Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 8

Fresh off her win as the Best New Designer from the 2010 Holiday Spectacular, Robin Ott has made waves again with her 8th place win of $100 for “Love Story.”

This design taps into the retro romance of typewritten notes and feels understated and handsome, but still celebratory. Plus, this design is effortlessly versatile. It could be reworked in a variety of color ways, for a variety of recipients. Congratulations Robin!

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Seattle Mintie Meet Up

I had the great pleasure of meeting Minties Nicki Brandt, Cori Sands, Maria Estigoy, and Brandy Brown (left to right below) at the very hip Bastille Cafe and Bar in Seattle (thanks Design*Sponge!).

 

Over several glasses of wine, housemade pate, and other treats, we managed to cover all relevant modern conversation topics, such as skinny jeans (consensus: guys shouldn’t wear them) to the best places for a hair cut in Seattle (Maria likes a place where there’s a DJ spinnin tunes), to Brandy’s recent press coverage in 425 Magazine.   Everyone loved their Design Lotus-designed T-shirts.  Go Amy!

It was incredibly inspiring to hear from Brandy about Minted’s effect on her career.  I’ve been a personal fan of her design for so long, so it was terrific to meet her in person.  We learned that  her crane logo was inspired by the birth of her daughter!

We received great feedback, suggestions, and questions from everyone.  Thank you so much for spending time with me – you all are a big inspiration for what we do at Minted.  Can’t wait to come back to Seattle to see you again.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 9

Mandy Gordon is one of those designers who has been with Minted since the beginning, and her illustrations always leave an impression. As her 9th Place win of $100 for “Bloom” shows, voters have also taken notice of her illustrative prowess and have awarded her a spot in the top 10. Maybe I’m just a sucker for illustrative type, but her floral type just takes my breath away. The blossoms have so much personality and substance, while still feeling very delicate. Laid out against a rich cocoa background, the bright type sets this design apart and leaves us begging for more. Mandy’s made quite the splash with her imaginative and personable illustrations, such as this adorable clown from the recent  Make A Wish Children’s Birthday Party Challenge. “Bloom” is no exception, and we are thrilled to congratulate Mandy on a well-deserved win.

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Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge: No. 10

We had so much fun blogging about the Top-25 rated designs of the Holiday Spectacular that we thought we’d do it again for the Happy, Happy Birthday Card Challenge, Minted’s first ever greeting card challenge. We’ll be announcing one winner each business day until we reach the First Place design. Let’s kick it off with our 10th Place winner of $100, “Birthday Bloom” by Lena Barakat.

In her very first Minted design challenge, Lena snatched the 10th place with an endearing birthday greeting card that tugs at heart strings. Her flower illustration is sweet without a trace of saccharine, and her message brings to mind the mothers, fathers, grandmas and grampas in our lives who are embody the spirit of aging gracefully. It’s pretty darn impressive to nail a top-10 win in your first-ever design challenge, and we couldn’t think of a better way to welcome  a designer to the community. Congratulations Lena!

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Minted Meet Up: Atlanta

We had a lot of fun at the Atlanta Mintie Meet Up! It was a wickedly hot summer evening,  and the restaurant we decided to gather at was actually hosting a giant tomato festival, so we camped out in a little table area out front.

From left: Natasha Millbury of Push Papers (who is due in November!), Kelli Hall, and Angela Vellino attended.

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Meet a Mintie: Paper Plains

Paper Plains aka Sarah Lenger designs with the daring, self-assured hand of someone who embraces a diversity of inspirations and isn’t afraid of a good challenge. At her best, she captures different moods with each design and appeals to a variety of tastes and occasions. She was most recently featured on this blog as the winner of the best religious design prize in the Holiday Spectacular Challenge, and as you can see from her winning design, she really knows how to work the “wow” factor. Let’s get to know Sarah a little bit better in this week’s Meet a Mintie.

Paper Plains aka Sarah Lenger

How did your design career begin?

I originally went to college wanting to study photography. I found out about the graphic design program and decided

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2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 1

Wow, I’m actually sorta nervous while writing this (and shielding my computer so others at Minted don’t see this), but we’ve finally come to the last episode of the Minted 2010 Holiday Design Challenge.  In the toughest competitive field we’ve ever had, over 1370 holiday card design entries, we are pleased to announce that our #1 winner as selected by the community, is…..(drumroll)

…. Annie Clark’s “Bright”, a design that perfectly captures the spirit, hope, and warmth of the holiday season. In case you don’t know Annie, she started entering design challenges as a Minted back in 2008, and after giving me an earful regarding how I should improve the design challenges, we got to know each other and she joined Minted in 2009.  Annie is highly regarded among her fellow Minties for her strong command of typography, incredible use of color, and for always remembering the idea behind the product.  We congratulate her on her never-ending quest for perfection, and her ability to prevail in a completely community-led decision.

Now, as many of our community know, Minted employees can earn glory and can win a place in our assortment, but are not eligible for cash prizes.  We do this in order to promote trust within our community.  Which means that by tradition, our $5,000 top prize award will now be awarded to the 2nd place winner, Sydney Newsom.  Our 2nd prize of $1,000 will be awarded to our 3rd place winner, Oscar + Emma, and our 3rd prize award of $500 will be awarded to our 4th place winner, Stacey Day.  Congratulations to all! You can view these designers and the others who made it into the top 10 on our winners page.

We have been blown away by your creativity in this challenge, and we excitedly look forward to offering all your beautiful designs this holiday season.  Editor’s Picks from the 2010 Holiday Challenge will be announced at the end of August.

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2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 2

Our second prize award of $1,000 goes to the talented Sydney Newsom for her simple, elegant Gallery Classic.  Congratulations, Sydney, on this amazing accomplishment and your highest-ranked placement in any Minted Design Challenge to date!

The best holiday cards take us back in time to the nostalgia of our childhood holiday memories, but stop short of being tired and stuffy. The whimsical font spread out so leisurely across the card does just that, while the more modern font below keeps the card on this side of the Internet. And the miniature ‘2010’ is just so cute! In addition to this monumental second prize, Sydney is also a recently minted Minted Mentor–our second community member to take on this honored role, joining Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus!

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2010 Holiday Spectacular: No. 3

I know, I know, you can hardly stand it! Yes, we have made it to the final three. Without further ado, we’re proud to announce that the third place award of $500 goes to a design that should be quite familiar to all of you at this point, the lovely and very popular Nordic Snowflake by Oscar & Emma.  In our opinion, the snowflake graphic is the perfect blend of delicate and strong – it holds its own as a beautiful piece of art that could be treasured on many pieces, not just holiday cards.

Karly’s classic design was also chosen by two of our guest judges so she will be taking home $1,500 in prizes for this masterpiece! Congratulations Karly on a showstopper to be sure.

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2010 Holiday Spectacular: Special Awards

We interrupt our countdown today to announce our four special category awards totaling $2,000 in prizes. These were incredibly difficult to decide upon… Our team has been deliberating over the choices all weekend long. But I think you’ll agree with us that each of these designs are quite special in their own, unique way. We’re, as always, so impressed by our community’s great creativity.

Our funniest/cheekiest award of $500 goes to Don’t tell Santa by Unless Someone Like You. What child doesn’t end up with marker on their face at least half a dozen times throughout childhood? I’m sure lots of families have pictures just like this one that they can’t wait to showcase (or I’m sure our talented design associates would be happy to do the mark-up as well!). This card made us laugh aloud, but not only that–it’s a really well-composed, spirited design with a fresh shade of green.

The best multi-photo award of $1,000 goes to Alex Elko for his brilliant Foursquare. Multi-photo cards are notoriously difficult to make look good, but doesn’t this look fresh, modern, and unique? Alex has really capitalized on the square size of the card; the big, block “Merry Christmas” lettering mirrors the square shape of the four images at the bottom making for a very nicely aligned card. I love how the family member’s names are tucked into that little square of white space. All in all, a very sharp design!

For our best religious $1,000 prize, it’s Madonna & Child by Paper Plains. Sarah Lenger has taken the traditional Madonna and Child and blended traditional with modern in a stunning gold halo and array of scintillating dots that spreads across the photo above. The font she has chosen is both soft and classic. What a gorgeous and truly unique way to celebrate Christmas!

And, finally, last but certainly not least, our newbie award of $500 goes to Robin Ott Design for Pear Family. Robin has so cleverly modernized the traditional ‘partridge in a pear tree.’ The tree is just so sweet! The pears and the leaves fit together so nicely in their varying shades of green. And has ‘love’ ever looked better? Isn’t the simply type treatment here just fantastic?

Robin hales from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a self-described “Owner + designer. Wife + mother. Addicted to paper, art, wine, cooking, anthropologie, trying to live organically and all things pretty.” We welcome her to the Minted community and look forward to seeing what she submits next!

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