Time-Saving Tips for Faster File Prep

By Olivia Goree 

While a Minted challenge win is exciting and exhilarating, the file prep that follows can be, well, not so fun. Formatting text boxes, building out colorways, and getting that foil sheen placed just right can be time-consuming and exhausting. We get it! Illustrator is an extremely powerful and complex program that can be overwhelming at times, but there are tons of tools and shortcuts to help you work in the program more efficiently. We’ve gathered our favorite “time-saving tips” to help speed up your file prep and make the process a little less painful.

 

1. Eyedropper Tool

The Eyedropper is a handy tool that allows you to pull styling from one element and apply it to another. Use this to match the color between two design elements (or even text settings from one text box to another) to ensure consistency.

2. Paste in Place

A simple but commonly used feature, Paste in Place allows you to copy one element and paste in the exact same spot it was copied from. This feature comes in handy when you need to either copy something from one artboard and paste in the same spot on another artboard, or if you are copying elements from one colorway file to another. You can find this feature by going to Edit > Paste in Place, or by using the shortcut Shift + Command + V on a Mac (or Control + V on a PC).

3. Shortcuts!

Keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator are by far the most helpful feature in speeding up your file prep process. Although they can take a while to set up and get used to, they are life-changing within Illustrator once you become comfortable with them. While some shortcuts are automatically programmed into Illustrator, others are open for you to set up on your own. These are the Minted Production team’s favorite shortcuts; you can set up these same ones or set up your own by going to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

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Minted Real Wedding: Brittany & Jesse in Tuscany

Following a romantic proposal during a family trip to Mexico, Brittany Sturrett and Jesse Olson decided to host their nuptials in the Tuscan countryside. In front of their 60 guests, the Brooklyn-based couple exchanged vows at Villa Medicea de Lilliano, a beautiful 13th-century villa that was once a hunting lodge used by the Medici family. Following the intimate ceremony, guests made their way to the alfresco garden-party reception amid groves of lemon and olive trees.

The couple: Brittany Sturrett and Jesse Olson
Occupations:
Fashion and wedding photographer (Brittany); Executive Chef at NoMo SoHo Hotel (Jesse)
Based in:
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Wedding date: 
June 9, 2017 (City Hall to make it legal); July 3, 2017 (our Big Italian Wedding)
Venue: 
Villa Medicea di Lilliano, Grassina Italy
Number of guests: 60
Invitation suite: “Al Fresco” by Haley Warner
Ceremony program: “Al Fresco” by Haley Warner
Place card: “Gold Bars” by Fig and Cotton
Favor tag: “Botanical Name Plate” by Shiny Penny Studio
Menu card: “Field” by Toast & Laurel
Wedding planner: Alise Taggart
Florist: Annalisa di Federico of Isa Events
Catering & Rentals: Guidi-Lenci
Cake: Tuscan Wedding Cakes
Makeup Artist: Sandra Lovisco from My Wedding Mirror
Bridesmaid dresses: Reformation
Groomsmen tuxedos: The Black Tux
Music: Slightly Out
Lighting/DJ: The Alma Project
Cinematographer: Cinematictide
Photographer: Paula O’Hara

How did you and Jesse meet?
We met at a restaurant that we both worked at—it was called A Voce and was located in Columbus Circle in Manhattan. He was a Sous Chef at the time and I was a front-of-house captain. 

Tell us about the proposal!
We had a family trip planned for Mexico. Jesse had the ring on him the whole day and was trying to find the perfect place to pop the question! The day was filled with swimming in cenotés, zip-lining, climbing pyramids; he ended up doing it after a family dinner. We all took a walk down the beach and I remember looking up and seeing the bright full moon; at the same time, I could sense my family slowly backing up. I turned and looked at Jesse, just as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! There were a group of people around us clapping after I said “Yes!” and the rest is history.

How did you find your wedding venue?
Our amazing cake designer Melanie! We had a cake tasting and she asked us what we were envisioning, and when we told her she knew just the place for us to check out!

Why did you decide to host a destination wedding?
We wanted it to be a trip our closest friends and family could check off their bucket list. Just a big vacation and event to share all together.

What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
Our “first look.” Hearing and saying our vows to each other for the first time. Sitting down at the end of our long table amid the Tuscan sunset, seeing all of our friends and family enjoying themselves and smiling.

Who made your wedding dress?
Mark Zunino. 
We went to Kleinfields and it just worked out perfectly!

What did Jesse wear?
A tuxedo by Kooples.

Any advice for couples who are starting to plan their wedding?
Pinterest boards!! They saved my life and put everything into perspective.

How did you choose your wedding invitation (“Al Fresco” by Haley Warner)?
It was the perfect pick for our olive-branch wedding theme.

What was the process like working with Minted to make your stationery vision come to life?
Great! The colors and process was so easy, and I love the quality of paper.

Click through for more from Brittany and Jesse’s wedding

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Mariam Naficy on NPR’s How I Built This with Guy Raz

Ever wonder how Minted got started? Our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy talks with NPR​’s How I Built This with Guy Raz on how she built Minted into one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms and global artist communities in the world.

In the late 1990s, Mariam started, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, and eventually sold it for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again and she founded Minted.com, an e-commerce site that sources designs from a community of independent artists around the world. Mariam went against the advice of critics who told her not to crowdsource, and not to sell holiday cards. Sometimes critics are wrong!

Today Minted is one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet.

Listen to the exclusive podcast HERE.

About How You Built That:

Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

Illustration by: Phuong Nguyen for NPR

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Festive Holiday Fabric & Wrap Quickfire Challenge : Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners of our Festive Holiday Fabric & Wrap Quickfire Challenge! For this challenge, we were looking for winter, holiday, and Christmas themed patterns and placed images that could be used on a variety of products. We were so excited to see your fresh and festive designs. Congratulations winners!

 

Visionary Award
For the design that feels truly differentiated and new

Multi-Cultural Santas by Melanie Mikecz


Runners-up: 
Main Street by Julie Murray and Bonney Woods by Cindy Willingham



Santa’s Little Helper Award
For the best fun and festive pattern or placed image design that appeals to children

Gumdrop Buttons by Jackie Crawford

Runners-up: Nutcracker Suite by Peetie Design and Stacked Arctic Animals by Jennifer Wick

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Minted Artists in the Press June 2018

Congratulations to the dozens of Minted artists who are featured in Better Homes and Gardens, The Today Show, ArchitecturalDigest.com, Bridal Guide, InStyle’s Facebook, and on Carly Waddell’s Instagram. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.


Better Homes and Gardens (May 2018)
“Quince Blossom” featuring “Red Fancy Fish” pillow by Paper Raven Co.


Instyle Facebook Live (May 21, 2018)
Minted Weddings Facebook Live featuring “Moody Marbling” wedding suite by Hooray Creative, “Palmetto” wedding suite by Kelli Hall, “Blue Tides” wedding suite by Erin Deegan, “Cool Cobalt” table runner by Kelli Hall, “Fantastic Florals” table runner by Simona Cavallaro, “Pointillism” table runner by Alethea and Ruth, “Southwest” napkin by Hooray Creative, “Bold Watercolor” napkin by Qing Ji, and “Gingko Floral” napkin by Monica Cheng

ArchitecturalDigest.com (April 12, 2018)
“11 Super-Typical Mother’s Day Gifts, Clever-ized” featuring “Commissioned Art” by Adelina Simeonova.
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Make a Statement Large Format Art Challenge : Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Make a Statement Large Format Art Challenge! Our customers are looking for large scale pieces to fill an empty space, and we are excited for this potential sales opportunity for our growing art business. Congratulations winners!

Figures & Form Award
For the most interesting and eye catching photograph or drawing that displays
a human figure large scale

Shes Blooming by Theresa Bear

Runners-up: Movement by Kaitie Bryant and Watching by Kelly Witmer

Bold Strokes Award
For the best large scale abstract statement piece emphasizing unique shape and form

Jazz on the Radio by Melissa McGill


Runners-up: 
Circular Movement by Roann Mathias and Indeed they are by Allison Filice

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Minted celebrates 10 years of innovation and community spirit at NSS and ICFF 2018

Photos by Charlie Juliet Photography

Minted has come a very long way since Mariam Naficy first walked the Javits Center’s pink-carpeted floors of the National Stationery Show (NSS) in 2007. As she pushed her baby daughter in a stroller, Minted was a budding, disruptive idea in the entrepreneur’s mind, one that she knew had extraordinary potential but would take time to develop.

The next year, Minted launched its first Design Challenge, a save-the-date card competition that attracted 66 entries. Fast-forward to now, 10 years later, and Minted has grown to become a booming international business, attracting thousands of Challenge submissions from its talented community of independent artists who create the designs of everything Minted produces. The Minted artist community now lives in all 50 states and more than 60 countries, and Minted products have grown from its initial offering of custom stationery to also include limited edition art, home decor, and so much more.

As the company and community have grown, so too has Minted’s presence at the National Stationery Show. This year, Minted also exhibited at ICFF, a major home furnishings show that took place simultaneously with NSS at the Javits Center.

Minted artists traveled near and far to attend the National Stationery Show and ICFF. Tanya Peng Lee of Frooted Design, a Minted artist who joined the community nine and a half years ago, traveled to New York as part of cross-country roadtrip from her home in Orange County, California, with her husband and son. “I always enjoy walking the show, but I mostly go to hang out with other Minties,” Tanya says of her fourth trip to NSS.

During the Minted Community Cocktail party on May 21, Mariam shared several monumental announcements with the community, including a forthcoming Minted artist retreat and conference in Las Vegas. “We’ve been talking about a mega Minted meetup for so long, it was almost surreal to hear Mariam’s announcement about Vegas,” Tanya says. “All the announcements were a reminder to me of how much Minted takes the community’s feedback to heart.”

Here’s a recap of four action-packed days of exhibiting new Minted designs at three booths, the annual Community Cocktail party, and the MYK artist breakfast.

The Minted Booth at NSS

The “Black Sheep” Minted Art Mural by Rose Lindo of Edmond, Oklahoma, took center stage at Minted the NSS booth, alongside displays of Minted Greeting Cards.

A handful of examples of Minted’s evolution in innovating new products over the last decade.

The Minted gallery wall—placed atop Minted’s signature reversed books—attracted NSS show attendees seeking an up-close view of Minted Art and framing. We also debuted a glimpse of “collective,” a new art project in development.

A wall of Minted Greeting Cards available for Minted Wholesale orders.

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How to safely package framed and unframed original art

Bubble-wrapping framed original art.

Bubble-wrapping unframed original art.

We’re thrilled to partner with Scale Up Art, a renowned San Francisco company that works with some of the world’s biggest names in art and photography to enlarge original works. With more than 12 years experience, the company’s founders, JP Jespersen and Dylan Ozanich, have mastered museum-quality artwork capture.  

About the scanning process: Scale Up Art uses a proprietary Gigapixel Artwork Scanning System to digitize artworks up to sizes larger than 3 gigabytes. Scale Up Art produces the most color-accurate and highest-resolution artwork reproductions available.

The importance of careful packaging

We cannot stress enough the importance of carefully packaging your original artwork before shipping. Even with the most trusted delivery partners, it’s difficult to control factors such as weather and shifting during transit. Keep in mind that the corners of your shipping box are most susceptible to damage. To help prevent damage and wear and tear, we worked with Scale Up Art to assemble these tips and the following step-by-step packaging process.

Top 5 “don’ts” for packaging art

1. Don’t ship wet art.
Make sure your painting or artworkis completely dry before shipping, and don’t add a protective varnish. If you’ve already varnished your artwork before you read this article, wait a few days beyond the recommended drying time before shipping. If you ship the art before it’s completely dry, you risk the varnish sticking to packing materials, and it’s nearly impossible to repair the damage.

2. Don’t use cardboard as a protective barrier on the face of your artwork.
Cardboard is not acid-free and could damage your artwork. Instead of cardboard, we recommend placing acid-free archival paper or glassine on top of the painting in addition to placing the artwork inside a clear plastic bag, which you could order from clearbags.com or purchase at your local art store.

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Sandra Picco attributes success to creative risk-taking, the Minted community, and evolving with the Digital Age

With a graphic design degree from Montclair State University in hand, Sandra Picco ignited her career on the production side of things and spent many hours in press rooms before actually focusing on design. She even walked the famous halls of Vogue magazine, working as a production manager for a spell. “It was humbling but also made me question every fashion choice I ever made,” the New Jersey Minted designer says with a smirk.

Sandra Picco works on her Minted designs at home in Barnegat, New Jersey, a small shore town located on the Barnegat inlet off the coast of New Jersey. “My husband and I just built our home here and moved in about six months ago,” she says. “The best thing about this area of New Jersey is that we can be at the beach in minutes or get in the car and be in New York City or Philadelphia in under two hours.” Portraits by Born Rival Cinema.

In addition to those humbling moments, Sandra attributes much of what she learned in her early production days to her refined skills as a designer and typographer. Ultimately, I discovered I was not cut out for magazine publishing and chose to pursue design over continuing in print production,” she says. “I did learn a lot about the inner workings of magazine publishing—and maybe a thing or two about what not to wear.”

Sandra also attributes her growth as a designer to Minted. She joined the Minted artist community of independent artists in 2010, when the company was only two years old. Eight years later, Sandra says she looks to Minted to provide room for creativity that her day job as a corporate designer doesn’t always provide. “Stationery design and being a part of the Minted community have given me reasons to push myself to take more risks and try new things creatively,” she says. “The support of the community cheering me on has also saved me from design burnout on a few occasions. It’s been pretty amazing to watch other designers, who I now call friends, grow alongside me as well.”

“Subtle Statement” save the date card by Sandra Picco

Though Sandra can’t quite put her finger on her design style, we call it “cheerful classics with a twist.” “I tend to have ‘shiny object syndrome’ when it comes to sticking to one look, but I usually favor a clean, modern aesthetic, and I love using type as the main focal point in my work,” she says.  

Here Sandra talks about her creative evolution, the art of being receptive to constructive criticism, and more.

“Burst of Happy” holiday photo card by Sandra Picco

How have you continued to learn about graphic design since college?
I’m going to date myself big time here, but I studied graphic design before computers were commonplace. It’s hard to even imagine that now. I was taught how to “copy and paste” the old-fashioned way—with a blade and adhesive! I didn’t really learn how to design via the computer until I started my first job after graduation, and with the pace of technology, I feel like I’ve been learning ever since. Needless to say, a lot has changed over the years, but I’m happy that I entered the field when I did because it gave me valuable insight into both worlds.

By day, Sandra works full time as a graphic designer for a small design and print company in New Jersey, where she designs everything from logos and brochures for small businesses to banners hanging in professional sports arenas. “It’s never the same from one day to the next, which keeps things interesting,” she says. “Stationery is my ‘side hustle.’”

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Minted Artists in the Press May 2018

Congratulations to the dozens of Minted artists who are featured on The Chew, The Knot, Pioneer Woman, Cosmopolitan.com, New Jersey Family, and Bobby Berk’s Instagram. Join the fun of spotting Minted artists in the press by uploading PR clips on your social media with the hashtag #mintiespotting.

One of the glorious rooms in Cosmo’s new office, featuring “Change Mind” by Nell Waters Bernegger and Something to Say” by Sara Hicks Malone

Cosmopolitan.com (April 13, 2018) “Inside Cosmopolitan.com’s Glam New Office
Featuring “Change Mind,” “Garden Lush,” and “Golden Now” by Nell Waters Bernegger, “Something to Say” by Sara Hicks Malone, “Wow, That Is Bright!” by Lisa Travis, “Serendipity” by Ilana Greenberg, “Take Flight” by Carol Fazio, “Bright Splash” by Halik Helen, “No. 112” by Jessalin Beutler, “A Bend In The Road” by Kisco Print Shop, “Telephone” by Cristiane, “Circles and Dots” by Alethea and Ruth, “Happy Storm” by Melanie Severin, and “Untitled 1” and “Sometimes I Wish Beginnings Were Ends” by Jaime Derringer


The Chew (April 27, 2018), Graduation Giveaway featuring graduation magnets
Featuring “Modern Abstracts” by Jessica Maslyn, “Photo Block” by Jill Means, “Our Graduates” by Sara Hicks Malone, “Formality” by Sarah Guse Brown, and “Simple Style” by Simona Cavallaro. Also featuring announcements: “Lettered” by Amy Payne, “Congrads” by Guess What Design Studio, “In Vogue” by Hooray Creative, “Annos” by Jessica Williams, “Refinement” by Lehan Veenker, “Magnifique” by Nazia Hyder, “Celebration Script” by Sara Hicks Malone, “Bold Monogram” by Stacey Meacham, and “Rising Success” by Susanne Kasielke  

View The Chew clip


The Knot (Spring 2018), “Color Crush: Dusty Lavender”
Featuring “Lustrous” Table Number by Kaydi Bishop

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