ups (from left): “Cake Toppers” by Zory Mory | “Fiesta Folk Art” by root beer float | “heart Throb” by Taylor Todd – Olive and Violet | “Star Dust” by Heather W.

Found in Translation Award for the best multi-language wedding invitation:

Language of Love” by VOSS

Sara’s stylized speech bubble sends a wonderful message of love, regardless of the languages on the invitation. We love the suggestion that each side of the invitation, one in English and the other in Spanish, translates to the same message. The framing and symmetrical layout give this design a sense of structure that complements the whimsy of the speech bubble.

Customer’s Choice Award:

Kissing Ball” by Phoebe Wong-Oliveros

Phoebe gives the old tradition of a kissing ball a very modern, fresh twist. Her text treatment and placement allows us to focus on the beauty and intricacy of the kissing ball itself. The density of the kissing ball is balanced by the delicacy of the white outline around each flower and the clean space of the overall design. It’s no surprise that this beautiful design is our Minted customer favorite.

Most Helpful Commenter Award:

Commenting and critique are a key part of the Minted experience and we’re proud that our community members help each other grow as designers. Because our Minties were so active in commenting in this challenge, we want to acknowledge our most helpful commenter. Congratulations Debb W! To reward Debb for being so helpful, we will be sending her a copy of one of our favorites, Drawn In: A Peek into the Inspiring Sketchbooks of 44 Fine Artists, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, and Cartoonists by Julia Rothman. Thank you Debb!

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Head Over Heels Special Prize Winners Part 1

The wedding winners continue! Today I’m thrilled to announce the first batch of our special prize winners. These winners highlight the incredible diversity of this year’s Head Over Heels wedding collection. From photo to non-photo, romantic beach to rustic barnyard, and elegantly classic to boldly modern, each Minted couple is looking for a unique wedding invitation that speaks to their personality and style. I’m so proud to say that this year more and more couples will find just what they’re looking for here at Minted. Congratulations, designers!

Picture Perfect Award for the best photo wedding invitation:

Moment in Time” by The Social Type

It’s not easy to incorporate a photo into a wedding invitation, but Allison and Jess of the Social Type make it look so effortless. The slightly off-kilter angle of the photo and the old-fashioned photo corners make it seem as though the bride and groom have hand-crafted each invitation. The subtle texture of the background and the delicate text add to the personality of the design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bright Future” by root beer float | “Minimalist Display” by Gakemi Art + Design | “Forever Panoramic” by Stacey Meacham | “Sense & Sensibility” by Jennifer Wick | “Saturday in the Park” by guess what? | “Polaroid Perfection” by Katie Dirksen

Can’t Pick Just One Award for the best multi-photo wedding invitation:

Eyes for You” by R Studio

Renee creates a wonderful tension by separating the bride and groom on either side of this invitation. The flanking full-bleed photos add a very modern touch. The clean type and the use of plenty of whitespace make this design so versatile. We can see so many different types of photos working in this basic, but unique frame.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top): “Metro Green Line” by sarasponda | “Star Gazing Multi Photo” by Carolyn MacLaren | “Moments Captured” by Carrie Eckert

Piece of the Pie Award for the best design element in a wedding invitation:

Wedding Boughs” by Kimberly Morgan

We love the delicate intricacy of Kimberly’s “Wedding Boughs” tree. The elegant leaves and curling branches are wonderfully unusual, while the couple’s initials add a personal touch. Kimberly lets the couple’s tree shine in the context of a clean, minimal design. We can also see this beautiful tree transplanted into so many other types of designs as well.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Iconic Barnyard” by bumble ink | “Painted Flower” by lehan paper design | “Studio Modern” by Sydney Newsom | “Koi” by Anais Lee | “Mr & Mrs X” by Design Lotus | “Kissing Quails” by nocciola design

Whimsy Award for the best whimsical/offbeat wedding invitation:

Summer Love” by rose eckford

Rose’s “Summer Love” puts us in a summer state of mind. Her fun, textured popsicle immediately sets the tone for a laid-back wedding. Every detail screams whimsy from the crosshatch background with the imperfect popsicle cut-out to the angled, white text highlights.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Charm School” by The Social Type | “Sole Mates” by k notes llc | “A Love Story” by Kayla Grunder | “I’m Nuts for You” by Kimberly Morgan | “Afterparty” by Ann Gardner | “Blueprint” by Sarah Brown | “Times Flies” by Wondercloud Design | “Infinity & Beyond” by Dawn Jasper

Wild Thing Award for the best edgy/outrageous wedding invitation:

Our Love Mix” by Cheer Up Cherup

Nothing like a bit of 80’s rock to give a wedding invitation a little edge. Alaina’s charming cassette tape packs so much memory and emotion behind it. The bold, but limited color palette allows you to focus on the tape and on the large names. This design provides a clean, modern outrageousness and conveys the couple’s personality.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “The Zebras” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Translation Destination” by Erin Pescetto | “Shindig” by Precious Bugarin Design | “Eclectic Type of Love” by cadence paige design | “Initials” by roxy | “Wedding Vinyl” by Dawn Jasper

Sweet Simplicity Award for the best simple/chic wedding invitation:

Blushing” by Sydney Newsom

Sydney’s “Blushing” fits this award so perfectly; it’s sweet, simple, and oh so chic. The color palette of muted pink and deep grey immediately gives the design a very modern feel while the small, Mrs. Eaves text and flowing Business Penmanship elegantly balance out the modern monogram.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Broome Street” by j.bartyn design | “Gallery Hopping” by Annie Clark | “Perchance” by b.wise papers | “Sweet Chic” by Daily Sip Studios | “Color Block” by Paper Dahlia

Away We Go Award for the best destination wedding invitation:

Maritime Stripe” by Wondercloud Design

Olivia’s fun, nautical design has us ready to pack our bags for a destination wedding. The big, bold names and varying fonts would be chic and interesting on any design. It’s the bar of diagonal stripes, the anchor in a heart, and the playful “anchors aweigh!” that give this design a distinctly-destination feel.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Cartography” by Sarah Brown | “Mosaic” by Betta | “Dive In” by Call Me Lauren | “Translation Destination” by Erin Pescetto | “Painted Ferns” by Katharine Watson

I’ve Got a Feeling Award for the best evocative of a feeling without being too literal wedding invitation:

Pinwheels” by Jill Means

The playful, staggered pinwheels in Jill’s design immediately evoke a warm summer breeze and the casual comfort of that time of year. We love the balance of a simple color palette with the fun black and white patterns in each pinwheel. The bold white border and traditional text are the perfect complement to the more whimsical elements of this design.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Bouquet d’Amour” by Beth Ann | “Champagne & French CanCan” by Cecile Paper Lounge | “Chalkboard Wedding” by Katie Dirksen | “Ombre/Sunset” by Linda and Harriett | “Love, Sweet Love” by guess what? | “In the Stars” by Kimberly Nicole | “Watercolor Dots” Stacey Day

Big Day Big Name Award for the best wedding invitation that features the couple’s names in a big way:

Santa Monica Modern” by Andres Montano

So many couples love to see their names really stand out on a wedding invitation and Andres has definitely delivered for them with “Santa Monica Modern.” The faded background and white highlights make these names seem to jump right off the page. The distressed texture and unusual seal give an overall urban and modern vibe.

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Color Us Happy” by Oscar & Emma | “Stamped Center” by Alethea and Ruth | “Artist’s Frame” by Linda and Harriett | “Shindig” by Precious Bugarin Design | “Bokeh Bride” by Andres Montano | “Dearest” by Susan Asbill

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Meet a Mintie: Linda & Harriett.

Happy week-of Christmas everyone! This monday morning, I bring you a fine treat: a Meet a Mintie with Liz from Linda & Harriett. Liz is a relatively new member of our community, but boy did she get into our holiday challenge, submitting several stunners!

First things, first! Who’s Linda and who’s Harriett?
My mom’s name was Linda & my middle name is Harriett, also the name of my great grandmother. When I was thinking of names for my business, my husband mentioned using these names because they’re pretty old-fashioned unique names & obviously mean a lot to me. As a result, I get called Linda a lot. But I never mind because it reminds me of my mom, who passed away when I was 17.

How did L&H get its start?
I started Linda & Harriett as a custom stamped invitation business. I made rubber stamps & used them for people’s invitations & personalized stationery. It was a lot of work & a lot of hand-work, but there’s something so gratifying about putting ink to paper for an immediate result – and one that changes depending on that moment of contact – the pressure of your hands, the ink saturation, the paper, the rotation of the stamp – it all adds up to something slightly different each time. It’s fun, and I’ve just gotten back into it again.

I’ve moved away from the custom work & now concentrate on a few key products that I really love from start to finish – namely, our calendars. I love creating them, selling them & giving them as gifts. I stand by them 100% and I’ll keep doing them as long as that’s the case. Cutting back on our line has also freed up time for other projects, like creating designs for Minted!

As you know, I’ve been purchasing your calendars for five years and counting now and am a HUGE fan. How do you go about designing it each year?
My process for our annual letterpress calendar, which I’ve been doing since 2008, starts in January of the prior year and is by far my favorite project. In my sketchbook, I list all 12 months & over several weeks, I take notes on what I want to do for each month. The summer months are usually the first to fill up with ideas. I’m a total sucker for sea life images – whales, crabs, sailfish, anchors, seagulls. I could do June, July and August twenty times over each year. But back to the process. So I take notes & sketch possible layouts in January. The next few months are spent sketching the images & month titles. The last part is deciding on colors. I tape Pantone swatches in my sketch book next to the months to make sure I’m not overusing or missing a color or duplicating colors in back to back months. This is the part that definitely takes me the longest. I hem & haw over colors so much that sometimes I spend most of the day deciding on a shade of blue. I’m not really that picky of a person, but when it comes to my colors, I’m crazy. We go to print by April and debut the calendar at the National Stationery Show in May.

Speaking of the National Stationery Show, that is where I met you! Natasha told me about Minted while I was still in the thick of custom work, so it didn’t feel like the right time since I was busy with my own clients & production schedule and couldn’t imagine taking on more. Cutting back on custom work over the past year freed up some time, and I submitted my first designs this May for the Holiday Card Challenge. Sometimes I feel like I work in a vacuum a bit, so getting immediate feedback in comments & then later in sales is particularly fun for me. And I have to admit, I do love a good challenge!

I loved meeting you for the first time–I am such a big calendar fan that I was quite starstruck. What is your favorite design for sale on minted now?

My favorite design of mine on Minted right now is my Handlettered Merry Christmas card. I ordered it as my company holiday card (non photo, citron green color — so cool!) and will use it as our family Christmas card, too, with a big photo of Griffin, my one year old son. I like that it’s simple enough to let the photo shine, but has personality in the loose lettering. It feels light-hearted – and to me, that seems like the perfect sentiment for the season.

How is your letterpress work different than designing for minted’s flat printing?
Designing for flat printing is a bit different than letterpress. Letterpress printing gets more expensive with each color you add, so I typically use one or two colors, sometimes three and almost never four. And even though I can use more than three colors for flat printing, my designs for Minted have so far rarely exceeded two colors. I can’t help it:) I also think that when you’re using photos, it’s best to limit the number of colors in your design. Too much can be too much.

How does your new son Griffin fit into your work / life / balance?
When I was pregnant with Griffin over a year ago, I started anticipating work life with a baby. I realized pretty quickly that my time was about to turn to gold & I didn’t want to waste it. So with that in mind, I cut back on things in my business that I didn’t enjoy & didn’t have faith to grow. I cut back on a lot, actually. It was risky, but I am so happy I did because it’s allowed me a whole day off a week to hang out with Griffin and has given me more time for other projects, such as designing for Minted! So really, Griffin brought me to Minted:)

Isn't little Griffin's bum adorable on her Merry Merry giftag?

And we’re so glad he did!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season Liz!! Thank you for letting us get to know you a little better. Keep in touch with Liz over on her blog here.

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Head Over Heels | Wedding Collection Winners

The Head Over Heels challenge was our biggest wedding challenge of the year. There were a ton of amazing entries this time around and for good reason. Designers had the chance not only to win individual prizes, but also to launch their very own wedding collections on Minted. The first of the wedding collections was awarded to the designer with the most designs in the top 20, as voted by the Community. Two more wedding collection winners were selected by Minted’s editorial team based on performance in the Head Over Heels challenge as well as past design challenges.

The first collection award went to the very deserving Jennifer Wick. Of the eight Jennifer Wick designs selected to be sold on Minted, three made it into the top 20, coming in at second, sixth and thirteenth! To land this many designs in the top 20, out of 1,639 submissions, was quite the feat. Jen’s gorgeous florals and clever type treatments are the perfect addition to our wedding assortment and we’re so happy the voters agreed. Congratulations Jen!

We’re thrilled to announce that Rachel Simonsen of Alethea and Ruth is one of the two Minted editor’s picks for a collection win. We were in awe of Rachel’s modern yet elegant designs in this challenge and have been big fans of her work since “Banner and Branches” won first place in our Happily Ever After wedding challenge last year. We very much look forward to launching these fantastic designs for sale on Minted. Congratulations Rachel!

Kristen Smith was also chosen by Minted editors to receive the prize of launching her own wedding collection. Kristen is a powerhouse graphic designer, having been voted into the top 20 in the last eight design challenges. Her beautiful pattern work and clean typography style has really resonated with consumers and designers alike. Congratulations Kristen!

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Head Over Heels 1st-10th Place Winners!

With just a few weeks left in 2011, we’re already thinking about the upcoming wedding season. Couples come to Minted for unique, contemporary designs that they can’t find anywhere else. What sets Minted apart is the dedication, enthusiasm, and indisputable talent of our design community.

Wedding invitations seem to hold a special place in Minties’ hearts. Every invitation is a reflection and representation of an individual couple. Our designers truly understand that, in part because so many of them first found their love for design by designing their own wedding invitations. I see that personal connection in each of these phenomenal top 10 submissions. After hundreds of thousands of votes from our community and customers, here are the top 10 winners of our Head Over Heels Wedding Challenge. Huge congratulations to our winners!

1st Place: “Mountain Wonderland” by Jana Volfova

There’s something dreamy about the idea of getting married in the mountains surrounded by snow.  Jana captured this feeling perfectly with “Mountain Wonderland.” We adore the tiny gondolas and mountain peaks in the distance. Everything is tied together by the playful blend of large type for the names and small script accents.

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Meet a Mintie: Palm Papers.

I’ve got the perfect anecdote to the craziness of the holiday season; a very fun interview today with Lauren from Palm Papers! Lauren shares how she recently found her passion and made a big career switch, as well as dishes on letterpressing, wedding logos, and being an Apple convert.

How does an accountant become a stationery designer?
I was always creative growing up, but never thought much about an artistic career. When I went to college (at Texas A&M University), I thought the business school was the best place to figure out what I wanted to do. I was leaning towards a Marketing degree, but when it was time to choose a major, accountants were in high demand and I actually ‘got’ the whole accounting thing (and nerd alert: I kind of enjoyed it), so I went that route. After 5 years of school, I graduated with my masters, got my CPA license and started working for an oil & gas company.

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